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This report identifies areas that are vulnerable for the occurrence of errors, with future supervision of primary physician services in mind. The report does not aim to be an instruction manual in general practice. The method that is used is applicable to risk and vulnerability analyses of other small services such as physiotherapy, dental services etc.

The point of departure is a five-stage model for risk and vulnerability analysis. Risk is calculated as the result of the probability for adverse events and errors occurring, and the presumed consequences that errors can have for users of the service.

The report describes and demarcates the content of primary physician services. A panel of experts composed of clinicians and academics from the field of primary physician services was used to describe a scenario of adverse events and risk of errors.

In addition, a review was carried out of the literature relating to adverse events and areas where errors occur, and of the experience of the Norwegian Board of Health gained from supervision of  health and social services. This information was used to supplement and support the conclusions of the panel of experts.

The following areas were identified as areas where there is a serious risk for errors occurring:

  • examination and treatment
  • emergency treatment
  • follow-up of patients in high risk groups
  • availability of services.

The ability of physicians to reflect over their own professional and organizational practice are decisive factors for preventing errors in these areas.