Impact of human factors on home health quality

A new report funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) examines the impact of human factors on home health care quality and safety. The report includes seven commissioned papers on topics that include matching care to people in their home care environment; the prevalence, characteristics, and care provision ability of informal caregivers; medical devices and information technology and systems in home care; impact of social, cultural, and community environments on home care; and the effects of policy, reimbursement, and regulation on home health care.

Based on proceedings from an October 2009 workshop, the report, The Role of Human Factors in Home Healthcare: Workshop Summary and Papers, also features summaries of the discussion at the workshop on how home care quality and safety are impacted by the capabilities and limitations of patients and providers in the use of technologies. The workshop summary report, which is published by the National Academy of Sciences' National Research Council under contract to AHRQ, is available for free download from their web site (

A final consensus report and designers' guide for home-based consumer health IT developers, which build on the workshop proceedings, are under development and will include recommendations related to the safety and quality of home health care. The report and designers' guide are expected to be released in spring 2011.