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February 10, 2021 Weekly Issue

PSNet highlights the latest patient safety literature, news, and expert commentary, including Weekly Updates, WebM&M, and Perspectives on Safety. The current issue highlights what's new this week in patient safety literature, news, conferences, reports, and more. Past issues of the PSNet Weekly Update are available to browse. WebM&M presents current and past monthly issues of Cases & Commentaries and Perspectives on Safety.

This Week’s Featured Articles

Barranco R, Vallega Bernucci Du Tremoul L, Ventura F. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021;18(2):489.
Health systems have implemented various strategies to reduce the risk of nosocomial transmission of the COVID-19 virus. Based on ten studies, the authors estimate that the nosocomial transmission rate is 12-15%. The authors discuss the role of infection prevention and control procedures, and the potential implications of hospital-acquired COVID-19 on medical malpractice.  
Lagisetty P, Macleod C, Thomas J, et al. Pain. 2020;Epub Nov 11.
Inappropriate prescribing of opioids is a major contributor to the ongoing opioid epidemic. This study involved simulated patients with chronic opioid use who called primary care clinics in need of a new provider because their previous physician had retired or stopped prescribing opioids. Findings indicate that primary care providers were generally unwilling to prescribe opioids to patients whose histories are suggestive of misuse, which may raise access to care concerns and cause potential unintended harm for some patients.  
Perry MF, Melvin JE, Kasick RT, et al. J Pediatr. 2021;232:257-263.
Diagnostic errors remain an ongoing patient safety challenge and can result in patient harm. This article describes one large pediatric hospital's experience using a systematic methodology to identify and measure diagnostic errors. The quality improvement (QI) project used five domains (autopsy reports, root cause analyses (RCAs), voluntary reporting system, morbidity & mortality conference, and abdominal pain trigger tool) and adjudication by a QI team to identify cases of diagnostic error; Morbidity & mortality conferences, RCAs and abdominal trigger tool identified the majority (91%) of diagnostic errors.   
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PSNet highlights the latest patient safety literature, news, and expert commentary, including Weekly Updates, WebM&M, and Perspectives on Safety. Sign up today to get weekly and monthly updates via emails!

