Participants needed for medical error study

Aims to improve GP care
  • Deborah Condon

People who have experienced a medical error in general practice are being asked to take part in a new study.

The ASPIRE study is being carried out by researchers at NUI Galway. Its aim is to improve the safety of care in general practice.

A medical error is an event which could, or does, lead to harm for a patient receiving healthcare. Errors can cover a range of events, such as being given the wrong dosage of drugs, being prescribed inappropriate medication, or experiencing a missed or delayed diagnosis.

The researchers want to find out about problems that commonly arise in general practice and how best these can be avoided. They hope to be able to identify which factors are contributing to these errors, and then design and implement safety strategies to reduce patient harm in the future.

"Unfortunately the patient perspective is often overlooked in patient safety research. However, we believe that patient stories can provide us with a valuable insight, and enable our understanding of what areas need to be improved upon in general practice," explained the study's lead researcher, Caoimhe Madden, of NUI Galway.

The research team is currently recruiting people who have previously experienced a medical error in general practice. People who are willing to take part in the study will be briefly interviewed about their experience either over the phone, or in person.

"Patient safety is a real priority for all GPs. It is important that the patient voice is also heard in this vital area," commented Prof Andrew Murphy, a GP and professor of general practice at NUI Galway.

For more information on the study, or to participate, contact Caoimhe Madden at or on 091 495205.


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