Trust, temporality and systems: how do patients understand patient safety in primary care? A qualitative study.
Although the field of patient safety was largely built around a systems approach, this interview-based qualitative study in England sought to understand how patients perceive safety in primary care. Researchers determined that ambulatory patients focus on individual trust and relationships when thinking about safety. Patients were not able to clearly differentiate dimensions of safety from quality, suggesting that in real-world experiences these domains are considered similar. Some of the important markers of safe care, according to patients, were prompt investigations and referrals to specialists. The authors note that none of the patients interviewed in this study mentioned unnecessary care as a cause of concern. Patient safety researcher Dr. Urmimala Sarkar discussed patient safety in the ambulatory setting in a recent AHRQ WebM&M interview.