Patient safety in veterinary practice

Oxtoby, Catherine (2017) Patient safety in veterinary practice. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Patient safety is an active field of research in medicine and the driving force behind healthcare policy and practices to ensure the delivery of safe, quality patient care. However, it is a concept in its infancy in the veterinary profession. Veterinary medical error is under reported, poorly understood and inadequately managed with consequences for patients, owners and clinicians. The aim of this thesis is to explore the causes and types of error in veterinary practice and develop solutions to improve patient safety, and by extension quality of care for veterinary patients. A mixed methodology was employed in the investigation of this aim, with data gathered by focus groups, insurance claim review and questionnaires.

The findings of the study suggest that the causes of error in veterinary practice mirror those in other safety critical industries, namely individual errors and system failures. These findings led to the development of a reliable, validated safety culture survey for veterinary practice, to assess and understand the attitudes which drive safety critical behaviours of veterinary staff. This survey was then used as a pre and post training measure to assess the effectiveness of a teamwork training programme, VetTeams, as an intervention to improve safety culture, and by extension patient outcomes in veterinary practice.

The outcomes of this study are a framework to inform the understanding and analysis of veterinary error, a measurement tool of veterinary safety culture and a training programme for veterinary teams which addresses the non technical skills identified as critical to preventing mistakes. The findings suggest that changing attitudes to error through an understanding of the causative factors and education in non technical skills, is essential to drive behaviour change in clinicians and enable improved delivery of clinical care.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Mossop, L.
White, K.
Ferguson, E.
Keywords: veterinary, patient safety
Subjects: S Agriculture > SF Animal culture
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Veterinary Medicine and Science
Item ID: 42281
Depositing User: Oxtoby, Catherine
Date Deposited: 08 Sep 2017 14:10
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2022 13:10

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