This Month’s WebM&Ms

WebM&M Cases
Spotlight Case
David Barnes, MD and William Ken McCallum, MD |
A 56-year-old women with a history of persistent asthma presented to the emergency department (ED) with shortness of breath and chest tightness that was relieved with Albuterol. She was admitted to the hospital for acute asthma exacerbation. Given a recent history of mobility limitations and continued clinical decompensation, a computed tomography (CT) angiogram of the chest was obtained to rule out pulmonary embolism (PE).  The radiologist summarized his initial impression by telephone to the primary team but the critical finding (“profound evidence of right heart strain") was not conveyed to the primary team. The written radiology impression was not reviewed, nor did the care team independently review the CT images. The team considered her to be low-risk and initiated therapy with a direct oral anticoagulant (DOAC). Later that day, the patient became hemodynamically unstable and was transferred to the intensive care unit (ICU). She developed signs of stroke and required ongoing resuscitation overnight before being transitioned to comfort care and died. This commentary discusses the importance of avoiding anchoring bias, effective communication between care team members, and reviewing all available test results to avoid diagnostic errors.
WebM&M Cases
Voltaire R Sinigayan, MD, FACP |
A 55-year-old man undergoing chemotherapy for acute myeloid leukemia was admitted to the hospital with a fever, neutropenia, and thrombocytopenia but physical examination did not reveal a focal site of infection. Blood and urine cultures were obtained, and he was started on IV antibiotics. His fever persisted and the cross-covering physician, following sign-out instructions from the primary team, requested repeat blood cultures but did not evaluate the patient in person. During rounds the next morning, the patient reported new oral pain (which had begun the previous day) and on physical exam was found to have mucositis. The associated commentary discusses the importance of in-person assessment in the hospital setting during cross-coverage and the value of structured, validated hand-off tools for communication among multidisciplinary teams.
WebM&M Cases
Christian Bohringer, MD |
A man with a history of previous airway operations was admitted for a rigid direct laryngoscopy. The consulting physician anesthesiologist prescribed a resident to administer ketamine to the patient as part of the general anesthesia protocol. The resident unintentionally located two vials of 100mg/mL ketamine (instead of the intended 10mg/mL vials that are used routinely) and erroneously administered 950mg of ketamine (instead of the intended 95mg). The dosing error resulted in delayed emergence from anesthesia and an unnecessary transfer to the intensive care unit for ventilation and monitoring, but was discharged home the following day. The commentary discusses the challenges of medication administration, the role of double-checking, and the importance of trainee supervision.
Lagisetty P, Macleod C, Thomas J, et al. Pain. 2020;Epub Nov 11.
Inappropriate prescribing of opioids is a major contributor to the ongoing opioid epidemic. This study involved simulated patients with chronic opioid use who called primary care clinics in need of a new provider because their previous physician had retired or stopped prescribing opioids. Findings indicate that primary care providers were generally unwilling to prescribe opioids to patients whose histories are suggestive of misuse, which may raise access to care concerns and cause potential unintended harm for some patients.  
Biquet J-M, Schopper D, Sprumont D, et al. J Patient Saf. 2020;Epub Nov 20.
Few medical humanitarian organizations have patient safety reporting and analysis systems. Interviews with medical and paramedical staff working in international humanitarian organizations expressed high expectations for organizational leadership to establish clear patient safety and medical error management policies.  
Vollam S, Gustafson O, Young JD, et al. Crit Care. 2021;25(1):10.
Patients transferred out of the intensive care unit (ICU)may be at risk for adverse events.Results from this multi-site retrospective case review suggest that the proportion of potentially avoidable in-hospital deaths is higher in patients discharged from the ICU compared to the hospital-wide population. Common problems identified include out-of-hours discharge from the ICU, suboptimal rehabilitation, absent nutritional planning, and incomplete sepsis management.  
Berman L, Rialon KL, Mueller CM, et al. J Pediatr Surg. 2021;56(5):833-838.
Clinicians who are involved in an adverse even often experience emotional and psychological distress afterwards. A survey found that 80% of responding pediatric surgeons had personally experienced a medical error resulting in significant patient harm or death. Only one-quarter of those respondents were satisfied with the institutional support they received afterwards. Respondents cited numerous barriers (lack of trust, blame, shame) to receiving support.    
Kolodzey L, Trbovich PL, Kashfi A, et al. Ann Surg. 2020;272(6):1164-1170.
Health systems weaknesses can hinder safe patient care. Based on recordings of complex laparoscopic general surgery procedures, this qualitative study identified both safety threats and resilience supports across multiple systems engineering categories. Safety threats associated with the physical environment (e.g., workspace design/setup), tasks, organization (e.g., unsafe staffing), and equipment (e.g., unclear instructions) were most common. Resilience supports were primarily attributed to clinician behaviors.  
Perry MF, Melvin JE, Kasick RT, et al. J Pediatr. 2021;232:257-263.
Diagnostic errors remain an ongoing patient safety challenge and can result in patient harm. This article describes one large pediatric hospital's experience using a systematic methodology to identify and measure diagnostic errors. The quality improvement (QI) project used five domains (autopsy reports, root cause analyses (RCAs), voluntary reporting system, morbidity & mortality conference, and abdominal pain trigger tool) and adjudication by a QI team to identify cases of diagnostic error; Morbidity & mortality conferences, RCAs and abdominal trigger tool identified the majority (91%) of diagnostic errors.   
