Focus on Patient Safety - « Primary care... risks also arise »

Tool to improve professional practice - Posted on Jun 20 2023


The national epidemiological study on primary care ESPRIT [1] highlighted in 2013 the high frequency of care-related adverse events in the primary care sector (according to the 127 general practitioners who took part, 54% of care-related adverse events occur at least once per quarter, of which 17% occur at least once per month). However, due to underreporting by professionals in this sector, it is not possible to gain an accurate view of the scope of the problem. A review of care-related serious adverse events based on national reporting highlighted 209 primary care-related serious adverse events from March 2017 to December 2021. They involve emergency service call handling issues, suicides of patients on leave from inpatient psychiatric care, home births, falls during physiotherapy sessions or during care by home nursing care services, medication errors, or treatment failures. 



This Focus of patient safety will alert healthcare professionals and raise awareness of the occurrence of care-related serious adverse events that could have been avoided. 


So it doesn’t happen again 

While the analysis of the causes and barriers reveals multiple root causes including underestimation of the patient’s capability to remain alone in their home or failure to comply with best practice guidelines, the common thread in these care-related serious adverse events is a failure to communicate and share information. 

In primary care, to improve care coordination, information is key for better communication. 


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