We are making it easier for you to manage sentinel events. From 9 August 2021, all sentinel event notifications and reporting will be completed through a new sentinel event portal. Read more
Transitioning to new online portal
Why is the process changing?
The sentinel events portal is making it easier for health services to let us know about adverse patient safety events. It allows you to:
- manage and securely store review documentation
- designate access to nominated users in your health service
- confidentially share draft documents internally first, providing an electronic approval trail before submitting to SCV
- set alerts for upcoming due dates.
What is changing?
All sentinel events will be submitted online.
There will be some new fields to fill in. We have taken this opportunity to request more details from you in Parts A, B, C and the Recommendation Monitoring Report so we can better monitor trends, identify emerging risks and share information with you.
Can we still email through sentinel event notifications and reports?
For any sentinel event notified after 1 July 2021, all sentinel event information must be submitted via the portal.
What about finishing off a sentinel event from last financial year?
All events reported in the 2020–21 financial year will follow the former paper-based process.
Is the sentinel event portal secure?
Yes, the sentinel event portal is a secure data exchange and provides greater protection than sending reports via email (the previous process). The portal has undergone rigorous privacy impact assessments and cyber security penetration tests to ensure it meets the privacy standards set by the Department of Health.
Does our organisation’s IT department need to be notified or involved of the change?
The sentinel event portal does not connect with any other IT systems in health services. It might be worth letting your IT department know you will be using a new secure data exchange platform.
Accessing the portal
How do we get access to the portal?
Please complete the onboarding form and submit to SCV in order to access the portal. You will not be able to access the sentinel event portal until your health service has been onboarded.
Health services will need to determine key roles and responsibilities and onboard those staff.
We have to conduct a sentinel event review. How do review panel members get access?
Review panel members can be onboarded as required when they are needed to support sentinel event review.
How long will onboarding take?
It is expected onboarding will occur 24-48 hours after you have lodged the request with SCV.
Can we add more users later and how long will this take?
Yes, you can add new users as you need to as a new sentinel event review panel is formed or new employees commence. You just need to submit an onboarding request with SCV.
How will external review members see the reports?
Yes, external review members will need access to the portal, they just need to complete the onboarding form and submit to SCV. Once they have access to the portal, they will be able to read/write/edit the report/s they are reviewing.
We don’t use VHIMS Central, do we still need to do this onboarding?
Yes. The sentinel event portal is built on VHIMS CS architecture, but is a separate entity. You do no need a VHIMS CS account to use the portal.
Using the portal
What if I need to submit a sentinel notification or report and do not know how to navigate the portal?
Just give us a call or send an email and we can help navigate you through the portal.
Do we have to save our draft documents in the portal?
No, you do not have to save any documents to the portal. You may choose to save working document or information gathered during the review to the portal as it is a single secure space to store all relevant documents to the sentinel event.
Will it take longer to complete documents through the portal compared to the current process?
We are not expecting the use of the portal to increase workload. There are very few extra fields the portal collects in comparison to existing processes. All the extra fields requested should be information you have collected as part of the management of the sentinel event.
Has there been any changes to the requirements of the sentinel events program?
No, the requirements for health services remain the same. We are requesting some extra fields to support the theming of sentinel events so we can share more accurate information with the health sector. There is an extra update for any outstanding recommendations 12 months after the notification has been made to SCV. Beside that the major change is how we communicate - i.e. through the portal instead of by email.
Last updated 14 Apr 2023
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Page last updated: 09 Aug 2021