Patient and public involvement in patient safety research: a workshop to review patient information, minimise psychological risk and inform research

Furniss, Dominic; Iacovides, Ioanna; Lyons, Imogen; Blandford, Ann and Franklin, Bryony Dean (2016). Patient and public involvement in patient safety research: a workshop to review patient information, minimise psychological risk and inform research. Research Involvement and Engagement, 2, article no. 19.



Patient safety has attracted increasing attention in recent years. This paper explores patients’ contributions to informing patient safety research at an early stage, within a project on intravenous infusion errors. Currently, there is little or no guidance on how best to involve patients and the wider public in shaping patient safety research, and indeed, whether such efforts are worthwhile.
We ran a 3-hour workshop involving nine patients with experience of intravenous therapy in the hospital setting. The first part explored patients’ experiences of intravenous therapy. We derived research questions from the resulting discussion through qualitative analysis. In the second part, patients were asked for feedback on patient information sheets considering both content and clarity, and on two potential approaches to framing our patient information: one that focused on research on safety and error, the other on quality improvement.
The workshop led to a thorough review of how we should engage with patients. Importantly, there was a clear steer away from terms such as ‘error’ and ‘safety’ that could worry patients. The experiences that patients revealed were also richer than we had anticipated, revealing different conceptions of how patients related to their treatment and care, their role in safety and use of medical devices, the different levels of information they preferred, and broader factors impacting perceptions of their care.
Involving patients at an early stage in patient safety research can be of great value. Our workshop highlighted sensitivities around potentially worrying patients about risks that they might not have considered previously, and how to address these. Patient representatives also emphasised a need to expand the focus of patient safety research beyond clinicians and error, to include factors affecting perceptions of quality and safety for patients more broadly.

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  • Item ORO ID
  • 47010
  • Item Type
  • Journal Item
  • ISSN
  • 2056-7529
  • Project Funding Details
  • Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
    Not Set12/209/27NIHR (National Institute for Health Research)
  • Keywords
  • Patient and public involvement; Patient safety; Medication error; Intravenous medication; Health services research
  • Academic Unit or School
  • Institute of Educational Technology (IET)
  • Research Group
  • Health and Wellbeing PRA (Priority Research Area)
  • Copyright Holders
  • © 2016 The Author(s)
  • Depositing User
  • Ioanna Iacovides