Reviewing the number and types of incidents as well as findings from investigations can help to identify trends and patterns, and presents opportunity for prevention and improvement in how critical incidents are managed. There is evidence that the importance of trending and analysis of incidents is recognized by states as some formally require this of their MCOs. For example, Tennessee requires MCOs to track critical incidents to identify and address potential quality of care and/or health and safety issues. Similarly, MCOs in Wisconsin are required to have an ongoing program of collecting information about critical incidents, monitoring for patterns or trends, and using that information in quality improvement. As part of their quality improvement activities, MCOs in Arizona are required to analyze the effectiveness of interventions carried out to address critical incidents.
While it is important for MCOs to trend critical incident data, some states also assume this responsibility. For example, Michigan has a practice of reviewing critical incident data on a monthly basis, and then aggregates it into quarterly reports for trend analyses.