Safety in home care is important for clients, families, care providers, organizations, policy makers, advocates, and researchers. The landmark 2013 research study Safety at Home: A Pan-Canadian Home Care Study, funded by CPSI and the Canadian Institutes of Healthcare Research, the Canadian Foundation of Healthcare Improvement, and the Change Foundation, examined patient safety incidents in home care. This foundational study identified the following results, which clearly support the case for a growing focus on safety in the home care sector:
- The annual incidence rate of patient safety incidents determined through secondary data sources in home care is 13%.
- The extrapolated annual incidence rate of patient safety incidents from chart reviews is 10.1%.
- 56% of patient safety incidents were judged to be preventable.
- 91.4% of patient safety incidents were associated with an increased use of healthcare resources.
In 2014, CPSI and the Canadian Home Care Association hosted the Home Care Safety Roundtable in Winnipeg. The roundtable included representatives from national patient safety and quality organizations, as well as provincial quality and patient safety councils, government, service providers, professional associations, and patient groups.
It consisted of discussions on opportunities and gaps in home care safety that had been identified through a pre-roundtable survey of the attendees, and via the findings of the seminal pan-Canadian 2013 research report, Safety at Home.
Participants identified and prioritized the high-level components of an action plan focusing on five themes: system-level communication; collaborative care; clients' right to live at risk and partnering with clients and families; advance knowledge of measurement for improvement; and leading practices in medication safety, fall prevention, and infection prevention and control.