Research launched into patient safety

PATIENTS and their feelings of safety at the doctor are being researched in a new project by the Greater Green Triangle University Department of Rural Health (GGT UDRH).

Warrnambool-based research associate Andrea Hernan is investigating patient views and involvement in safety in general practice in Australia for her PhD.

Ms Hernan recently travelled to Bradford and Manchester in England to work with researchers who have developed and validated the patient measure of safety (PMOS) questionnaire to elicit patient views on safety in hospitals and are undertaking a trial to see the effects of patient feedback on safety.

She hopes to adapt the PMOS for the Australian general practice setting with the aim of improving patient participation and involvement in general practice, and to use patient views to improve organisational safety.

“During my trip to Bradford and Manchester I established collaborations with the original developers of the PMOS and they have agreed to participate in the adaptation and validation of the PMOS for use general practice,” Ms Hernan said.

She has held focus groups and interviewed patients about their perceptions of safety. 

Ms Hernan will create additional domains and items from her PhD work.

The resulting questionnaire will be tested for validity with a small group of patients and general practice staff before being refined into a final version. This is the last phase of Ms Hernan’s PhD and is expected to take about six months.

In her post-doctoral studies, her plan is to undertake a larger validation and reliability study of the new questionnaire with general practice patients, and then test the effectiveness of the questionnaire as a means for improving safety in a future trial in general practice.

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