HALIFAX – Dr. Mark Fleming (pictured), Team Lead and Dr. Andrea Bishop, Co-Team Lead are undertaking an inter-disciplinary research study to gain a better understanding of patient and provider experiences and to identify best practices to improve safety in the transition between primary care and home care. The $45,000 study is being funded by the Canadian Patient Safety Institute, Accreditation Canada, and the Canadian Home Care Association.
The study will use qualitative methods to explore the home-care patient experience of continuity of care at the interface with primary care, including formal and informal transition strategies to help identify current practices and patient experiences.
Patient and family caregiver narratives will also be obtained to better understand the major challenges faced when patients must navigate transitions of care and how those challenges relate to safety.
In-depth interviews with patient and family caregivers and focus groups with home care providers, family physicians, leading patient safety researchers will take place in Halifax and Toronto to obtain perspectives from two different provincial systems.
The narratives, perceptions and recommendations will ultimately be used to guide the development of a Patient Journal tool to provide insight into how best to encourage patient involvement during transitions of care within the community.
Other deliverables from the research study will include a white paper, educational strategies and tools for healthcare providers, a webinar for healthcare stakeholders, journal articles and open-access presentations at conferences. The research will be completed by March 31, 2015.
“The concept of the Patient Journal will allow everyone to be part of the conversation, but not necessarily be present at the same time,” says Dr. Fleming, CN Professor of Safety Culture, Saint Mary’s University. “The journal is a relatively simple way to share information. The person receiving the care is in charge of the journal, but to better coordinate efforts in a systematic way, family members and home care providers can contribute to it and it can be shared with the family physician. This tool will help to advance the patient voice and have that voice be heard.”
Dr. Fleming is a leading international expert in organizational safety and patient safety culture. Dr. Bishop is a postdoctoral fellow at Saint Mary’s University and through her work has a keen awareness of patient safety issues that arise within the community care setting and the chronic disease population.
Co-applicants on the research team include Dr. Lianne Jeffs, St. Michael’s Hospital Volunteer Association Chair in Nursing Research (2013-2018) and Scientist with the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute; Dr. Ariella Lang, Nurse Scientist, VON Canada; and Dr. Marilyn Macdonald, Associate Professor, School of Nursing, Dalhousie University.
To learn more about the Small Scale Pilot Study for Patient Safety Innovation, visit www.patientsafetyinstitute.ca and click on Research.