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Office of Mental Health

Clinical Risk Management | Incident Management | Special Investigation | Sentinel Events | Resources

Incident Management

What is an Incident?

An "incident" is an event involving a client, which has, or may have, an adverse effect on the life, health, or welfare of the client and/or another person.

All incidents require some level of investigation. The level of investigation and follow-up should be commensurate with the seriousness and circumstances associated with the incident. It is recommended that a Special Investigation be performed for designated serious incident categories. In addition, serious incidents that meet the criteria to be considered a Sentinel Event would require that a Root Cause Analysis (RCA) be completed in addition to a Special Investigation.

Please refer to the OMH 524 Regulations and Incident Management Field Guide for further guidance.

Incident Management Program

The Office of Mental Health (OMH) regulation Part 524 of the 14 New York Codes, Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) states that all programs operated or licensed by OMH shall have in place an integrated and comprehensive strategy for incident management, and take responsibility for prompt investigation of all incidents.

A comprehensive Incident Management Program should be a comprehensive strategy for:

  • Identifying, documenting, reporting and investigating individual incidents on a timely basis;
  • Reviewing individual incidents to indentify appropriate preventive or corrective action;
  • Identifying incident patterns and trends through the compilation and analysis of incident data;
  • Reviewing incident patterns and trends to identify appropriate preventing or corrective action;
  • Implementing preventive and corrective action plans; and
  • Monitoring incident management practices

Incident Types

Certain incidents require immediate notification to OMH. For information about incident types, Harm & Risk, and Immediately reportable incidents refer to New York State Incident Management and Reporting System (NIMRS) the NIMRS Definition of Incidents and Severity Rating Scale.

Comments or questions about the information on this page can be directed to the Division of Quality Management.