CIHI’s National System for Incident Reporting (NSIR) is a web-based application used by Canadian health care facilities to securely and anonymously share, analyze and discuss medication incidents and radiation treatment incidents. Its data and analyses inform quality improvement activities at local, regional, provincial, territorial and national levels to foster improvements in health care delivery.


  • An incident is discovered and reported internally.
  • Details are reviewed internally for data quality.
  • The incident report is finalized and submitted anonymously to NSIR.
  • Data becomes available for analysis.
  • Users may communicate anonymously with each other to obtain additional information and facilitate learning and sharing.

Data collection

NSIR collects data on all types of medication and radiation treatment incidents, including rare events and near misses. There are mandatory and optional data elements for simple and easy data submission.

  • Incident Impact: degree of harm to the patient
  • Incident Discovery: who, when and where
  • Patient Characteristics: age and sex
  • Incident Details: problem and process, contributing factors
  • Drug Product Information: drug name, strength, dosage, form
  • Radiation Treatment Technique(s): total dose prescribed, number of fractions prescribed, hardware manufacturer and model involved, software manufacturer involved, body region(s) treated, treatment intent
  • Investigation and Findings: results of the investigation, lessons learned

Learn how NSIR collects and classifies data on the NSIR metadata page

Read our Privacy and Information Protection Policy (PDF)

Benefits of NSIR

  • NSIR allows you to share your experiences and exemplary practices and to learn from others. You can gain insight into similarities in the sources of risks and underlying system failures.
  • NSIR can help in the creation of prevention strategies that can reduce or eliminate future incidents and improve patient safety.
  • Implementation can be phased in, beginning with a single ward/unit and expanding over time to include other wards/units.

A Guide to Using and Understanding NSIR Data (PDF)

NSIR partners in patient safety

NSIR is CIHI’s contribution to the Canadian Medication Incident Reporting and Prevention System (CMIRPS) program. The goal of CMIRPS is to reduce and prevent harmful medication incidents in Canada.

For more information, visit the CMIRPS website.

NSIR eReports (web tool)

Health care facilities that use NSIR submit incident information through a secure online system. This information includes the impact on the patient, circumstances surrounding the incident, contributing factors and preventative strategies. 

Access the NSIR web tool. 

NSIR — Radiation Treatment

The National System for Incident Reporting — Radiation Treatment (NSIR-RT) collects information on radiation treatment incidents. It was launched in 2017, in collaboration with the Canadian Partnership for Quality Radiotherapy (CPQR).

NSIR-RT was pilot-tested by 28 cancer treatment centres in 6 jurisdictions from September 2015 to December 2016. A comprehensive evaluation of the NSIR-RT pilot focused on patient safety objectives, client support, the technical system and the NSIR-RT minimum data set, and the data quality of the RT incident pilot data.

For more information, read the NSIR-RT Pilot Assessment Report Summary or contact us at

Data requests

NSIR data is currently not available for public use.

Quarterly eBulletins

Stay informed about NSIR's recent program developments, preview ongoing projects and learn about key topics to support data quality and continuous learning from incident data.

Additional resources

Contact us

For more information or to join NSIR, please send an email to