Medical errors in primary care clinics - a cross sectional study

Khoo, Ee Ming and Lee, W.K. and Sararaks, S. and Samad, A.A. and Liew, S.M. and Cheong, A.T. and Ibrahim, M.Y. and Su, S.H.C. and Hanafiah, A.N.M. and Maskon, K. and Ismail, R. and Hamid, M.A. (2012) Medical errors in primary care clinics - a cross sectional study. BMC Family Practice, 13. ISSN 1471-2296, DOI

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Background: Patient safety is vital in patient care. There is a lack of studies on medical errors in primary care settings. The aim of the study is to determine the extent of diagnostic inaccuracies and management errors in public funded primary care clinics. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study conducted in twelve public funded primary care clinics in Malaysia. A total of 1753 medical records were randomly selected in 12 primary care clinics in 2007 and were reviewed by trained family physicians for diagnostic, management and documentation errors, potential errors causing serious harm and likelihood of preventability of such errors. Results: The majority of patient encounters (81) were with medical assistants. Diagnostic errors were present in 3.6 (95 CI: 2.2, 5.0) of medical records and management errors in 53.2 (95 CI: 46.3, 60.2). For management errors, medication errors were present in 41.1 (95 CI: 35.8, 46.4) of records, investigation errors in 21.7 (95 CI: 16.5, 26.8) and decision making errors in 14.5 (95 CI: 10.8, 18.2). A total of 39.9 (95 CI: 33.1, 46.7) of these errors had the potential to cause serious harm. Problems of documentation including illegible handwriting were found in 98.0 (95 CI: 97.0, 99.1) of records. Nearly all errors (93.5) detected were considered preventable. Conclusions: The occurrence of medical errors was high in primary care clinics particularly with documentation and medication errors. Nearly all were preventable. Remedial intervention addressing completeness of documentation and prescriptions are likely to yield reduction of errors.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Medical errors; Diagnostic errors; Medication errors; Primary health care
Subjects: R Medicine
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine
Depositing User: Ms Haslinda Lahuddin
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2014 03:29
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2019 03:07

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