Patient safety in ambulatory care from the patient's perspective: a retrospective, representative telephone survey.
ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES:Data on patient safety problems (PSPs) in ambulatory care are scarce. The aim of the study was to record the frequency, type, severity and point of origin of PSPs in ambulatory care in Germany. DESIGN:Retrospective cross-sectional study. SETTING:Computer-assisted telephone interviews with randomly recruited citizens aged ?40 years in Germany who were asked about their experiences with PSPs in ambulatory care. PARTICIPANTS:10 037 citizens ?40 years. MEASURES:A new questionnaire was developed to record patient experiences with PSPs in ambulatory care. The study reported here targets patient experiences in the last 12 months. The questionnaire focuses on PSPs in seven areas of medical treatment: anamnesis/diagnostic procedures; medication; vaccination, injection, infusion; aftercare; outpatient surgery; office administration; other areas. For each PSP reported, detailed questions were asked about the specialist group concerned, and, on the most serious harm, the severity of the harm and its consequences. The target parameters are presented as proportions with 95% CIs. RESULTS:1422 of the respondents (14%) reported 2589 PSPs. The areas most frequently affected by PSPs were anamnesis/diagnostic procedures (61%) and medication (15%). General practitioners accounted for 44% of PSPs, orthopaedists for 15% and internists for 10%. 75% of PSPs were associated with harm, especially unnecessarily prolonged pain or deterioration of health; 35% of PSPs led to permanent harm. 804 PSPs (32%) prompted patients to see another doctor for additional treatment; 255 PSPs (10%) required inpatient treatment. CONCLUSION:PSPs experienced by patients are widespread in ambulatory care in Germany. The study reveals in which areas of medical treatment efforts to prevent PSPs could make the greatest contribution to improving patient safety. It also demonstrates the valuable contribution of patient reports to the analysis of PSPs.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Patients from rural and urban regions should have equitable access to health care. In Germany, the physician-patient-ratio and the supply of medical services vary greatly between urban and rural areas. The aim of our study was to explore the regional variations of the perceived health care problems in ambulatory care from the perspective of affected professionals and laypersons i.e. general practitioners and their patients. METHODS:We conducted 27 focus groups with general practitioners (n?=?65) and patients (n?=?145) from urban areas, environs and rural areas in northern Germany. Discussions were facilitated by two researchers using a semi-structured guideline. The transcripts were content analyzed using deductive and inductive categories. RESULTS:General practitioners and patients reported problems due to demographic change and patient behaviour, through structural inequalities and the ambulatory reimbursement system as well as with specialist care and inpatient care. A high physician density, associated with high competition between general practitioners, a high fluctuation of patients and a low status of general practitioners were the main problems reported in urban areas. In contrast, participants from rural areas reported an insufficient physician density, a lack of young recruits in primary care and a resulting increased workload as problematic. All regions are concerned with subjectively inadequate general practitioners' budgets, insufficiently compensated consultations and problems in the cooperation with specialists and inpatient care institutions. Most problems were mentioned by GPs and patients alike, but some (e.g. high competition rates in urban regions and problems with inpatient care) were only mentioned by GPs. CONCLUSIONS:While many problems arise in urban regions as well as in rural regions, our results support the notion that there is an urgent need for action in rural areas. Possible measures include the support of telemedicine, delegation of medical services and reoccupation of vacant practices. The attractiveness of working in rural areas for general practitioners, specialists and clinicians must be increased by consolidating and expanding rural infrastructure (e.g. child care and cultural life). The above mentioned results also indicate that the ambulatory reimbursement system should be examined regarding the reported inequalities. Measures to further enhance the cooperation between general practitioners, specialists and inpatient care should be taken to solve supra-regionally reported problems. Problems showing regional variations indicate the need for measures to balance these variations between the regions. This is the first German study to analyze subjective views of the stakeholders concerned on regionally variating problems in ambulatory care. Further studies are needed to quantify the extent of the identified problems and differences. A corresponding survey is currently under way.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:To review systematically the past 10 years of research activity into the healthcare experiences (HCX) of patients with chronic heart failure (CHF) in Germany, in order to identify research foci and gaps and make recommendations for future research. DESIGN:In this scoping review, six databases and grey literature sources were systematically searched for articles reporting HCX of patients with CHF in Germany that were published between 2008 and 2018. Extracted results were summarised using quantitative and qualitative descriptive analysis. RESULTS:Of the 18 studies (100%) that met the inclusion criteria, most were observational studies (60%) that evaluated findings quantitatively (60%). HCX were often concerned with patient information, global satisfaction as well as relationships and communication between patients and providers and generally covered ambulatory care, hospital care and rehabilitation services. Overall, the considerable heterogeneity of the included studies' outcomes only permitted relatively trivial levels of synthesis. CONCLUSION:In Germany, research on HCX of patients with CHF is characterised by missing, inadequate and insufficient information. Future research would benefit from qualitative analyses, evidence syntheses, longitudinal analyses that investigate HCX throughout the disease trajectory, and better reporting of sociodemographic data. Furthermore, research should include studies that are based on digital data, reports of experiences gained in under-investigated yet patient-relevant healthcare settings and include more female subjects.
