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Using trigger tools in primary care

Adverse events
28 March 2014

An article published in the New Zealand Medical Journal recently, shows that trigger tools are a useful way of measuring and tracking events that result in patient harm in primary care.

Trigger tools are a different approach to error reporting which looks at random samples of patient records, looking for 'triggers' which indicate an error has been made. The information can then be used to improve the quality and safety of health services.

The researchers aimed to establish which trigger tool worked best in their general practice, which triggers were most useful, and whether they could establish a review process that would be practical to use routinely.

Using triggers in primary care patient records to flag increased adverse event risk and measure patient safety at clinic level.