Trigger Tools are a means of conducting rapid structured casenote review to measure the rate of harm in healthcare.  Unlike other ways of detecting patient safety incidents, such as staff reporting, they are highly sensitive and provide a reliable means of identifying where harm is occurring.  Because they are a metric, they can also be used to track improvements in safety over time. 

The NHS Institute is developing a suite of Trigger Tools, tailored to specific contexts. There are Tools for general acute hospitals, paediatrics and primary care.  In addition, Tools are in development for mental health, community hospitals and community nursing.