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1.  Patient safety skills in primary care: a national survey of GP educators 
BMC Family Practice  2014;15(1):206.
Background
Clinicians have a vital role in promoting patient safety that goes beyond their technical competence. The qualities and attributes of the safe hospital doctor have been explored but similar work within primary care is lacking. Exploring the skills and attributes of a safe GP may help to inform the development of training programmes to promote patient safety within primary care.
This study aimed to determine the views of General Practice Educational Supervisors (GPES) regarding the qualities and attributes of a safe General Practitioner (GP) and the perceived trainability of these ‘safety skills’ and to compare selected results with those generated by a previous study of hospital doctors.
Methods
This was a two-stage study comprising content validation of a safety skills questionnaire (originally developed for hospital doctors) (Stage 1) and a prospective survey of all GPES in Scotland (n = 691) (Stage 2).
Results
Stage 1: The content-validated questionnaire comprised 66 safety skills/attributes across 17 broad categories with an overall content validation index of 0.92.
Stage 2: 348 (50%) GPES completed the survey. GPES felt the skills/attributes most important to being a safe GP were honesty (93%), technical clinical skills (89%) and conscientiousness (89%). That deemed least important/relevant to being a safe GP was leadership (36%). This contrasts sharply with the views of hospital doctors in the previous study. GPES felt the most trainable safety skills/attributes were technical skills (93%), situation awareness (75%) and anticipation/preparedness (71%). The least trainable were honesty (35%), humility (33%) and patient awareness/empathy (30%). Additional safety skills identified as relevant to primary care included patient advocacy, negotiation skills, accountability/ownership and clinical intuition (‘listening to that worrying little inner voice’).
Conclusions
GPES believe a broad range of skills and attributes contribute to being a safe GP. Important but subtle differences exist between what primary care and secondary care doctors perceive as core safety attributes. Educationalists, GPs and patient safety experts should collaborate to develop and implement training in these skills to ensure that current and future GPs possess the necessary competencies to engage and lead in safety improvement efforts.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12875-014-0206-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s12875-014-0206-5
PMCID: PMC4275946  PMID: 25515429
General practice; Patient safety; Medical education; Skills
2.  Applying the trigger review method after a brief educational intervention: potential for teaching and improving safety in GP specialty training? 
BMC Medical Education  2013;13:117.
Background
The Trigger Review Method (TRM) is a structured approach to screening clinical records for undetected patient safety incidents (PSIs) and identifying learning and improvement opportunities. In Scotland, TRM participation can inform GP appraisal and has been included as a core component of the national primary care patient safety programme that was launched in March 2013. However, the clinical workforce needs up-skilled and the potential of TRM in GP training has yet to be tested. Current TRM training utilizes a workplace face-to-face session by a GP expert, which is not feasible. A less costly, more sustainable educational intervention is necessary to build capability at scale. We aimed to determine the feasibility and impact of TRM and a related training intervention in GP training.
Methods
We recruited 25 west of Scotland GP trainees to attend a 2-hour TRM workshop. Trainees then applied TRM to 25 clinical records and returned findings within 4-weeks. A follow-up feedback workshop was held.
Results
21/25 trainees (84%) completed the task. 520 records yielded 80 undetected PSIs (15.4%). 36/80 were judged potentially preventable (45%) with 35/80 classified as causing moderate to severe harm (44%). Trainees described a range of potential learning and improvement plans. Training was positively received and appeared to be successful given these findings. TRM was valued as a safety improvement tool by most participants.
Conclusion
This small study provides further evidence of TRM utility and how to teach it pragmatically. TRM is of potential value in GP patient safety curriculum delivery and preparing trainees for future safety improvement expectations.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-13-117
PMCID: PMC3846442  PMID: 24000946
Patient safety; General practice; Primary care; Trigger tool; Clinical record review; GP training; Clinical audit
3.  Maximising harm reduction in early specialty training for general practice: validation of a safety checklist 
BMC Family Practice  2012;13:62.
Background
Making health care safer is a key policy priority worldwide. In specialty training, medical educators may unintentionally impact on patient safety e.g. through failures of supervision; providing limited feedback on performance; and letting poorly developed behaviours continue unchecked. Doctors-in-training are also known to be susceptible to medical error. Ensuring that all essential educational issues are addressed during training is problematic given the scale of the tasks to be undertaken. Human error and the reliability of local systems may increase the risk of safety-critical topics being inadequately covered. However adherence to a checklist reminder may improve the reliability of task delivery and maximise harm reduction. We aimed to prioritise the most safety-critical issues to be addressed in the first 12-weeks of specialty training in the general practice environment and validate a related checklist reminder.
Methods
We used mixed methods with different groups of GP educators (n = 127) and specialty trainees (n = 9) in two Scottish regions to prioritise, develop and validate checklist content. Generation and refinement of checklist themes and items were undertaken on an iterative basis using a range of methods including small group work in dedicated workshops; a modified-Delphi process; and telephone interviews. The relevance of potential checklist items was rated using a 4-point scale content validity index to inform final inclusion.
Results
14 themes (e.g. prescribing safely; dealing with medical emergency; implications of poor record keeping; and effective & safe communication) and 47 related items (e.g. how to safety-net face-to-face or over the telephone; knowledge of practice systems for results handling; recognition of harm in children) were judged to be essential safety-critical educational issues to be covered. The mean content validity index ratio was 0.98.
Conclusion
A checklist was developed and validated for educational supervisors to assist in the reliable delivery of safety-critical educational issues in the opening 12-week period of training, and aligned with national curriculum competencies. The tool can also be adapted for use as a self-assessment instrument by trainees to guide patient safety-related learning needs. Dissemination and implementation of the checklist and self-rating scale are proceeding on a national, voluntary basis with plans to evaluate its feasibility and educational impact.
doi:10.1186/1471-2296-13-62
PMCID: PMC3418214  PMID: 22721273

Results 1-5 (5)