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"I'm Trying to Stop Things Before They Happen": Carers' Contributions to Patient Safety in Hospitals.

Authors
  • Merner, Bronwen1
  • Hill, Sophie1
  • Taylor, Michael2
  • 1 1 La Trobe University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. , (Australia)
  • 2 2 Australian Catholic University, Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia. , (Australia)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Qualitative Health Research
Publisher
SAGE Publications
Publication Date
Aug 01, 2019
Volume
29
Issue
10
Pages
1508–1518
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1177/1049732319841021
PMID: 30999812
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Patient safety policies increasingly encourage carer (i.e., family or friends) involvement in reducing health care-associated harm in hospital. Despite this, carer involvement in patient safety in practice is not well understood-especially from the carers' perspective. The purpose of this article is to understand how carers of adult patients perceived and experienced their patient safety contributions in hospital. Constructivist grounded theory informed the data collection and analysis of in-depth interviews with 32 carers who had patient safety concerns in Australian hospitals. Results demonstrated carers engaged in the process of "patient-safety caring." Patient-safety caring included three levels of intensity: low ("contributing without concern"), moderate ("being proactive about safety"), and high ("wrestling for control"). Carers who engaged at high intensity provided the patient with greater protection, but typically experienced negative consequences for themselves. Carers' experiences of negative consequences from safety involvement need to be mitigated by practice approaches that value their contributions.

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