An Examination of Opportunities for the Active Patient in Improving Patient Safety

Clinical Safety Research Unit, Department of Surgery and Cancer, St Mary's Hospital, Imperial College London, London, UK.
Journal of Patient Safety (Impact Factor: 1.49). 03/2012; 8(1):36-43. DOI: 10.1097/PTS.0b013e31823cba94
Source: PubMed


Patients can make valuable contributions to their health care safety. Little is known, however, about the factors that could affect patient participation in safety-related aspects of their health care management. Examining and understanding how patient involvement in safety-related behaviors can be conceptualized will allow greater insight into why patients may be more willing to participate in some behaviors more than others may.
This study aimed to develop a new approach for understanding and conceptualizing patient involvement in safety with specific reference to a surgical patient cohort.
The authors conducted a review of the key opportunities for patient involvement along the surgical care trajectory and examination and identification of the properties and characteristics of different safety-related behaviors and the barriers to patient involvement they entail.
Safety-related behaviors comprise 3 main properties including the type of error the behavior is trying to prevent (e.g., medication error), the action required by the patient (e.g., asking questions), and the characteristics of the action (e.g., whether the behavior involves interacting with a health care professional). Barriers to patient involvement that relate to patients and health care professionals can be broadly categorized as interpersonal, intrapersonal, and cultural.
We believe that thinking of patient involvement in safety relating to properties and characteristics of the behavior together with the barriers to involvement could aid the design, implementation, and evaluation of interventions aimed at encouraging patient participation. It will also enable a greater understanding and assessment of not only what interventions may be effective (at encouraging patient involvement) but when they might be effective (i.e., what stage of the care pathway) and why.

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Available from: Nick Sevdalis, Jun 13, 2014
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    • "The medical and legal professions have defined the best practices and standards for obtaining the IC [1]. Moreover, the patient's involvement, and this clearly begins with adequate IC procedures, can in turn improve the patients' safety and quality of healthcare delivery [2]. From 1990's to 2004 the rights of patients in Croatia were regulated by several laws that defined general concept of the IC. "
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    • "Having a more coordinated approach to care transitions will ensure better care design and service planning for care transitions.1–5,8,14,24,25 Key to these efforts is having the responsibility of care coordination assigned to a professional or a team involved in the different levels of care.24 In the context of the current study, there was no point person who followed up or connected with the transferring patients once they were admitted to the CCC site. "
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