Project description:Background:Ambulatory medication reconciliation can reduce the frequency of medication discrepancies and may also reduce adverse drug events. Patients receiving dialysis are at high risk for medication discrepancies because they typically have multiple comorbid conditions, are taking many medications, and are receiving care from many practitioners. Little is known about the potential benefits of ambulatory medication reconciliation for these patients. Objectives:To determine the number, type, and potential level of harm associated with medication discrepancies identified through ambulatory medication reconciliation and to ascertain the views of community pharmacists and family physicians about this service. Methods:This retrospective cohort study involved patients initiating hemodialysis who received ambulatory medication reconciliation in a hospital renal program over the period July 2014 to July 2016. Discrepancies identified on the medication reconciliation forms for study patients were extracted and categorized by discrepancy type and potential level of harm. The level of harm was determined independently by a pharmacist and a nurse practitioner using a defined scoring system. In the event of disagreement, a nephrologist determined the final score. Surveys were sent to 52 community pharmacists and 44 family physicians involved in the care of study patients to collect their opinions and perspectives on ambulatory medication reconciliation. Results:Ambulatory medication reconciliation was conducted 296 times for a total of 147 hemodialysis patients. The mean number of discrepancies identified per patient was 1.31 (standard deviation 2.00). Overall, 30% of these discrepancies were deemed to have the potential to cause moderate to severe patient discomfort or clinical deterioration. Survey results indicated that community practitioners found ambulatory medication reconciliation valuable for providing quality care to dialysis patients. Conclusions:This study has provided evidence that ambulatory medication reconciliation can increase patient safety and potentially prevent adverse events associated with medication discrepancies.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:In 2012, Germany abolished copayment for consultations in ambulatory care. This study investigated the effect of the abolition on general practitioner (GP)-centred coordination of care. We assessed how the proportion of patients with coordinated specialist care changed over time when copayment to all specialist services were removed. Furthermore, we studied how the number of ambulatory emergency cases and apparent 'doctor shopping' changed after the abolition. DESIGN:A retrospective routine data analysis of the Bavarian Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians, comparing the years 2011 and 2012 (with copayment), with the period from 2013 to 2016 (without copayment). Therefore, time series analyses covering 24 quarters were performed. SETTING:Primary care in Bavaria, Germany. PARTICIPANTS:All statutorily insured patients in Bavaria, aged ?18 years, with at least one ambulatory specialist contact between 2011 and 2016. PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES:Primary outcome was the percentage of patients with GP-coordinated care (every regular specialist consultation within a quarter was preceded by a GP referral). Secondary outcomes were the number of ambulatory emergency cases and apparent 'doctor shopping'. RESULTS:After the abolition, the proportion of coordinated patients decreased from 49.6% (2011) to 15.5% (2016). Overall, younger patients and those living in areas with lower levels of deprivation showed the lowest proportions of coordination, which further decreased after abolition. Additionally, there were concomitant increases in the number of ambulatory emergency contacts and to a lesser extent in the number of patients with apparent 'doctor shopping'. CONCLUSIONS:The abolition of copayment in Germany was associated with a substantial decrease in GP coordination of specialist care. This suggests that the copayment was a partly effective tool to support coordinated care. Future studies are required to investigate how the gatekeeping function of GPs in Germany can best be strengthened while minimising the associated administrative overhead.
