As Home Healthcare Increases, a Renewed Focus on Safety

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement/National Patient Safety Foundation has released a new report focusing on home healthcare patient safety.

No Place Like Home: Advancing the Safety of Care in the Home (free registration required) summarizes the finding of an expert panel IHI convened in November 2017. That panel found that providing care outside of the controlled environment of a healthcare system comes with a series of risks, along with benefits.

“Safety interventions used in other settings cannot simply be applied to meet the specific challenges of safety in the home setting,” IHI writes in the report. “Understanding the type and scope of the risks specific to care in the home is essential to identifying effective strategies for mitigating risks and optimizing well-being for people who receive care in their homes.”

In 2016, more than 2 million personal care attendants provided care in the home, according to the US Department of Labor, and that number is expected to grow by 40% in the next decade. The IHI report includes a series of guiding principles and implementation recommendations.