Broadening the patient safety agenda to include home care services

Healthc Q. 2006;9 Spec No:124-6. doi: 10.12927/hcq..18471.


Caring for an individual in the home is inherently complex. The physical environment, family dynamics and the cognitive abilities of the client and family members are only a few of the factors to be considered in delivering services. Although targeted initiatives have been established to reduce preventable injuries and deaths in the hospital sector, there has not been a corresponding level of research or patient safety initiatives in other healthcare delivery sectors. A coordinated and collaborative approach to generate new knowledge pertaining to safety in home care in Canada has therefore been undertaken by the Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI), VON Canada, and Capital Health (Edmonton). Actions included the development of a background paper (Lang and Edwards 2006) that informed an invitational roundtable discussion, where key safety issues in home care were identified and priority actions discussed. Over 40 individuals from across Canada participated, reflecting various disciplinary and organizational affiliations in the delivery of home care services. This paper describes key findings from the background paper, outcomes from the ensuing roundtable discussions and implications for practice, research and policy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Canada
  • Consensus
  • Home Care Agencies*
  • Humans
  • National Health Programs
  • Safety Management*