When mistakes are made, it is important to be open and honest about them and report it to the responsible person as quickly as possible. You should never try to hide them or attempt to cover them up.
As part of your day to day role, you may uncover errors or mistakes made by yourself or others.
This could be incorrect monies after performing a financial balance check or an incorrect tally of medication after doing a drug stock check.
If you believe you have discovered an error, first of all you should double check your calculations to ensure that you have not miscounted before following your organisation’s agreed ways of working to report the error.
Importance of honesty
Everybody makes mistakes and your organisation will understand that they happen from time to time. It is imperative that all errors are reported immediately so that:
- swift action can be taken to resolve or reduce the impact of the error
- lessons can be learned and safeguards can be put in place to stop or reduce the likelihood of it happening again
It may be that the error occurred because of a flaw in the procedure, which can only be rectified if the appropriate persons are informed.
Telling the appropriate person(s)
Your organisation’s agreed ways of working will detail who the appropriate person(s) are for reporting errors. This may be a different person, or even multiple people depending on the type of error. For example, medical errors may need to be reported to the head nurse or you may have a head of safeguarding to report safeguarding errors to. If unsure, you should report it to your line manager.
The method of reporting will also differ between organisations. It may be you need to make a telephone call to the appropriate person or speak to them in person. Or you may have to send an email or record it on a computer system.