Scotland is leading the way on patient safety with the introduction of a new programme being implemented in GP surgeries, according to the Health Secretary.
Alex Neil said Scotland will be the first country in the world to introduce a national patient safety programme across the whole healthcare system.
His comments come as a safety programme for primary care is launched which will see GPs and their staff undertake safety surveys and case note reviews.
The initiative aims to increase staff awareness and integrate safety into the daily work of a surgery to reduce avoidable harm. It follows on from the Scottish Government's patient safety initiatives in hospitals launched in 2008, which it says has seen a 12.4% reduction in death rates since 2007.
This means almost all patient care will be covered by the Scottish Patient Safety Programme, with schemes now up and running in GP surgeries, hospitals, mental health and maternity services.
Mr Neil said: "We want every Scottish patient to be confident that the NHS care and treatment they receive is safe - every time. Regarded as a world leader for our work on patient safety, we already have much to be proud of in Scotland and I am delighted that we are now extending this to primary care.
"Scotland will be the first country in the world to implement a national patient safety programme across the whole healthcare system. I know there is some hard work ahead for our GPs and their practice staff, but I am confident they will rise to this challenge."
The Patient Safety Primary Care Programme has been designed and managed by Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) in partnership with NHS Education Scotland.
Jill Gillies, programme manager for HIS, said: "This is a world-leading programme that has already been piloted in Scotland and will build on the professionalism of Scotland's GPs to improve the quality and safety of care provided.
"It concentrates on every staff member understanding their role in keeping patients safe by improving written communications and managing results, for example having a more accurate record of the medication patients are taking."