How to monitor patient safety in primary care: Healthcare professionals’ views

A study from my research group published in JRSM Open aimed to identify ideas for patient safety monitoring strategies that could be used in primary care. People who took part in the survey offered 188 suggestions for monitoring patient safety in primary care. The content analysis revealed that these could be condensed into 24 different future monitoring strategies with varying levels of support. Most commonly, respondents supported the suggestion that patient safety can only be monitored effectively in primary care with greater levels of staffing or with additional resources. About one-third of all responses were recommendations for strategies which addressed monitoring of the individual in the clinical practice environment (e.g. GP, practice nurse) to improve safety. There was a clear need for more staff and resource to encourage better safety monitoring. Respondents recommended the dissemination of specific information for monitoring patient safety such as distributing the lessons of significant event audits amongst GP practices to enable shared learning.

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