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Comprehensive Analysis of Patient Safety Dimensions in Primary Healthcare

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Ensuring patient safety within healthcare systems is crucial to delivering quality care without causing harm. However, the delivery of care is often marred by preventable complications. While secondary healthcare has been the focus of most research, primary healthcare (PHC) remains underexplored. A recent study has shed light on the various dimensions and components of patient safety in PHC globally, aiming to fill this research gap.

Methodology and Scope

This study, conducted in November 2022, utilized PRISMA guidelines for a systematic review. Data was extracted from PubMed, Scopus, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, and EMBASE, focusing on English-language documents from 2000 to 2022. Keywords like “patient safety” and “PHC” were used. Thematic content analysis was employed to analyze the data independently by two reviewers. Out of the initial 4937 articles, 23 met the inclusion and exclusion criteria for the final analysis.

Findings and Analysis

Most of the studies (61.9%) employed both qualitative and quantitative approaches, and a significant portion (64%) were conducted in European countries. The research identified five key dimensions and 22 components crucial for patient safety in PHC. These dimensions include management measures, quality management, resources and technology, documentation, and patient-related factors. The insights from this study can serve as a foundation for developing clear definitions and assessment standards for patient safety in PHC.

From a market access perspective, the focus on European countries highlights a potential imbalance in the geographic distribution of patient safety research. This suggests that developing nations may face barriers in accessing advanced patient safety protocols and technologies. Addressing these disparities is essential to improving global healthcare outcomes.

Key Inferences on Patient Safety in PHC

  • Management measures are critical in ensuring effective patient safety protocols.
  • Quality management practices need to be uniformly implemented across different regions.
  • Investment in resources and technology is essential for enhancing patient safety.
  • Comprehensive documentation practices can prevent many healthcare-related complications.
  • Patient-related factors must be considered to tailor safety measures effectively.

The study concludes that while significant strides have been made in European and developed countries, there is a pressing need for more research in developing nations to bridge the gap in patient safety standards. Such efforts will ensure equitable healthcare access and improve safety measures globally.

Original Article:

Ethiop J Health Sci. 2024 Jan;34(1):73-84. doi: 10.4314/ejhs.v34i1.9.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Healthcare systems should ensure the provision of quality services to patients without harming them. However, the provision of services is occasionally accompanied by harm or complications, most of which are preventable. Most studies have focused on secondary healthcare rather than primary healthcare (PHC). Thus, this study aimed to identify various dimensions and components of patient safety in PHC worldwide.

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METHODS: This systematic review study was conducted in November 2022 based on PRISMA reporting guidelines. Studies were retrieved from PubMed, Scopus, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, and EMBASE and searched for English documents using the keywords “patient safety” and “PHC” from 2000 to 2022. Finally, two reviewers extracted the data independently and analyzed using thematic content analysis.

RESULTS: Overall, 23 out of the initially 4937 identified articles were selected for the final analysis based on the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Most of these studies used a qualitative-quantitative approach (61.9%, seven studies for both), and 64% had been conducted in European countries. Eventually, five dimensions and 22 components were identified for patient safety in PHC, including management measures, quality management, resources and technology, documents, and patient-related factors.

CONCLUSION: The patient safety dimensions and components identified in this research can help develop a clear definition of patient safety and its assessment standards and criteria in PHC. Considering that most previous studies on patient safety in PHC were conducted in European and developed countries, it is suggested that researchers conduct more studies in developing countries to fill this research gap.

PMID:38957341 | PMC:PMC11217791 | DOI:10.4314/ejhs.v34i1.9

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