Primary Health Care
Primary health care is the first point of contact within the health system for the majority of Australians. The sector provides a range of services for the prevention and management of acute and chronic conditions.
Although the current Australian primary health care system performs well and most health care is associated with good clinical outcomes, there is considerable safety and quality variation and preventable adverse events that occur.
Since 2009 the Commission has been working to better understand the issues that affect patient safety in primary care settings. The Commission’s key initiatives include:
- A Primary Care Committee
- Development of National Safety and Quality Primary Health Care Standards
- The National General Practice Accreditation Scheme
- Scoping study on the feasibility of a patient incident reporting system.
Understanding risks to patient safety in primary health care
A significant proportion of health care is provided by primary care services but little is known about the frequency, causes and consequences of errors and adverse events in this sector. There is also limited evidence on effective patient safety initiatives in this sector. Risks to patient safety can occur in both acute and primary care settings, including large tertiary hospitals, small rural services and general practices.
Since 2009 the Commission has been working to better understand the issues that affect patient safety in primary care settings. Outcomes of this work include literature reviews, a discussion paper and a consultation report.