Background An increasing number of acutely ill patients are not transported to hospital but treated in their homes or another location. Special attention should be paid to factors that affect patient safety (Ministry of Social Affairs and Health 2014.)
Methods The study describes factors that promote the safety of patient care in out-of-hospital emergency medical care, as experienced by care providers. The data were collected by semi-structured interviews (n = 15) with care providers selected by discretionary sampling. The material was analysed using inductive content analysis.
Results Patient safety improves with successful consultation with the emergency physician and with holistic consideration of all factors that affect the patient’s coping. Safety is further promoted by the emergency care provider’s theoretical, practical and attitudinal competencies and co-operation skills. Situational sensitivity is an important factor intertwined with the care provider’s personality, emotional intelligence and discretion. Moreover, safety can be improved by making certain that individual procedures are carried out safely and by ensuring continuity of care and coping with home care. Finally, management practices that aim at workers’ wellbeing at work increase patient safety.
Conclusions A study of factors that improve or impair patient safety can help care providers anticipate threats and prevent risks.
- safety of care
- emergency medical services