Clinical Scene Investigation and Assessment Skills

In the same vein as TV’s Crime Scene Investigation show, health care organizations are turning to specially trained teams to investigate severe patient incidents. These teams, titled Clinical Scene Investigators (CSI) are responsible for investigating events that result in permanent patient harm or even death. The investigators gather details about the event from the participants and patient charts and may even sequester equipment as the situation warrants. They look at all the details which lead up to the incident, how the situation occurred and then look for opportunities for process improvement. In situations like these, thorough documentation on the healthcare workers part is paramount. Was the caregiver aware of the pending situation and were appropriate actions taken? In addition, the CSI team members must have superior assessment skills, solid investigatory abilities and excellent communication skills. They must be able to paint a picture in order to determine if more investigation is required.

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