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PSNet: Patient Safety Network

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PSNet highlights the latest patient safety literature, news, and expert commentary, including weekly updates, WebM&M, Patient Safety Primers, and more.

PSNet Weekly Update 4/21/2021

What's new in patient safety literature, news, & more.
Review
Commentary
Multi-use Website

Latest WebM&M Issue

Expert analysis of medical errors.
WebM&M Cases
Delayed Diagnosis in the Setting of Virtual Care: Remembering the Physical Examination
Wesley Valdes, DO and Garth Utter, MD, MSc ,  

A 71-year-old frail, non-ambulatory woman presented to the emergency department with fever, sweating and dry cough. Her work-up included non-specific evidence of infection but two negative COVID-19 tests. No source of infection was identified, and she was discharged home after three days. During a video visit with her primary care provider the next day, the patient noted worsening symptoms as well as a skin breakdown on her “backside”; however, no rectal or genital exams were completed during her inpatient stay and the physician did not visualize the area during the video visit. The patient was readmitted to the hospital two days later in septic shock due to a necrotizing soft tissue infection related to a perirectal abscess. The commentary discusses the need for a broad differential diagnosis in seriously ill patients, the influence of diagnostic biases during a pandemic, and how to address perceived limitations in the ability to examine patients in the setting of virtual care.

The Impact of Communication on Medication Errors
Jennifer Branch, PharmD, Dakota Hiner, PharmD, and Victoria Jackson, MS, NP-C, PA-C ,  

A 93-year-old man on warfarin with chronic heart failure, atrial fibrillation, and a ventricular assist device (VAD) was admitted to the hospital upon referral from the VAD team due to an elevated internal normalized ratio (INR) of 13.4. During medication review, the hospital team found that his prescribed warfarin dose was 4 mg daily on Mondays and Fridays and 3 mg daily on all other days of the week; this prescription was filled with 1 mg tablets. However, his medication list also included an old prescription for 5 mg tablets. After discussions with the patient’s family, it was determined that the patient’s daughter had inadvertently given the patient three 5 mg tablets of warfarin (total daily dose 15 mg) for the past two days. This commentary discusses the importance of understanding patient safety risk, communication across transitions of care, and improving caregiver education and engagement to reduce medication errors.

Latest Perspective

Expert viewpoints on current themes in patient safety.
Annual Perspective

In this PSNet Annual Perspective, we worked with co-authors Dr. Jacqueline C. Stocking, a quality improvement and critical care specialist, and Dr. Christian Sandrock, a patient safety professional and emerging infectious diseases specialist, to provide a look at news and research related to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on patient safety.

Interview
Libby Hoy

Libby Hoy, Patient Family Advisor (PFA), is the Founder and CEO of Patient Family Centered Care Partners (PFCCpartners). Stephen Hoy is the COO of PFCCpartners. We spoke to them about the current state of measurement of patient and family engagement and potential future directions.

Annual Perspective

In this PSNet Annual Perspective, we review key findings related to improvement strategies when communicating with patients and different structured communication techniques to improve communication across providers. Lessons learned from innovative approaches explored under COVID-19 that could be considered as usual care resumes are also discussed.

Did You Know?

Upcoming & Noteworthy

Audiovisual
Audiovisual Presentation
Finding & Creating Joy in Work.
Institute for Healthcare Improvement. April 26--June 22, 2021.
Event Date
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