Community development: Improving patient safety by enhancing the use of health services

Frances Baum, Toby Freeman, Angela Lawless, Gwyneth Jolley

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    12 Citations (Scopus)


    Background Community development plays an important role in increasing the access of disadvantaged groups to resources and services. We examined how community development in primary healthcare services may improve patient safety by involving people in activities that lead to their enhanced use of services. Methods Audits of service activity and 68 in-depth interviews at six primary healthcare services in South Australia and the Northern Territory. Managers, practitioners and administration staff, plus regional health service executives and departmental funders participated in the interviews. Results Each of the services undertook some community development. Reported benefits included engaging people in health promoting activity, providing people with social contacts and, crucially, encouraging people to use health services. Discussion Community development is a means of engaging people who, for a range of reasons, are reluctant to use services and therefore can increase patient safety.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)424-428
    Number of pages5
    JournalAustralian Family Physician
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


    • Aborigine (health)
    • Community development
    • Community Health Services
    • Community outreach
    • Health services
    • Patient centred care
    • Public health
    • Research


    Dive into the research topics of 'Community development: Improving patient safety by enhancing the use of health services'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this