gms | German Medical Science

G-I-N Conference 2012

Guidelines International Network

22.08 - 25.08.2012, Berlin

Clinical Practice Guidelines and Patient Safety – Do Clinical Practice Guidelines play a role in critical incident reporting systems?

Meeting Abstract

  • A. Sanguino Heinrich - Agency for Quality in Medicine, Berlin, Germany
  • J. Rohe - Agency for Quality in Medicine, Berlin, Germany
  • C. Hahnenkamp - Agency for Quality in Medicine, Berlin, Germany
  • C. Thomeczek - Agency for Quality in Medicine, Berlin, Germany

Guidelines International Network. G-I-N Conference 2012. Berlin, 22.-25.08.2012. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2012. DocP059

doi: 10.3205/12gin171, urn:nbn:de:0183-12gin1714

Published: July 10, 2012

© 2012 Sanguino Heinrich et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Background: Critical incident reporting systems (CIRS) offer an opportunity to health care professionals to anonymously report and discuss incidents, to learn and to identify pitfalls in healthcare. This approach focuses on the role of guidelines in relation to CIRS.

Objectives: The aim of this study is to explore the relevance of guidelines in CIRS reports and the context in which guidelines are mentioned.

Methods: The titles, description fields and analyses of 3312 incident reports of four German open-access web-based systems were searched by the German terms for 'clinical practice guidelines' (CPG), 'algorithm' (ALG) and 'clinical pathway' (CP). We analyzed in which field the search terms were found and if they played a role for the report or the analysis. The identified reports were then categorised, e.g. 'CPG, ALG or CP not followed', 'need for CPG, ALG or CP', 'need for training in CPG, ALG or CP'.

Results: Overall we found 54 reports which exhibited at least one of the three search terms. We identified 29 reports with 'CPG', 21 reports with 'ALG' and 4 reports with 'CP'. CPG, ALG or CP was addressed to in the analyses of 24 reports. E.g. 20 reports were categorized as 'CPG, ALG or CP not followed'. Further results will be presented during the conference.

Discussion: Our analysis indicates guidelines play a role in CIRS. Their main importance seems to be in the analyses of critical incidents. CIRS can be a method to increase use of guidelines. This function of CIRS should be further explored.