Incident reporting systems have become common place in many industries beyond the health care and aviation industries where they were traditionally used. Service organizations, in particular,can benefit greatly by integrating incident reporting into their operations.
There are a number of approaches to integrating and automating incident reporting and finding the one best suited for your organization can be challenging. Here are some key features to keep in mind when evaluating incident reporting approaches:
What does “integration” mean? Merely reporting an incident from the field is inadequate, whether the reporting is by phone or by some electronic means. The person reporting from the incident should be able to see the response from the back-office – this essentially needs to be a closed-loop system, not a one-way street. Thus not only should the incident be logged into a back-end system, but the resultant action should also flow back to the field.
A major consideration for field service organizations when investigating incident reporting options is user accessibility. Systems providing online user access or connected mobile apps are ideal and provide the greatest flexibility for employees in the field. Whatever the solution, it should be fully accessible from common mobile devices.
Not everyone that reports an incident will be an employee. If “someone sees something” and you need them to report it, why insist they should be an employee to report it? In fact, organizations would do well to assume that a majority of incidents are likely to be reported by non-employees. Once this assumption is factored in, decisions about what system to use, how accessible it should be and how easy they should be become significant in any approach evaluation.
Integrated features and streamlined functionality
The best incident reporting options allow field users access to a full suite of features and functionality. The solution should be streamlined and efficient, providing remote users with a complete digital avenue for capturing and reporting incident information. For example, if the user needs to report the address, they shouldn’t have to necessarily enter the address if they are using a mobile device that automatically captures location. Ditto for the photographs.
Robust reporting and data analysis capabilities
While much of incident reporting focuses on the here-and-now, post-incident analyses are also critical. Management needs complete visibility, robust reporting and cost analysis capabilities to be able to track and measure the type, number and frequency of incidences, as well as,the resulting preventative and corrective measures and associated costs. This helps management understand impacts to the company’s bottom line, determine cause-effect relationships with other processes and plan for needed upgrades and improvements.
No discussion of any process is complete without a reference to automation – where no humans are involved in reporting incidents. Sensors deployed on equipment send in readings that can be subject to “As Designed” and “And Measured” analysis to direct further action – a great introduction to the whole area of the internet of Things (iOT).
Connixt has the privilege of working with customers who are industry leaders in Incident Reporting and field inspections.