This study from Landefeld et al., published in the Indian Journal of Community Medicine, looks at the perceptions of healthcare providers about barriers to improved patient safety in the Indian state of Kerala.
Five focus group discussions were held with 16 doctors and 20 nurses across three institutions (primary, secondary and tertiary care centers) in Kerala, India and transcripts were analysed by thematic analysis.
The results found there were 129 unique mentions of barriers to patient safety; these barriers were categorised into five major themes. ‘Limited resources’ was the most prominent theme, followed by barriers related to health systems issues, the medical culture, provider training and patient education/awareness.
Although inadequate resources are likely a substantial challenge to the improvement of patient safety in India, other patient safety barriers such as health systems changes, training, and education, could be addressed with fewer resources. While initial approaches to improving patient safety in India and other low- and middle-income countries have focused on implementing processes that represent best practices, this study suggests that multifaceted interventions to also address more structural problems (such as resource constraints, systems issues, and medical culture) may be important.