Incident reporting

CAPCA’s Perspective on the Future of Incident Reporting

Existing and emerging adverse event reporting and learning systems not only help local institutions and provincial healthcare systems identify strategies to build a safer healthcare system, but offer the opportunity to share information about events that might otherwise seem isolated.

CAPCA supports approaches that will enable sharing of information from each of these reporting and learning systems across the Canadian cancer control system. This may include the development of systems that facilitate data transfer from local and/or provincial reporting and learning systems to a national repository, such as the NSIR, and the development of a rapid-response mechanism that would alert the leaders of Canada’s cancer control system when incidents or close calls do happen.

Incident Reporting Systems in Canada

Adverse event reporting, or incident reporting, occurs at many levels of the healthcare system.  In addition to local reporting within institutions, several reporting and learning systems are in place:

    • Provincially-based reporting and learning systems – including mandatory, legislated reporting and learning processes in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and existing or emerging web-based voluntary reporting systems in British Columbia, and Newfoundland and Labrador. Provincially-based systems offer the opportunity to capitalize on needs, opportunities, and resources that are unique to each province.


    • National System for Incident Reporting (NSIR) – formerly known as the hospital-based component of the Canadian Medication Incident Reporting and Prevention System (CMIRPS). NSIR is a free reporting system operated by the Canadian Institute of Health Information (CIHI), designed to capture and share medication incident reports from Canadian hospitals.


  • Canadian Medication Incident Reporting and Prevention System (CMIRPS), which has two components:
    • Healthcare practitioner reporting system to enable confidential, voluntary online reporting of medication-related adverse events by individual healthcare professionals. ISMP Canada continues to support the practitioner reporting system, and offers a valuable service to the healthcare community by analyzing medication incidents and disseminating relevant information online and through safety bulletins.
    • Consumer reporting system to enable members of the public to confidentially and voluntarily report a medication incident online or by phone in English (1-866-544-7672) or French (514-890-8112).
  • Canadian Adverse Events Reporting and Learning System (CAERLS) – originally envisioned by the Canadian Patient Safety Institute as a pan-Canadian reporting and learning system to support collection and analysis of adverse events to accelerate knowledge to action.  Given the emergence of NSIR and the state of other reporting and learning systems across Canada, the Canadian Patient Safety Institute is re-evaluating CAERLS vision.