This study aimed to operationalise and use the World Health Organisation's International Classification for Patient Safety (ICPS) to identify incident characteristics and contributing factors of deaths involving complications of medical or surgical care in Australia. A sample of 500 coronial findings related to patient deaths following complications of surgical or medical care in Australia were reviewed using a modified-ICPS (mICPS). Over two-thirds (69.0%) of incidents occurred during treatment and 27.4% occurred in the operating theatre. Clinical process and procedures (55.9%), medication/IV fluids (11.2%) and healthcare-associated infection/complications (10.4%) were the most common incident types. Coroners made recommendations in 44.0% of deaths and organisations undertook preventive actions in 40.0% of deaths. This study demonstrated that the ICPS was able to be modified for practical use as a human factors taxonomy to identify sequences of incident types and contributing factors for patient deaths. Further testing of the mICPS is warranted.
- Patient safety