By now every Ontarian has heard how hospitals are unsafe. Patients are told the shorter the stay, the less risk, in order the help them understand the need to vacate their bed long before they feel physically able to go home.
The problem is there has been very little study to determine risk in alternative settings, including home care. Just because a hospital stay poses risks, it doesn’t mean home care or other settings are necessarily safe.
This summer the Canadian Patient Safety Institute released its first pan-Canadian home care safety study.
If anything, the report underlines the difficulty in even assessing risk in this environment, pulling data from multiple sources – not all of it consistent from province to province. The authors note that home care safety issues are only beginning to be addressed in healthcare literature.
Depending on where the data is drawn from, annual rates of adverse incidents can vary from 4.2 to 13 per cent of Canadians receiving public home care.