Safety-netting in clinical pratice

Rita Fernholm

Keywords: safety-netting, patient safety, preventable harm

Introduction:
One of the biggest patient safety problems in emergency/primary care is the prevalence of diagnostic harm. A promising approach is to use "safety-netting advice"-that clinicians communicate to the patient/caregivers that there is uncertainty about the diagnosis (it is preliminary), what the patient should be aware of, specific advice for when and how to seek care again in case of deterioration, and what the expected natural course of developments is if the preliminary diagnosis is correct.
The implementation of safety-netting advice in patient-clinician consultations has the potential to increase patient safety. For successful use of safety-netting advice it is essential to adjust its form and implementation to health clinicians’ and patients' views of its application in the context of primary/emergency care. The aim of this study was to explore these views on the use of safety-netting advice in clinical consultations and create matrieal to support use of safety-netting advice.

Method:
Focus groups and interviews with doctors and patients have been conducted and material has been created in a co-design process.

Results:
Patients’ and clinicians’ expectations and views on the use of safety-netting advice in consultations has been collected and the analysis resulted in two main themes: Delineating the circle of influence (setting the outer boundaries) and Applying safety-netting strategies in the consultation.
The materiel consists of a web-based educational module for doctors working in primary and emergency care.

Conclusions:
Patients’ and clinicians’ expectations and views on the use of safety-netting advice in consultations points to the importance of adjusting the safety-netting advice to the clinical context as well as to the recipient of the information. In co-design support material can contribute to effective safety-netting advice.

EQuiP Twitter Feed
EQuiP Facebook Feed