Putting the 'patient' in patient safety: a qualitative study of consumer experiences
MedSun: Newsletter #62, July 2011
Although patient safety has been studied extensively, little research has directly examined patient and family (consumer) perceptions. Evidence suggests that clinicians define safety differently from consumers, e.g. clinicians focus more on outcomes, whereas consumers may focus more on processes. Consumer perceptions of patient safety are important for several reasons. First, health-care policy leaders have been encouraging patients and families to take a proactive role in ensuring patient safety; therefore, an understanding of how patients define safety is needed. Second, consumer perceptions of safety could influence outcomes such as trust and satisfaction or compliance with treatment protocols. Finally, consumer perspectives could be an additional lens for viewing complex systems and processes for quality improvement efforts. Consumers seem acutely aware of care processes they believe pose risks to safety. Perceptual measures of patient safety and quality may help to identify areas where there are higher risks of preventable adverse events.
PubMed Abstract. Putting the 'patient' in patient safety: a qualitative study of consumer experiences. May 2011.