The Institute of Healthcare Improvement (IHI), with the mission of improving health and healthcare worldwide, has issued a new report: Patient Safety in the Home: Assessment of Issues, Challenges and Opportunities. The report is available for free download athttp://www.ihi.org/resources/Pages/Publications/Patient-Safety-in-the-Home.aspx(You will need to include your e-mail address to receive the report, but don’t worry! This is a highly respected organization and our experience is that the IHI only uses your e-mail to alert you to new information about homecare-related resources.)
According to its Executive Summary, the report highlights and discusses the following issues:
Healthcare is shifting from facility-based care to home-based care.
Challenges to patient safety in the home include fragmentation of care, household hazards, ill-prepared family caregivers, limited training and regulation of home care workers, and inadequate communication among patients, caregivers, and providers.
The safety of home care nurses, and other home healthcare staff, is also a crucial home care safety issue.
Physical safety issues include environmental hazards, unsanitary conditions, medication mismanagement, infection control issues, inadequate nutrition, fall risks and complex clinical care and coordination needs.
Emotional safety concerns include stress, trauma and discomfort related to receiving and providing care in the home.
Social and functional safety issues include availability and access to equipment, resources, community and caregiver support to assure safety in the activities of daily living.