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ePoint of Occurrence Reporting using NIMS

  |   State Claims Agency

What is ePoint of occurrence reporting?

When a paper incident report form is filled out and sent to a central point for recording that is a report from the ‘point of occurrence’. ePoint of occurrence reporting is where frontline staff enter incident reports directly on to the incident management system database eliminating the need for paper.

Is ePoint of occurrence reporting the way forward?

Near the top of everybody’s business requirements for an incident management system is electronic point of occurrence reporting (also known as the ePoint of injury, ePoint of care, etc.)  Like a paperless office, open plan layouts and electric cars, ePoint of occurrence reporting is one of those concepts which is accepted as the better way forward. But is it? Let’s consider the benefits and challenges.

The benefits of ePoint of occurrence reporting include:

  • The removal of paper forms;
  • Information does not have to be transcribed from the paper form and inputted into the incident database – more efficient and eliminates transcription error;
  • The inputting load is spread across an organisation;
  • More timely reporting.

The challenges of ePoint of occurrence include:

  • Staff who are too busy to fill in the paper form will be even less likely to engage with an IT system;
  • Getting a large population of frontline people logged in and trained on an IT system;
  • A large number of staff enter a small number of incidents on a less frequent basis – less familiarity with the system can result in data quality/consistency issues;
  • Access to PCs, infrastructure, connectivity (broadband) and licence challenges and issues;
  • Significant cultural and change management issues when asking staff less familiar with technology to engage with electronic systems.

NIMS can deliver a range of solutions for e-point of occurrence reporting.  The use of an electronic format of the National Incident Report Form (NIRF) is already in place in a number of Healthcare Enterprises and State Authorities.  NIMS also allows you to report from the ‘frontline’ directly onto the database.  In addition, mobile apps that will allow a user to report incidents directly from mobile devices are currently in development and will be available in the future.

Over the last eighteen months we have had a number of stop start projects involving ePoint of occurrence reporting implementations with various State authorities, mainly in the Healthcare sector.

Over the last eighteen months we have had a number of stop start projects involving ePoint of occurrence reporting implementations with various State authorities, mainly in the Healthcare sector. To date, none have been fully implemented, not because of technical problems, but largely due to cultural and change management challenges that people at the organisational level have faced.

And so the debate will continue!  In the meantime, the NIMS Steering Group is happy to engage with any organisation that wishes to adopt one of the many available ePoint of occurrence solutions.


Article by: Michael Sweeney,
Programme Manager, SCA

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