Purpose: To determine why British Columbia's anesthesiologists have not actively participated in a provincial Critical Incident Reporting Service by submitting reports of critical incidents experienced in their practice.
Methods: An email and postal mail survey of BC anesthesiologists was undertaken, proposing a variety of reasons why critical incidents may not be reported to the Service.
Results: 207 responses were received from 368 specialist and general practitioner anesthesiologists. Respondents indicated general satisfaction with the overall concept of having an incident reporting service, and with the design of the multi-page reporting form. The greatest perceived problems to reporting incidents were related to aspects of workload, fear of litigation or a record of problems, and difficulties with the terminology of incident and error reporting. There are implications to the establishment of broader based programs in Canada.
Conclusion: A number of factors are responsible for under reporting of critical events. Further efforts to encourage reporting are required.