Patient and carer identified factors which contribute to safety incidents in primary care: a qualitative study.
The patient safety field's understanding of safety issues in ambulatory care continues to evolve. Recent studies have helped quantify the incidence of diagnostic errors and medication errors in primary care, indicating that serious safety concerns exist in this arena. This Australian study used qualitative methodology to examine patient and caregiver perceptions of factors affecting safety in ambulatory care. The investigators identified several unique themes related to safety, including difficulties in accessing care, insufficient continuity of care, and poor communication between primary care physicians and specialists. Some of these themes were also found in a prior study of primary care patients in the United Kingdom. The emerging area of ambulatory patient safety was explored in a previous AHRQ WebM&M perspective.