Past, Present and Future of Patient Safety in Primary Care: Spanish Perspective

Maria Pilar Astier Peña

Keywords: Patient Safety, Primary Care, COVID19 Pandemic


It has been more than 20 years since the 1999 publication of To err is human: Building a Safer Health System by the Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Quality of Health Care in America. Since then, numerous studies have been conducted, many national strategies have been published and best practices for improving patient safety in healthcare systems have been proposed. The WHO has led initiatives to improve patient safety by promoting 3 global challenges: Clean care is safer care, the safe surgery checklist, and the medication without harm challenge. A patient safety curriculum guide multiprofessional and the celebration of World Patient Safety Day on September 17th, the involvement of patients in patient safety among the last initiatives. In primary care (PC), good practices have been introduced and patient safety incident reporting systems have been extended.


Description of the impact of COVD19 pandemic on Spanish PC values such as proximity, longitudinally, comprehensiveness, community orientation, affecting the quality and safety of care through patient safety incidents' reporting systems and patients' experiencies during COVID19 Pandemic.


The future of patient safety involves integrating new ways of working and relating to patients and the community and within the health system (hospital care, public health, nursing homes…) to continue to provide the best care. This symposium addresses the new challenges for patient safety in PC regarding primary care facilities organization, new forms of doctor-patient consultation, health information systems and primary care and the role of family doctors. Those topics are discussed in a scientific Spanish journal, Atención Primaria :


It is essential for the future of a safer primary care to be aware of the changes the COVID19 Pandemic has introduced, to build a new risk management map and address it thoroughly.

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