Safety Learning System

SA Health is committed to improving the safety and quality of patient care and achieving the best patient outcomes possible.

What is the Safety Learning System (SLS)?

The Safety Learning System is an application that enables all SA Health services to record, manage, investigate and analyse patient and worker incidents as well as consumer feedback. It is also used for capturing information about security services and to record formal notifications such as those for coronial matters or medical malpractice.

The purpose of each of the SLS modules, and which legislation they refer to, is described in the table of Key SLS Modules (PDF 92KB)

Any staff member with an SA Health HAD login can record an incident into SLS.

Benefits of SLS for the consumer and SA Health services

Benefits of SLS for the consumer and SA Health services includes:

  • It facilitates good clinical governance by providing a single system across SA Health that manages incidents, consumer feedback and notifications.
  • SLS has helped embed a culture of safety and quality into the daily routines of most SA Health workers as the findings of the review or investigation of events in SLS provides a means by which valuable lessons can be learnt and quality improvements identified.
  • The system is used to review trends in reported events and identify specific areas for improvement at both a state-wide and Local Health Network level (LHN).
  • When combined with information from other systems in the LHN Analytics and Reporting Service (LARS) and QIP Hub, SLS allows all staff to see how SA Health and their health unit compare against the National Safety and Quality Service Standards (in addition to various state key performance indicators).
  • It helps to inform workers and the public by facilitating the annual publication of the South Australian Patient Safety Report. This report also contains an overview of some of the quality improvement initiatives that have been implemented, some being the result of trends that have been identified from SLS data.
  • From the introduction of SLS in 2010 we can see an improvement in the reporting of incidents into the system from 32,696 reported for 2011/2012 compared with 61023 reported in 2017-2018. More importantly, we can see an overall reduction in incidents with harm which are down 57% from 2011/2012. This means that since its inception we are now capturing more hazards and near misses which provide us with the information to prevent those from reoccurring or becoming more serious.

Using SLS

Staff use SLS in a variety of ways depending on their role and responsibilities. There are guides and training to assist users who:

  • are recording an incident or near miss into SLS (notifiers)
  • have responsibility for review of reported incidents (managers or supervisors will need user/login access)
  • have responsibility to create reports and use them for quality improvement and monitoring trends.

Some SLS data is also presented on the QIP Hub.

SLS has a number of modules for different purposes and types of incidents. Each has information and resources to assist users.

Patient incidents in SLS

Everyone providing services on behalf of SA Health must record all patient related incidents, including near misses, into SLS. All incidents reported into SLS are reviewed and serious incidents undergo more detailed investigation.

Incident management and review is a requirement under SA Health policy (PDF 1.9MB) and the National Safety and Quality Heath Service Standards.

Answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about reporting patient incidents (PDF 103KB) are available.

Further information is available on the Patient incidents in Safety Learning System page.

Work Health Safety incidents in SLS

Work Health and Safety (WHS) reporting into SLS ensures a standardised process to comply with legal requirements and to provide data to support future hazard control and WHS prevention programs.

Information in WHS incident reports on SLS is governed by the Work Health and Safety Act 2012 (SA)

All workers are encouraged to report Work Health and Safety incidents including:

  • hazards, such as equipment faults, environmental factors
  • Incidents with no harm
  • Incidents with injury or harm, including bodily injury or mental stress

Further information is available on the Work Health and Safety incidents in Safety Learning System page.

Security incidents in SLS

A security incident is any event or circumstance that resulted in a request for emergency or non-emergency security attendance. These include when any of the Emergency Codes are called.

The reporting and review of both emergency and non-emergency security incidents to SLS will contribute to improving safety for patients, workers and visitors.

There are legislative and other requirements to keep records of when these incidents occur.

Further information is available on the Security incidents in Safety Learning System page.

Consumer feedback in SLS

Consumer feedback (including complaints, compliments, suggestions and advice) are recorded and managed in SLS to drive improvement in the quality of health care services provided and enable the identification of trends and risk. It also enables health services to ensure that they are responding in a timely manner to the concerns of the consumers.

There is requirement under Consumer, Carer and Community Feedback and Complaints Management Strategic Framework, Guide and Resources (PDF 143KB) and the National Safety and Quality Heath Service Standards to record all consumer feedback.

Notifications in SLS

The Notifications module provides a mechanism for nominated SA Health managers to record details about notifiable incidents. These include deaths (under requirements of the Coroners Act 2003), potential medical malpractice and alleged sexual assault or misconduct incidents.

Coroners and Medical Malpractice notifications are reviewed by SA Health's Legal Governance and Insurance Services Unit (ISU) and referred on to SAICORP as required.

These notifications do not include those required by SafeWork or Public Health notifications.

SLS assistance

Finding SLS on your computer

To find SLS on your SA Health computer, click Start > All Programs > Corporate programs > SAH Applications > Safety Learning System

Where to get help

All queries and requests can be directed to your local SLS site administrator.

A list of SLS administrators is available through the link at the top of the front page in the Safety Learning System.

Common types of queries include:

Recording an incident

Any staff member with an SA Health HAD login can record an incident into SLS. Undergraduates/students are encouraged to learn how to record incidents into SLS, but the Clinical supervisor must be entered under ‘Other people involved’ as the ‘Reporter of the incident’.

Updates and outages

For a list of recent and upcoming SLS updates and outages, see the Safety Learning System Notices page.

SA Health Safety and Quality

SLS Program Team