Project description:Primary care provider (PCP) turnover is common and can disrupt patient continuity of care. Little is known about the effect of PCP turnover on patient care experience and quality of care.To measure the effect of PCP turnover on patient experiences of care and ambulatory care quality.Observational, retrospective cohort study of a nationwide sample of primary care patients in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). We included all patients enrolled in primary care at the VHA between 2010 and 2012 included in 1 of 2 national data sets used to measure our outcome variables: 326,374 patients in the Survey of Healthcare Experiences of Patients (SHEP; used to measure patient experience of care) associated with 8441 PCPs and 184,501 patients in the External Peer Review Program (EPRP; used to measure ambulatory care quality) associated with 6973 PCPs.Whether a patient experienced PCP turnover, defined as a patient whose provider (physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant) had left the VHA (ie, had no patient encounters for 12 months).Five patient care experience measures (from SHEP) and 11 measures of quality of ambulatory care (from EPRP).Nine percent of patients experienced a PCP turnover in our study sample. Primary care provider turnover was associated with a worse rating in each domain of patient care experience. Turnover was associated with a reduced likelihood of having a positive rating of their personal physician of 68.2% vs 74.6% (adjusted percentage point difference, -5.3; 95% CI, -6.0 to -4.7) and a reduced likelihood of getting care quickly of 36.5% vs 38.5% (adjusted percentage point difference, -1.1; 95% CI, -2.1 to -0.1). In contrast, PCP turnover was not associated with lower quality of ambulatory care except for a lower likelihood of controlling blood pressure of 78.7% vs 80.4% (adjusted percentage point difference, -1.44; 95% CI, -2.2 to -0.7). In 9 measures of ambulatory care quality, the difference between patients who experienced no PCP turnover and those who had a PCP turnover was less than 1 percentage point. These effects were moderated by the patients' continuity with their PCP prior to turnover, with a larger detrimental effect of PCP turnover among those with higher continuity prior to the turnover.Primary care provider turnover was associated with worse patient experiences of care but did not have a major effect on ambulatory care quality.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Traditional ambulatory training models have limitations in important domains, including opportunities for residents to learn, fragmentation of care delivery experience, and satisfaction with ambulatory experiences. New models of ambulatory training are needed.<h4>Aim</h4>To compare the impact of a traditional ambulatory training model with a templated 4?+?1 model.<h4>Setting</h4>A large university-based internal medicine residency using three different training sites: a patient-centered medical home, a hospital-based ambulatory clinic, and community private practices.<h4>Participants</h4>Residents, faculty, and administrative staff.<h4>Program description</h4>Development of a templated 4?+?1 model of residency where trainees do not attend to inpatient and outpatient responsibilities simultaneously.<h4>Program evaluation</h4>A mixed-methods analysis of survey and nominal group data measuring three primary outcomes: 1) Perception of learning opportunities and quality of faculty teaching; 2) Reported fragmentation of care delivery experience; 3) Satisfaction with ambulatory experiences. Self-reported empanelment was a secondary outcome. Residents' learning opportunities increased (p?=?0.007) but quality of faculty teaching was unchanged. Participants reported less fragmentation in the care residents provide patients in the inpatient and outpatient setting (p?<?0.0001). Satisfaction with ambulatory training improved (p?<?0.0001). Self-reported empanelment also increased (p?<?0.0001). Results held true for residents, faculty, and staff at all three ambulatory training sites (p?<?0.0001).<h4>Discussion</h4>A 4?+?1 model increased resident time in ambulatory continuity clinic, enhanced learning opportunities, reduced fragmentation of care residents provide, and improved satisfaction with ambulatory experiences. More studies of similar models are needed to evaluate effects on additional trainee and patient outcomes.
Project description:Most countries face an ageing population, increasing chronic diseased, and constrictions on budget for providing health services. Involving patients in their own care by allowing them access to their patient data is a trend seen in many places.Data on the type and level of access citizens have to their own health data in three countries was gathered from public sources.Data from each individual country is presented and the experiences of Denmark, Estonia and Australia are examined whilst similarities and differences explored. The discussion adopts a citizen-centred perspective to consider how the different e-portal systems support, protect and structure citizen interactions with their own health data in three key areas: Security, privacy and data protection; User support; and Citizen adoption and use.The paper highlights the impact of opt-in/opt-out approaches on citizen access and the lack of a structured approach to addressing differences in citizen health and e-health literacy. This research also confirms while current data provides detail on the availability and use of personal health data by citizens, questions still remain over the ultimate impact on patient outcomes of these initiatives. It is anticipated the insights generated from the three countries experiences, supporting citizen access to their health data will be useful to improve these initiatives and guide other countries aspiring to support similar initiatives.
