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CIRS-LAS - Critical Incidence Reporting System - Laboratory Animal Science

Error Culture in Laboratory Animal Science

The term "error culture" refers to the way in which companies, facilities, or individuals deal with mistakes and their resulting consequences. For example, in environments with a non-existent or weak error culture, errors are not properly communicated, eventually leading to their repetition.

In a good and open error culture, on the other hand, errors are communicated openly in order to find their causes and develop potential solutions. A key point is a certain degree of anonymity in order to encourage employees not to conceal mistakes and to actively participate in the communication process.

Accordingly, an adequate error culture is also an important step for facilities that work with laboratory animals. By openly communicating errors, animal welfare can be strengthened, the repetition of failed experiments can be prevented, and the number of animals can be reduced.

To this end Dr. Sabine Bischoff, head of the Animal Welfare Unit at the University Hospital of Jena in Germany, presented her project CIRS-LAS during the 3R Days 2021 in November. CIRS-LAS is a project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research since 2017, which is intended to serve as a reporting platform for critical incidents and errors in animal research, based on the CIRS reporting systems already in use for critical incidences in patient care.


What is CIRS-LAS?

CIRS-LAS is a web-based anonymous reporting system for the recording and analysis of unplanned events in animal experimental research, developed along the lines of the CIRS reporting systems (Critical Incidence Reporting System) used in patient care. The aim of CIRS-LAS is to establish a constructive and transparent error culture.

In the following 3-minute video, the founders of the CIRS-LAS platform explain their motivation for creating the reporting system and how it is supposed to ensure greater animal welfare in preclinical research. The video is recorded in German. For non-German speaking visitors, more information can be found on the English FAQ page of CIRS LAS.


In 2018, a scientific paper by Dr. Bischoff and her team was published that focused on the evaluation and interpretation of the data generated through the reporting system. Here is the link to the publication: Learning from Negative Results-Critical Incident Reporting System in Laboratory Animal Science (CIRS-LAS.de).


How can incidents be reported?

Incidents can be reported anonymously at CIRS-LAS.de. A range of information can be entered in the case report to help better interpret and evaluate errors, such as the subject area, the level of stress or pain for the animal, or the impact on scientific results. After receiving the case reports, they are checked for anonymity, plausibility and neutrality, and then uploaded to the password-protected member area of the portal. There, members can comment on them and communicate potential solutions.



How can case reports be researched?


Members who have previously registered at https://www.cirs-las.de/register can view all case reports and also comment on them. CIRS-LAS ensures that this area is limited to people working with laboratory animals by verifying submitted data during the registration process.


Further information about CIRS-LAS can be found on the portal`s homepage: cirs-las.de

In addition, CIRS-LAS also has a separate area for frequently asked questions: cirs-las.de/project/faq

For questions, suggestions or comments, interested visitors can contact the following e-mail address: info@cirs-las.de




1 Bischoff S, Trietschel D, Enkelmann A, Schiffner R, Estrade P, et al. (2018) Learning from Negative Results-Critical Incident Reporting System in Laboratory Animal Science (CIRS-LAS.de). J Anim Res Vet Sci 2: 009. http://dx.doi.org/10.24966/ARVS-3751/100009

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