Community Blog

Occurence Reporting for Dummies 101

By Sheryl Dreher, Care Coordinator

Here at Home Helpers Westminster we talk to our caregivers a lot about Occurrence Reporting. Not only because it is mandatory to report occurrences and to have the conversation, but also because I think that it’s something that can be seen as frightening to a new home care provider. When you hear the term "written up" or "incident report" immediately your stomach churns. I know mine does. So let me sum it up for you. Occurrence report is the proper name for these reports. They are meant to report incidents that are outside of our normal operating procedures that may have an impact on client care and safety. They are also used to report caregiver injury and in some cases employee behavior issues. When a caregiver knows that something outside of our normal operating procedures happens, they inform you someone like me at once and go ahead and I write up the report.

The important thing about occurrence reports is that they help managers like myself track trends in operations that are not working well. If I get repeated reports that my caregivers are not able to provide a certain level of care to a patient because a certain item of equipment was not available, then I can quickly take action on that issue and try to make a case for getting the equipment needed.

Occurrence Reporting is not about placing blame on anyone. Most often what I have found is that most problems occur because we have a system problem not a person problem. But I would never know that if no one told me. Any time an error occurs, managers should always take time to look at the process along with the person(s) involved. And as ALWAYS, if my caregivers have a concern, they don't have to use a form to report it. They can write it on anything and give it to me. We work her at Home Helpers Westminster to take a proactive approach so that we can give the best care to our clients.

So there is nothing to be afraid of when talking to caregivers about Occurrence Reporting because we use it as a tool. We talk about reporting caregiver’s own errors before someone else does and keeping me informed.