A common question often posed by primary care teams is: ‘What exactly is a significant event?'. It is defined as any event thought by anyone in the team to be significant in the care of patients or the conduct of the practice.
Examples could range from a serious patient safety incident (e.g. a medication error leading to death), to a moderate level error (e.g. failure to act on laboratory findings resulting in a four-week delay in a diagnosis), to an event which demonstrates excellent care provision (e.g. rapid diagnosis of unexpected malignancy in a fit young man), to one of a seemingly trivial nature which has serious administrative consequences (e.g. failing to change a recorded message on a holiday weekend).