Rather than measuring how safe care is, the focus is often on measuring levels of harm in healthcare systems.
This report by Healthcare Excellence Canada outlines findings from a research study which aimed to answer, “How safe is care from the perspective of patients, families, care partners, and care providers?” Through a literature review, interviews, focus groups and a World Café wthe study aimed to increase understanding of how patients and their care partners view safety. The Measuring and Monitoring of Safety Framework (MMSF) (Vincent et al., 2013b) was used to guide the study. The MMSF offers a broader, more comprehensive and real-time view of patient safety and helps shift away from a focus on past cases of harm towards current performance, future risks and organisational resilience.
The report concludes that the MMSF represents a critical shift in how patients can enable safer care. Inviting patients and care partners to contribute meaningfully to safety will enhance healthcare providers’ view of harm and understanding of what it means to feel safe.
- Patients, their care partners and care providers express that safety is more than the absence of harm.
- Safe care requires a proactive approach, with ongoing engagement of patients and their care partners.
- A number of strategies can be used to enable safer care including giving patients and care partners access to information and engaging them in safety discussions (huddles, bedside reporting, etc).
- Care partners, volunteers, advocates, and/or a point person (provider) is required to improve communication with patients and increase opportunities for them to be meaningfully involved in their care.