Characteristics of adverse events in primary health care in Brazil

Simone Grativol Marchon Walter Vieira Mendes Junior Ana Luiza Braz Pavão About the authors


This study aimed to evaluate the occurrence of incidents in primary health care in Brazil. Fifteen health professionals working in Family Health Strategy units agreed to anonymously and confidentially record incidents over the course of five months, using the questionnaire Primary Care International Study of Medical Errors (PCISME) questionnaire adapted to the Brazilian context. The overall rate of incidents was 1.11%. The rate of incidents that did not reach patients was 0.11%. The rate of incidents reaching patients but without causing harm was 0.09%. The rate of incidents reaching patients and causing adverse events was 0.9%. Eight types of most frequent errors and administrative failures were identified. Communication failures were the most common contributing factor to incidents in primary health care (53%). The findings show that incidents occur in primary health care (as elsewhere in the health system), but research in this area is still incipient.

Patient Safety; Health Evaluation; Primary Health Care

Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública Sergio Arouca, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz Rua Leopoldo Bulhões, 1480 , 21041-210 Rio de Janeiro RJ Brazil, Tel.:+55 21 2598-2511, Fax: +55 21 2598-2737 / +55 21 2598-2514 - Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil