A Laboratory Critical Incident and Error Reporting System for Experimental Biomedicine

PLoS Biol. 2016 Dec 1;14(12):e2000705. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.2000705. eCollection 2016 Dec.

Abstract

We here propose the implementation of a simple and effective method to enhance the quality of basic and preclinical academic research: critical incident reporting (CIR). CIR has become a standard in clinical medicine but to our knowledge has never been implemented in the context of academic basic research. We provide a simple, free, open-source software tool for implementing a CIR system in research groups, laboratories, or large institutions (LabCIRS). LabCIRS was developed, tested, and implemented in our multidisciplinary and multiprofessional neuroscience research department. It is accepted by all members of the department, has led to the emergence of a mature error culture, and has made the laboratory a safer and more communicative environment. Initial concerns that implementation of such a measure might lead to a "surveillance culture" that would stifle scientific creativity turned out to be unfounded.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Laboratories*
  • Organizational Culture
  • Risk Management*

Grant support

Herman and Lilly Schilling Foundation (grant number). The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (grant number Exc 257). The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. Berlin Institute of Health (grant number). The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. Bundesministerium für Forschung und Technologie (grant number 01 EO 08 01). The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.