Implementing a Comprehensive Unit-Based Safety Program (CUSP) to Enhance a Culture of Patient Safety and Improve Medication Safety in a Regional Home Care Program

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To determine whether a Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program could be used to enhance a culture of patient safety and improve medication safety at 1 pilot site.


The Canadian Patient Safety Culture Survey tool was used to assess the culture of patient safety and drill down on the key factors contributing to medication errors. Based on staff input and site improvement team investigations, solutions were developed to address medication safety issues. The main outcome measure was pre-/postintervention Canadian Patient Safety Culture scores. Change in frequency of occurrence reporting and staff's overall project experience were also measured.


Overall perceptions of patient safety culture improved from 70% preintervention to 76.8% postintervention, representing a 9.7% change. Volume of occurrence reporting showed a marked increase postintervention. The project was well received by staff, with 84% rating their experience as “Good” to “Excellent.” Finally 100% of participants reported that they learned something new and that this information could be applied to improve their day-to-day work.


Implementing a Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program improved staff's perceptions of patient safety, contributing to improved medication safety. To our knowledge, this is the first application of Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program to successfully enhance patient safety in the home care setting.

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