Patient Safety Topics
Good Catches

​​​​​​​​A hospital good catch program can be an effective means to improve patient safety. Good catches occur up to 100 times more frequently than Serious Events, but often go underreported. Recognizing and rewarding staff can encourage good catch submissions and provide more opportunities to improve patient safety. Following aggregate event analysis and facility interviews, the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority concluded that good catch programs can help hospitals more effectively analyze reported data and implement risk reduction strategies. Additionally, using a Good Catch Comparison report available through the Authority's Patient Safety Liaisons can identify facility-specific event types or care areas that are reporting above or below aggregate peer rates, potentially highlighting successful practices or targets for improvement efforts.

Key Data and Statistics

A "good catch-to-Serious Event" ratio was calculated by comparing the number of good catch reports (i.e., events submitted with harm scores A, B1, B2) to the number of Serious Event reports (i.e., harm scores E, F, G, H, I), creating a proportion that could be expressed as x:1, or simply x.

The ratio of good catches to Serious Events increased from 5.62 in 2005 (n = 33,777/6,008) to 10.34 in 2016 (n = 54,472/5,269).

Figure. Good Catch Events versus Serious Events, with Good Catch Ratio, 2005-2016

Figure. Good Catch Events versus Serious Events, with Good Catch Ratio, 2005-2016

Note: As reported to the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority, January 1, 2005, through December 31, 2016. 

Educational Tools

​Healthcare facilities can adapt or repurpose the following sample tools, reprinted with permission from a Pennsylvania healthcare organization:

Good Catch Recognition
Healthcare facilities can review this sample Good Catch program recognition sheet for ideas about how to structure their own program.

Good Catch Program Information
Healthcare facilities can adapt this sample Good Catch program information sheet to introduce their own good catch program.

Good Catch All Star Certificate
Healthcare facilities can adapt this sample certificate for their Good Catch program recognition award.

Good Catch Program Bulletin Board
Healthcare facilities may consider creating a Good Catch program poster board to recognize staff who perform and report good catches.


​Visit this section in the future for any multimedia associated with this patient safety topic.

Safety Tips for Patients