Patient safety culture in home care: experiences of home-care nurses

J Nurs Manag. 2012 Sep;20(6):794-801. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2834.2012.01461.x. Epub 2012 Aug 16.


Aim: To explore home-care nurses' experiences of patient safety in their delivery of home care to older clients.

Background: High-risk organisations, such as the airline industry and the petroleum industry, have long been preoccupied with safety. Only recently has this also become a central theme in health care.

Method: Four focus group interviews with 20 nurses who work in home care. A qualitative thematic analysis was performed.

Results: One main theme was identified: struggling with responsibility in different situations. It comprises five subthemes: poor work morale and work ethic; documentation; lack of functional leadership; competence; and lack of updated routines and guidelines.

Conclusions: Patient safety culture is compromised by a lack of leadership, lack of responsibility among leadership, lack of routines, failure to update procedures, and a lack of knowledge and education among health-care workers.

Implications for nursing management: Nurse managers need to be made more aware of the dilemmas faced by nurses, how they struggle with their responsibilities, how they experience powerlessness in certain situations, and the lack of support they receive in decision-making.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Geriatric Nursing*
  • Home Care Services / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Organizational Culture
  • Patient Safety*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Safety Management / organization & administration*
  • Young Adult