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1.  Enhancing the Effectiveness of Significant Event Analysis: Exploring Personal Impact and Applying Systems Thinking in Primary Care 
Introduction:
Significant event analysis (SEA) is well established in many primary care settings but can be poorly implemented. Reasons include the emotional impact on clinicians and limited knowledge of systems thinking in establishing why events happen and formulating improvements. To enhance SEA effectiveness, we developed and tested “guiding tools” based on human factors principles.
Methods:
Mixed-methods development of guiding tools (Personal Booklet—to help with emotional demands and apply a human factors analysis at the individual level; Desk Pad—to guide a team-based systems analysis; and a written Report Format) by a multiprofessional “expert” group and testing with Scottish primary care practitioners who submitted completed enhanced SEA reports. Evaluation data were collected through questionnaire, telephone interviews, and thematic analysis of SEA reports.
Results:
Overall, 149/240 care practitioners tested the guiding tools and submitted completed SEA reports (62.1%). Reported understanding of how to undertake SEA improved postintervention (P < .001), while most agreed that the Personal Booklet was practical (88/123, 71.5%) and relevant to dealing with related emotions (93/123, 75.6%). The Desk Pad tool helped focus the SEA on systems issues (85/123, 69.1%), while most found the Report Format clear (94/123, 76.4%) and would recommend it (88/123, 71.5%). Most SEA reports adopted a systems approach to analyses (125/149, 83.9%), care improvement (74/149, 49.7), or planned actions (42/149, 28.2%).
Discussion:
Applying human factors principles to SEA potentially enables care teams to gain a systems-based understanding of why things go wrong, which may help with related emotional demands and with more effective learning and improvement.
doi:10.1097/CEH.0000000000000098
PMCID: PMC5063067  PMID: 27583996
adverse events; patient safety; primary care; incident analysis; team learning; emotional demands; human factors and ergonomics; systems thinking
2.  Participatory design of a preliminary safety checklist for general practice 
The British Journal of General Practice  2015;65(634):e330-e343.
Background
The use of checklists to minimise errors is well established in high reliability, safety-critical industries. In health care there is growing interest in checklists to standardise checking processes and ensure task completion, and so provide further systemic defences against error and patient harm. However, in UK general practice there is limited experience of safety checklist use.
Aim
To identify workplace hazards that impact on safety, health and wellbeing, and performance, and codesign a standardised checklist process.
Design and setting
Application of mixed methods to identify system hazards in Scottish general practices and develop a safety checklist based on human factors design principles.
Method
A multiprofessional ‘expert’ group (n = 7) and experienced front-line GPs, nurses, and practice managers (n = 18) identified system hazards and developed and validated a preliminary checklist using a combination of literature review, documentation review, consensus building workshops using a mini-Delphi process, and completion of content validity index exercise.
Results
A prototype safety checklist was developed and validated consisting of six safety domains (for example, medicines management), 22 sub-categories (for example, emergency drug supplies) and 78 related items (for example, stock balancing, secure drug storage, and cold chain temperature recording).
Conclusion
Hazards in the general practice work system were prioritised that can potentially impact on the safety, health and wellbeing of patients, GP team members, and practice performance, and a necessary safety checklist prototype was designed. However, checklist efficacy in improving safety processes and outcomes is dependent on user commitment, and support from leaders and promotional champions. Although further usability development and testing is necessary, the concept should be of interest in the UK and internationally.
doi:10.3399/bjgp15X684865
PMCID: PMC4408522  PMID: 25918338
checklists; general practice; human factors; participatory design, patient safety
3.  Good practice statements on safe laboratory testing: A mixed methods study by the LINNEAUS collaboration on patient safety in primary care 
ABSTRACT
Background: The systems-based management of laboratory test ordering and results handling is a known source of error in primary care settings worldwide. The consequences are wide-ranging for patients (e.g. avoidable harm or poor care experience), general practitioners (e.g. delayed clinical decision making and potential medico-legal implications) and the primary care organization (e.g. increased allocation of resources to problem-solve and dealing with complaints). Guidance is required to assist care teams to minimize associated risks and improve patient safety.
Objective: To identify, develop and build expert consensus on ‘good practice’ guidance statements to inform the implementation of safe systems for ordering laboratory tests and managing results in European primary care settings.
Methods: Mixed methods studies were undertaken in the UK and Ireland, and the findings were triangulated to develop ‘good practice’ statements. Expert consensus was then sought on the findings at the wider European level via a Delphi group meeting during 2013.
Results: We based consensus on 10 safety domains and developed 77 related ‘good practice’ statements (≥ 80% agreement levels) judged to be essential to creating safety and minimizing risks in laboratory test ordering and subsequent results handling systems in international primary care.
Conclusion: Guidance was developed for improving patient safety in this important area of primary care practice. We need to consider how this guidance can be made accessible to frontline care teams, utilized by clinical educators and improvement advisers, implemented by decision makers and evaluated to determine acceptability, feasibility and impacts on patient safety.
doi:10.3109/13814788.2015.1043724
PMCID: PMC4828633  PMID: 26339831
Laboratory tests; patient safety; results management; primary care; LINNEAUS collaboration
4.  Patient safety skills in primary care: a national survey of GP educators 
BMC Family Practice  2014;15:206.
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
5.  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
6.  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 1-8 (8)