Patient Safety in Primary Care: Conceptual Meanings to the Health Care Team and Patients

Alden Yuanhong Lai, PhD; Christina T. Yuan, PhD; Jill A. Marsteller, PhD; Susan M. Hannum, PhD; Elyse C. Lasser, MS; JaAlah-Ai Heughan, MS; Tyler Oberlander, BA; Zackary D. Berger, MD; Ayse P. Gurses, PhD; Hadi Kharrazi, MD, PhD; Samantha I. Pitts, MD; Sarah H. Scholle, PhD; Sydney M. Dy, MD


J Am Board Fam Med. 2020;33(5):754-764. 

In This Article


Conceptual meanings of patient safety in primary care exhibit a high degree of agreement between frontline clinicians, administrators and staff, and patients. However, conceptualizing patient safety in the form of work functions better reflects their experiences than domain-based conceptualizations that are favored by experts. In addition, informational security is also perceived to be an element of patient safety in primary care. This differential approach in conceptualization should be considered in future measurements and interventions to improve overall patient safety in primary care.