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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Patient Safety: Event Management in the Clinical Laboratory (by ASCLS). Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Step 2 Investigate

After an event has been documented, an investigation should be conducted by the Department Manager or designee within 24 hours of the event discovery. For critical/severe situations, the investigation should be done as soon as possible. Any additional information learned about the event from the investigation should be added to the event documentation. The investigation should:

  • Assess the documentation to ensure all required information is included
  • Investigate the event for additional information
  • Ensure immediate actions have been taken to mitigate the situation and remove safety risks for others
  • Identify initial contributing factors, if possible
  • Identify severity and probability categories

The severity and probability of reoccurrence will determine the timeframe required to address the event resolution. Events with a critical severity and frequent probability of occurence would be addressed immediately. Events with a minor severity and remote occurence probability would require a less urgent response.