Forbes TH, Wynn J, Anderson T, et al. Nurs Manage. 2020;51(12):36-42.
A positive safety culture can improve nursing-sensitive patient safety outcomes. This secondary analysis of Hospital Survey on Patient Safety scores indicate that manager- and peer-level factors greatly influence clinical nurses’ perceptions of patient safety and nonpunitive responses to error. The authors discuss the importance of the role of organizational leaders, managers and staff in creating a safe patient care environment
Rich RK, Jimenez FE, Puumala SE, et al. HERD. 2020;Epub Nov 13  .
Design changes in health care settings can improve patient safety. In this single-site study, researchers found that new hospital design elements (single patient acuity-adaptable rooms, decentralized nursing stations, access to nature, etc.) improved patient satisfaction but did not impact patient outcomes such as length, falls, medication events, or healthcare-associated infections.  
Austin JM, Weeks K, Pronovost PJ. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2020;47(4):265-267.
Prior research has identified racial and ethnic disparities in United States health care and in the incidence of patient safety events. This commentary outlines the key steps health system leaders could take to identify and eliminate health care disparities, including recognizing and addressing the systems failures contributing to disparities, a commitment from health system leadership to address disparities, transparency in reporting disparities, and increasing diversity among health care workers and leadership.  
Muhrer JC. Nurs Pract. 2021;46(2):44-49.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to wide-ranging changes to health care delivery, some of which may negatively impact patient outcomes.The authors use a syndemic perspective to discuss existing challenges interfering with diagnosis (structural, socioeconomic, patient-related, and provider-related), how the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated those challenges, and strategies related to nurse practitioners and community health workers to improve diagnosis.  
Ocloo J, Garfield S, Franklin BD, et al. Health Res Policy Syst. 2021;19(1):8.
Patient and family engagement can affect health care quality and safety. This systematic review discusses the theories, barriers, and enablers in patient and public involvement in healthcare and patient safety. The authors discuss various barriers and enablers for involvement, such as personal factors, perceptions and attitudes, communication, training, and power dynamics.  
Barranco R, Vallega Bernucci Du Tremoul L, Ventura F. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021;18(2):489.
Health systems have implemented various strategies to reduce the risk of nosocomial transmission of the COVID-19 virus. Based on ten studies, the authors estimate that the nosocomial transmission rate is 12-15%. The authors discuss the role of infection prevention and control procedures, and the potential implications of hospital-acquired COVID-19 on medical malpractice.  
Chaudhry H, Nadeem S, Mundi R. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2021;479(1):47-56.
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically increased the use of telehealth across various medical specialties.This systematic review did not identify any differences in patient or surgeon satisfaction or patient-reported outcomes with telehealth for orthopedic care delivery as compared to in-person visits.However, the authors note that the included studies did not adequately capture or report safety endpoints, such as complications or missed diagnoses.
Buhlmann M, Ewens B, Rashidi A. J Clin Nurs. 2020;Epub Dec 23.
Adverse events can have significant impacts on the providers involved. This systematic review explored the experiences of critical incidents on nurses and midwives and their perceived support from the healthcare system. The article discusses the emotional, physical, and professional impacts; perceptions of personal, peer and workplace support; and how nurses and midwives move forward and cope with the impact of critical incidents.  
Gualano MR, Lo Moro G, Voglino G, et al. Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2021;Epub Jan 26.
Medication errors are a major source of preventable patient harm. Based primarily on data from national poison centers, this review summarizes the incidence self-administered medication errors in domestic settings and the role of healthcare professionals in ensuring that medication instructions are clear and understood by patients and caregivers.
No results.

Washington, DC: Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General. January 5, 2021. Report No. 20-01521-48.

 

This investigation examined care coordination, screening and other factors that contributed to a patient death by suicide shortly after discharge from a Veteran’s Hospital. Event reporting, disclosure and evaluation gaps were identified as process weaknesses to be addressed. 

MedWatch Safety Alert. Silver Spring, MD: US Food and Drug Administration; January 27, 2021.  

Labeling mistakes in the pharmaceutical production cycle can remain undetected until the affected medication reaches a patient. This alert reports a recall of a neuromuscular blocker for use in surgery due to it being mislabeled as a medication to increase blood pressure. 

ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute care edition. January 27, 2021;26(2).

Medication safety is challenged by both persistent problems and emerging situations. This article summarizes reports of errors submitted voluntarily to the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) in 2020. The set list includes both pandemic-related hazards and common problems such as use of abbreviations and opioid-naïve patient prescribing. 
Audiovisual Presentation

AHA Team Training.
 

The COVID-19 crisis requires cooperation and coordination of organizations and providers to address the persistent challenges presented by the pandemic. This on-demand video collection reinforces core TeamSTEPPS; methods that enhance clinician teamwork and communication skills to manage care safety during times of crisis.