Primary Care patient safety resources

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This page provides links to several QI resources especially relevant in primary care. These include educational information on a number of QI methods, safety checklists relevant to primary care and report forms to help you complete QI reports. The frameworks used in the peer review of QI projects are also included.

Quality improvement in primary care: what to do and how to do

Ensuring patients receive care that is safe and of high quality is an essential part of modern healthcare. To help with this, there are growing numbers of evidence-based Quality Improvement (QI) methods that can help practitioners to assess and improve the care they provide. However, for many, the experience of QI has often been felt to be “audit for audits sake” or a huge amount of work in an ever-increasing workload.To make things easier, this resource describes several QI methods that will be useful for all members of the primary care team who wish to better understand and apply QI thinking and tools more effectively. 

Download the Quality Improvement in Primary Care Booklet

Criterion-based Audit

Criterion based audit involves selecting aspects of health care and systematically evaluating them against explicit criteria and agreed standards. Where indicated, changes are implemented at an individual, team or practice level to meet those standards. Further monitoring is used to confirm improvement in healthcare delivery.

Significant (Learning) Event Analysis

SEA involves a structured team meeting, where participants reflect on and analyse identified significant events to understand what happened, the impact and contributing factors. This leads to reflection and learning to direct improvements to systems.

Click here to find out more

GP Specialty Trainee Safety Checklist

The NES Safety and Improvement team have worked with trainers in the West of Scotland to update the GP trainee safety checklist. This contains safety critical areas that should be understood by trainees early in their GP placement and it hoped it is useful as part of induction and to direct future learning.

Download the Safety Checklist for Educational Supervisors in GP Training

Trigger Review Method

A trigger review method is a simple checklist containing a selected number of clinical 'triggers' that a reviewer searches for when screening medical records for patients who may have been unintentionally harmed. The trigger review method process facilitates the structured, focused and rapid review of a sample of medical records by primary care clinicians.

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Moriss checklist

Practice processes for checking priority safety issues that can impact on the health and wellbeing of patients AND GP team members are highly variable and can be inconsistently applied which often contributes to why significant events happen.

The purpose of this checklist is to help ensure that tasks important to ensure safety are checked on a routine basis and action is taken where needed to improve overall compliance.  It aims to combine some existing checking processes into a single checking system which is undertaken every four months to ensure that the necessary checks are completed on a timely basis.

Click here to find out more

Report forms for QI projects

The following forms provide a framework for writing up your project:

Peer review of QI

The aim of the peer review process is to allow you to affirm that your improvement project meets professional expectation and to provide developmental feedback to support and enhance your learning. The peer review team are GPs who undergo regular training and use a validated instrument that directs them to consider good aspects of the project and to highlight areas of potential learning and improvement not considered in the submitted report.

The framework that are used to peer review projects are: