SUSAR reporting, do’s and don’ts

In the realm of pharmaceuticals and clinical trials, ensuring patient safety is non-negotiable. Suspected Unexpected Serious Adverse Reaction (SUSAR) reporting is a pivotal process in this pursuit, allowing stakeholders to identify and manage potential risks associated with medical products. To navigate this process effectively, it's crucial to understand the do's and don'ts of SUSAR reporting. In this blog, we'll delve into the key practices that can make a significant difference in promoting patient well-being and regulatory compliance.


Prioritize Timeliness:

  • Do report SUSARs promptly: Swift reporting enables regulatory authorities and medical professionals to evaluate the situation promptly and make informed decisions. Delays can lead to missed opportunities for intervention or misinterpretation of the event's significance.

Thorough Documentation:

  • Do maintain comprehensive records: Accurate and detailed documentation serves as a reliable reference for future assessments, audits, and regulatory inquiries. Include information about the patient's medical history, the medical product, dosage, administration route, and the adverse event itself.

Causality Assessment:

  • Do assess causality diligently: Causality assessment involves a systematic evaluation of factors such as temporal relationship, plausible mechanisms, alternative explanations, and the patient's overall health status. This process requires clinical expertise and critical thinking to determine whether the event is related to the medical product.

Follow Reporting Guidelines:

  • Do adhere to regulatory guidelines: Each jurisdiction may have specific reporting requirements and deadlines. Staying informed about these guidelines and following them diligently ensures compliance and prevents unnecessary complications.

Clear Communication:

  • Do communicate effectively: When reporting a SUSAR, communicate clearly and accurately. Use standardized terminologies and avoid jargon to ensure that all parties involved can understand the details without confusion.

Collect Relevant Data:

  • Do gather comprehensive data: Collect all relevant information surrounding the event, including any concomitant medications, underlying medical conditions, patient demographics, and the circumstances leading up to the event. This information helps in comprehensive evaluation.

Collaborate and Learn:

  • Do foster collaboration: Engage with medical professionals, pharmacovigilance experts, and regulatory bodies to ensure a holistic perspective. Collaborative discussions can lead to a more accurate assessment of the adverse event.

Practical guide for setting up an incident reporting process


Don't Delay Reporting:

  • Don't procrastinate reporting: Timely reporting is critical for initiating appropriate actions to address patient safety concerns. Delaying reporting can lead to unnecessary risks for patients and complications for regulatory compliance.

Avoid Overlooking Details:

  • Don't overlook vital details: Every piece of information can contribute to a comprehensive understanding of the event. Neglecting details could lead to misinterpretation and hinder accurate causality assessment.

Don't Jump to Conclusions:

  • Don't make hasty assumptions: While quick action is important, rushing to conclusions about the causal relationship between the event and the medical product can result in inaccurate reporting and unnecessary panic.

Don't Neglect Reporting Channels:

  • Don't ignore reporting channels: Regulatory agencies often have designated channels for reporting SUSARs. Ignoring these channels or failing to use them correctly could result in missed notifications or miscommunication.

Don't Disregard Patient Privacy:

  • Don't compromise patient privacy: When sharing information related to a SUSAR, be mindful of patient confidentiality. Adhere to data protection regulations to ensure that patient privacy is respected.

Don't Underestimate Impact:

  • Don't underestimate the impact: Even if an adverse event seems minor, it could be indicative of broader safety concerns. Every reported event contributes to the accumulation of safety data and helps in identifying potential risks.

Don't Disregard Follow-Up:

  • Don't neglect follow-up: After reporting a SUSAR, continue to monitor the patient's condition and provide any additional information as required. This ongoing engagement contributes to a comprehensive understanding of the event's progression and outcomes.


Balancing the do's and don'ts of SUSAR reporting is essential for maintaining patient safety and regulatory compliance. By embracing timely reporting, thorough documentation, accurate causality assessment, and effective communication, stakeholders can contribute to a more informed and safer healthcare environment. Ultimately, adhering to these practices ensures that the pharmaceutical industry continues to prioritize patient well-being and maintain the highest standards of care.

Are you looking for a tool to monitor nonconformities or any other issues in your organisation? Falcony | Observe ticks all the boxes for issue management, is easy to customise, enables real dialogue and is a lot more. 

Falcony free trial

We are building the world's first operational involvement platform. Our mission is to make the process of finding, sharing, fixing and learning from issues and observations as easy as thinking about them and as rewarding as being remembered for them.‍

By doing this, we are making work more meaningful for all parties involved.

More information at

Related posts

Differences and Similarities of OHS, EHS, and HSEQ

In the realm of organizational management, ensuring the safety, health, environmental...

Safety Management
5 min read

The Goal of Zero Accident (Zero Injury) Strategy

In the realm of workplace safety, the concept of achieving zero accidents or zero injuries may seem...

3 min read

Different types of permits-to-work

Safety management is a critical aspect of any organization's operations, especially in industries...

5 min read

Involve your stakeholders to report

At Falcony, we create solutions that multiply the amount of observations and enable our customers to gain greater understanding of what’s going on in their organisations, areas of responsibility and processes.