Measuring and monitoring safety: a primary care perspective

Thought paper

October 2013

Aneez Esmail
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Key points

  • Professor Aneez Esmail considers the differences between primary care and other settings and explains that a variety of factors mean that assessing harm and safety in primary care remains a challenge.
  • He identifies a number of existing tools that can be used to measure and monitor safety in primary care and considers what research will be needed in order to assess if care in a primary care organisation is safe.

Professor Aneez Esmail discusses the measurement and monitoring of safety from the perspective of primary care.

The Health Foundation is calling for a stepwise change in thinking about patient safety. This paper forms part of a programme of work we are undertaking to help answer the question: 'How do we know care is safe?' We want to build on a culture that has focused almost exclusively on measuring past harm and enhance this to incorporate approaches to measurement that also establish the presence of safety.

Further reading

Thought paper

Measuring and monitoring safety: an acute care perspective

Dr Carol Peden offers reflections on the measurement and monitoring of safety from the perspective of a practising clinician ...

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