Project description:Falsely labelled, falsified (counterfeit) medicines (FFCm's) are produced or distributed illegally and can harm patients. Although the occurrence of FFCm's is increasing in Europe, harm is rarely reported. The European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines & Health-Care (EDQM) has therefore coordinated the development and validation of a screening tool.The tool consists of a questionnaire referring to a watch-list of FFCm's identified in Europe, including symptoms of their use and individual risk factors, and a scoring form. To refine the questionnaire and reference method, a pilot-study was performed in 105 self-reported users of watch-list medicines. Subsequently, the tool was validated under "real-life conditions" in 371 patients in 5 ambulatory and in-patient care sites ("sub-studies"). The physicians participating in the study scored the patients and classified their risk of harm as "unlikely" or "probable" (cut-off level: presence of ?2 of 5 risk factors). They assessed all medical records retrospectively (independent reference method) to validate the risk classification and documented their perception of the tool's value.In 3 ambulatory care sites (180 patients), the tool correctly classified 5 patients as harmed by FFCm's. The positive and negative likelihood ratios (LR+/LR-) and the discrimination power were calculated for two cut-off levels: a) 1 site (50 patients): presence of two risk factors (at 10% estimated health care system contamination with FFCm's): LR?+?4.9/LR-0, post-test probability: 35%; b) 2 sites (130 patients): presence of three risk factors (at 5% estimated prevalence of use of non-prescribed medicines (FFCm's) by certain risk groups): LR?+?9.7/LR-0, post-test probability: 33%. In 2 in-patient care sites (191 patients), no patient was confirmed as harmed by FFCm's. The physicians perceived the tool as valuable for finding harm, and as an information source regarding risk factors.This "decision aid" is a systematic tool which helps find in medical practice patients harmed by FFCm's. This study supports its value in ambulatory care in regions with health care system contamination and in certain risk groups. The establishment of systematic communication between authorities and the medical community concerning FFCm's, current patterns of use and case reports may sustain positive public health impacts.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To contribute to the current knowledge on how a broad range of services offered by general practitioners (GPs) may contribute to the patient perceived quality and, hence, the potential benefits of primary care. STUDY SETTING:Between 2011 and 2013, primary care data were collected among GPs and their patients in 31 European countries, plus Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. In these countries, GPs are the main providers of primary care, mostly specialized in family medicine and working in the ambulatory setting. STUDY DESIGN:In this cross-sectional study, questionnaires were completed by 7,183 GPs and 61,931 visiting patients. Moreover, 7,270 patients answered questions about what they find important (their values). In the analyses of patient experiences, we adjusted for patients' values in each country to measure patient perceived quality. Perceived quality was measured regarding five areas: accessibility and continuity of care, doctor-patient communication, patient involvement in decision making, and comprehensiveness of care. The range of GP services was measured in relation to four areas: (1) to what extent they are the first contact to the health care system for patients in need of care, (2) their involvement in treatment and follow-up of acute and chronic conditions, in other words treatment of diseases, (3) their involvement in minor technical procedures, and (4) their involvement in preventive treatments. EXTRACTION METHODS:Data of the patients were linked to the data of the GPs. Multilevel modeling was used to construct scale scores for the experiences of patients in the five areas of quality and the range of services of GPs. In these four-level models, items were nested within patients, nested in GP practices, nested in countries. The relationship between the range of services and the experiences of patients was analyzed in three-level multilevel models, also taking into account the values of patients. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:In countries where GPs offer a broader range of services patients perceive better accessibility, continuity, and comprehensiveness of care, and more involvement in decision making. No associations were found between the range of services and the patient perceived communication with their GP. The range of GP services mostly explained the variation between countries in the areas of patient perceived accessibility and continuity of care. CONCLUSIONS:This study showed that in countries where GP practices serve as a "one-stop shop," patients perceive better quality of care, especially in the areas of accessibility and continuity of care. Therefore, primary care in a country is expected to benefit from investments in a broader range of services of GPs or other primary care physicians.
Project description:BACKGROUND:To determine how socioeconomic factors, such as level of education and employment status, affect patient experiences on quality of care for ambulatory healthcare services in teaching hospitals in southeast Nigeria. METHODS:The study is of a cross-sectional design and exit poll was used to collect its data. A pre-tested structured questionnaire was administered to clients accessing care in the outpatient departments of three tertiary hospitals in Nigeria. The assessment of patient experiences for quality of care was based on five (5) domains of care: waiting time; environment of the outpatient department; quality of doctor's care; quality of care by nurses/other health workers; and responsiveness of care. In addition, the overall quality of care was assessed. RESULTS:The mean rating of patient experience for quality of care for ambulatory healthcare services (outpatients' care) was 74.31?±?0.32%. Moderate differences were observed between the hospitals assessed for various levels of patients' care, especially for waiting time, quality of doctors' care and overall quality of care. Employment status was a statistically significant (p???0.05) determinant of overall patient experience rating for quality of care, while the level of patient's education was an influence on the perception of waiting by the patients and their rating of care from nurses/other healthcare providers (apart from medical doctors). CONCLUSION:The study showed that educational and employment status (measures of socioeconomic status) of patients determined how patients receiving ambulatory (outpatient) healthcare services perceived the quality of care in the hospitals. Hence, in order to ensure equity, there is need to institutionalize patient-centered care, while full consideration is given to the patients' socioeconomic status.