Do older patients' perceptions of safety highlight barriers that could make their care safer during organisational care transfers?

Scott, Jason, Dawson, Pam and Jones, Diana (2012) Do older patients' perceptions of safety highlight barriers that could make their care safer during organisational care transfers? BMJ Quality & Safety, 21 (2). pp. 112-117. ISSN 2044-5415

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Healthcare is a series of complex, interwoven systems in which any discontinuities of care may affect the safety of patients, who have been reported to perceive safety differently to clinicians. This study aimed to explore patient perceptions of safety and identify how they can be used to construct additional barriers to reduce safety incidents within organisational care transfers, which are known to be high in risk.

Appreciative Inquiry (AI) methodology was used to develop semi-structured interviews, using the Discover and Dream processes of AI. Fourteen patients (10 men, four women; average age 76.2 years) were purposively recruited from NHS community care teams, social care homes and private nursing homes based on their experience of going through organisational care transfers. Thematic analysis was used to highlight key themes, which participants verified.

Communication, responsiveness and avoidance of traditional safety risks were identified as being important for patients to feel safe. Communication and responsiveness were mapped onto the Swiss-Cheese model of safety, presenting two new barriers to safety incidents. Traditional risks and the role of trust are discussed in relation to patients feeling safe.

Perceptions of safety such as communication and responsiveness were similar to those found in previous studies. Mapping these perceptions onto the Swiss-Cheese model of safety identifies how further defences, barriers and safeguards can be constructed to make people feel safer by reinforcing communication and responsiveness. Traditional risks are widely published, but the identification by patients reinforces the role they can play in identifying and reporting these risks.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B700 Nursing
B900 Others in Subjects allied to Medicine
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing
Depositing User: Ay Okpokam
Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2012 10:43
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2019 15:30

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