Safety attributes in primary care: understanding the needs of patients, health professionals, and managers.


Health Sciences Institute, University for International Integration of the Afro-Brazilian Lusophony, Acarape, CE, Brazil. Electronic address: [Email]


OBJECTIVE : The aims of this study were (1) to identify attributes for patient safety at a primary healthcare level and (2) to analyze conceptions of patients, professionals, and managers about how these attributes are being addressed.
METHODS : This was a qualitative study.
METHODS : Participants were recruited from three primary care settings in Brazil. A total of 37 subjects (four physicians, three nurses, three dentists, three managers, five community assistants, and 19 patients) participated on interviews about their perceptions of safety attributes at the primary care settings involved in the study. Some of these participants attended a focus group meeting. A thematic categorical analysis was carried out to interpret the interviews.
RESULTS : The main attributes for patient safety were valued by the participants. However, barriers such as discontinuity of care, interruptions during consultations, breakdowns in the communication, and ineffective teamwork were reported as frequent sources of patient safety issues. Reports of patients left unattended for excessive time because of the lack of accurate information and disruptions that took up to 35 min show that there is still a long way to go for primary care to be safe and effective in the study settings.
CONCLUSIONS : It is necessary that the strategies meet the patient safety needs more effectively and efficiently. Further research is needed to understand the complex nature of the problems that affect patient safety in these settings so that appropriate decisions can be made.


Clinical governance,Family practice,Patient safety,Primary health care,

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