Patient Reports Of Preventable Problems And Harms In Primary Health Care

Title

Patient Reports Of Preventable Problems And Harms In Primary Health Care

Creator

Kuzel A J; Woolf S H; Gilchrist V J; Engel J D; LaVeist T A; Vincent C; Frankel R M

Publisher

Annals of Family Medicine

Date

2004
2004-07

Description

BACKGROUND Despite recent attention given to medical errors, little is known about the kinds and importance of medical errors in primary care. The principal aims of this study were to develop patient-focused typologies of medical errors and harms in primary care settings and to discern which medical errors and harms seem to be the most important. METHODS Thirty-eight in-depth anonymous interviews of adults from rural, suburban, and urban locales in Virginia and Ohio were conducted to solicit stories of preventable problems with primary health care that led to physical or psychological harm. Transcriptions were analyzed to identify, name, and organize the stories of errors and harms. RESULTS The 38 narratives described 221 problematic incidents that predominantly involved breakdowns in the clinician-patient relationship (n = 82, 37%) and access to clinicians (n = 63, 29%). There were several reports of perceived racism. The incidents were linked to 170 reported harms, 70% of which were psychological, including anger, frustration, belittlement, and loss of relationship and trust in one's clinician. Physical harms accounted for 23% of the total and included pain, bruising, worsening medical condition, and adverse drug reactions. DISCUSSION The errors reported by interviewed patients suggest that breakdowns in access to and relationships with clinicians may be more prominent medical errors than are technical errors in diagnosis and treatment. Patients were more likely to report being harmed psychologically and emotionally, suggesting that the current preoccupation of the patient safety movement with adverse drug events and surgical mishaps could overlook other patient priorities.

Subject

adverse events; ecology; General & Internal Medicine; harms; health care; medical errors; patient perspective; patient safety; patient-centered care; physician-patient relations; physicians; qualitative research; quality; quality assurance; safety

Identifier

Format

Journal Article or Conference Abstract Publication

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Rights

Article information provided for research and reference use only. All rights are retained by the journal listed under publisher and/or the creator(s).

Pages

333-340

Issue

4

Volume

2

Citation

Kuzel A J; Woolf S H; Gilchrist V J; Engel J D; LaVeist T A; Vincent C; Frankel R M, “Patient Reports Of Preventable Problems And Harms In Primary Health Care,” NEOMED Bibliography Database, accessed November 30, 2021, https://neomed.omeka.net/items/show/10608.

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