This printed workbook aims to assist GPs to understand many of the risks to patient safety & wellbeing, and to implement effective strategies to minimise these risks. It facilitates GPs' identifying whether their practice has appropriate policies, procedures & systems and provides explanatory information to support optimal patient care. The handbook promotes GPs talking about organisational issues with other members of the practice team and provides an action plan template to document full improvement strategies for areas that have been identified as lacking.
The handbook highlights areas within practice rooms that pose a potential threat to patient safety and/or satisfaction with care. It allows learners to identify areas requiring improvement hence provides opportunity for intervention & reduction of adverse outcomes, patient dissatisfaction, complaints and/or claims. Using the handbook may also provide reassurance that risk management fundamentals are covered in the GP's practice.
Relevance to General Practice
A survey of almost 3000 doctors across Australia, including GPs, reported that due to concerns about medico-legal matters, 33% of doctors in Australia were considering giving up medicine, 32% were contemplating reduced working hours, and 40% were thinking about early retirement.(1) Clearly, more support is required to assist doctors feel comfortable and confident in fulfilling and managing medico-legal aspects of practice. This activity is a source of such assistance.
1. Nash L, Walton M, Daly M et al. 2010. Perceived change in Australian doctors as a result of medicolegal concerns. Med J Aust;193:579–83.
- Identify practice policies and procedures that are integral to effective appointment systems.
- Employ strategies to ensure that patients understand information that has been presented to them.
- State the most critical elements to be documented in medical records.
- Use a centrally recorded practice system to confirm that patients attend significant referred appointments.
- Create a comprehensive action plan to address practice risks.
Domains of General Practice
D1. Communication skills and the patient-doctor relationship
D2. Applied professional knowledge and skills
D3. Population health and the context of general practice
D4. Professional and ethical role
D5. Organisational and legal dimensions
Curriculum Contextual Units
- Adult health
- Care of older people
- Children and young people health