|IHI Publishes Guide for Providing Safe Home Healthcare|
Millions of people are
recovering from acute illness or coping with chronic conditions in their own
homes, but their care may not always be delivered under the safest of conditions,
according to a new report from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.
Care in the home is
increasing due in part to rising healthcare costs, an aging population, patient
preference and advances in technology that allow for some complex care to be
Home care has its
advantages—including greater autonomy for care recipients, lower risk of
certain complications (such as sleep disruption) and lower costs—but IHI cautions
that in order to achieve these benefits, healthcare providers must be cognizant
of risks of harm in the home setting as well. Potential issues include injuries
due to physical hazards or medical equipment, pressure injuries, infections,
poor nutrition, adverse events related to medication or other treatment,
potential abuse or neglect, and healthcare worker burnout.
To help promote safe,
person-centered care in the home, IHI’s report outlined the following five guiding
person-centered care are fundamental to all aspects of care in the home setting.
providing care in the home must create and maintain a safety culture.
A robust learning and
improvement system is necessary to achieve and sustain gains in safety.
care and care coordination are critical to safety in the home setting.
Policies and funding
models must incentivize the provision of high-quality, coordinated care in the
home and avoid perpetuating care fragmentation related to payment.
As the numbers of people
receiving care at home continue to increase, we hope this report will serve as
a useful reference for those committed to building on that foundation,” said Tejal
K. Gandhi, MD, CPPS, chief clinical and safety officer for IHI.
—Adapted from “Health Care Services At Home Outpacing Attention To
Safety,” by Joanna Clark, Institute
for Healthcare Improvement, July 16, 2018.