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Aust Fam Physician. 2014 Oct;43(10):723-6.

The use of a global trigger tool to inform quality and safety in Australian general practice: a pilot study.

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BAppSc (Physio), Grad Dip Comp, Grad Econ, Program Manager, Australian Institute of Health Innovation, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, and Visiting Research Fellow, Centre for Sleep Research, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA.



Systems to identify risks and adverse events (AEs) in Australia are limited. This study aims to explore whether general practice records contain information on AEs, and to conduct a pilot study on the type and frequency of AEs in general practice in Australia, using a global trigger tool (GTT).


Five practices were recruited and consented to collect data. Practice nurses were trained to collect data at their practices. Rec-ords from randomly sampled patients aged 75 years or older were reviewed.


A total of 428 patient records were reviewed. A total of 44 AEs were detected in 41 records. The percentage of patients with an AE was 9.6%. Most low preventability AEs (21/29) were medication incidents.


The study found that significant levels of information about AEs exist in general practice medical records and rates of harm are broadly in line with a similar study in Scotland.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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