170774 Home Health Nurses' Care Errors

Monday, October 27, 2008

Said Abusalem, RN, PhD , School of Nursing, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY
The Institute of Medicine report on healthcare errors in November 2000 brought the healthcare errors issue to the public's attention, and resulted in an increased effort to reduce Healthcare errors. This report indicated that between 44,000 to 98,000 people die each year due to healthcare errors in hospitals. Unfortunately, limited data are available on the extent of the problem outside the hospitals. The purpose of this study was to assess how home health nurses perceive, and deal with care errors in their practice setting; and how they relate to the patient safety movement.

A cross-sectional survey design was used. Home health agencies of a southeastern state were randomly divided into two groups. The directors of home health agencies were contacted to obtain their agreement to participate in the study. Packets containing surveys, and a flier were mailed to the home health agency. Nurses were asked to complete an anonymous and confidential survey that took about 25 minutes.

Home health nurses' perceived care errors were related to medication (40%), laboratory (15.5%), wound care (6.5%), scheduling and wrong patient visits (6%),teaching-care errors (5%), and needle sticks (1%). Causes of errors were communication (54%), documentation (36%), and lack of familiarity with equipment (10%). Constructive changes in practice were associated with accepting responsibility, seeking social support, and emotional self-control. Medication errors remain the most commonly occurring error in the home health care area. Further studies are needed to examine the issue from the home health agency's and nurse's practice perspective.

Learning Objectives:
The study was conducted in an x state, so findings are generalized to a southeastern State; 1) Analyze home health nurses response to patient safety movement. 2) Update their information about patient safety in home health. 3) Identify types of percieved nurses care errors in home health 4) Explore ways of how nurses responsed, dealt with, and coped with the care errors in home health. 5) Assess how home health agency management and staff responded to the care error 6) Describe how nurses and home agencies respond to patients and families affected by the care error. 7) Recognize Nurses' changes in practice following the care error.

Keywords: Home Care, Quality Improvement

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the author. this is a doctoral degree work and dissertation
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.