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September 8, 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

Clabaugh M, Beal JL, Illingworth Plake KS. J Am Pharm Assoc (2003). 2021;Epub Jun 12.
Patient safety concerns in community pharmacies have been documented in the media. This study sought to examine the association of working conditions and patient safety. Results indicate that while all participants reported negative company climate and workflow, those in chain pharmacies reported significantly more fear of speaking up about patient safety issues than those in independent, big box, or grocery pharmacies.
Hansen J, Terreros A, Sherman A, et al. Pediatrics. 2021;148(3):e2021050555.
Physicians have demonstrated knowledge gaps in accurately diagnosing child maltreatment. This article describes the implementation of a system-wide daily review of patients with concerns of maltreatment, allowing child abuse pediatricians (CAPs) to intervene and address potential errors (e.g., history taking, injury identification, testing for occult injuries, and cognitive analysis) and to identify patients who require immediate intervention. Over a 30-month period, the program identified potential diagnostic errors and safe discharge concerns, many of which led to new or changed diagnoses.
Quach ED, Kazis LE, Zhao S, et al. BMC Health Serv Res. 2021;21(1):842.
The safety climate in nursing homes influences patient safety. This study of frontline staff and managers from 56 US Veterans Health Administration community living centers found that organizational readiness to change predicted safety climate. The authors suggest that nursing home leadership explore readiness for change in order to help nursing homes improve their safety climate.

Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; August 2021. AHRQ Publication No. 21-0047-2-EF.

Patient and family engagement is core to effective and safe diagnosis. This new toolkit from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality promotes two strategies to promote meaningful engagement and communication with patients to improve diagnostic safety: (1) a patient note sheet to help patients share their story and symptoms and (2) orientation steps to support clinicians listening and “presence” during care encounters.
Alexander GL, Madsen RW. J Patient Saf. 2021;17(6):e483-e489.
Information technology (IT) is prevalent across healthcare settings. This study used publicly available nursing home data and a survey on IT sophistication to identify the relationship between nursing home health deficiencies and IT sophistication. Results indicate health deficiencies decreased as IT sophistication increased, suggesting investment in IT could lead to further patient safety benefits in nursing homes.
Hansen J, Terreros A, Sherman A, et al. Pediatrics. 2021;148(3):e2021050555.
Physicians have demonstrated knowledge gaps in accurately diagnosing child maltreatment. This article describes the implementation of a system-wide daily review of patients with concerns of maltreatment, allowing child abuse pediatricians (CAPs) to intervene and address potential errors (e.g., history taking, injury identification, testing for occult injuries, and cognitive analysis) and to identify patients who require immediate intervention. Over a 30-month period, the program identified potential diagnostic errors and safe discharge concerns, many of which led to new or changed diagnoses.
Papaioannou AI, Bartziokas K, Hillas G, et al. Postgrad Med. 2021;133(5):524-529.
Incorrect use of medical devices can lead to unfavorable outcomes. In this study of 663 patients with asthma and/or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), 41% demonstrated incorrect use of their inhaler. Incorrect use was more common among older patients and associated with more acute exacerbations.
Stuijt CCM, Bekker CL, van den Bemt BJF, et al. Res Social Adm Pharm. 2021;17(8):1426-1432.
This multicenter prospective study explored the effect of medication reconciliation on patient-reported, potential adverse events post-discharge. Although the intervention – which consisted of a pharmacy team providing patient both education and medication review upon admission and discharge as well as information transfer to primary care – did not decrease the proportion of patients with adverse events, it did reduce the number of potential adverse events.
Wang M, Dewing J. J Nurs Manag. 2021;29(5):878-889.
Nursing leadership plays an important role in safety culture. This literature review found evidence of mediating effects between nursing leadership and a decrease in adverse patient outcomes. The authors conclude that mangers should emphasize workplace empowerment, leader-nurse relationship and the quality of the care environment as part of an effective workplace culture.
Searns JB, Williams MC, MacBrayne CE, et al. Diagnosis (Berl). 2021;8(3):347-352.
This study leveraged “Great Catches” as part of an existing handshake antimicrobial stewardship program (HS-ASP) to identify potential diagnostic errors. Using a validated tool, researchers found that 12% of “Great Catch” cases involved diagnostic error. These cases included a diagnostic recommendation from the HS-ASP team (e.g., recommendations to consider alternative diagnoses, request additional testing, or additional interpretation of laboratory results). As these diagnostic recommendations often flagged diagnostic errors, this suggests that the HS-ASP model can be leveraged to identify and intervene on diagnostic errors in real time.
Gleason KT, Commodore-Mensah Y, Wu AW, et al. Nurse Educ Today. 2021;104:104984.
Massive online open courses (MOOCs) have the ability to reach a broad audience of learners. The Science of Safety in Healthcare MOOC was delivered in 2013 and 2014. At completion of the course, participants reported increased confidence on all six measured domains (teamwork, communication, managing risk, human environment, recognizing and responding, and culture). At 6 months post-completion, the majority agreed the content was useful and positively influenced their clinical practice, demonstrating that MOOCs are an effective interprofessional learning format.
Fatima S, Soria S, Esteban- Cruciani N. BMC Med Educ. 2021;21(1):408.
Healthcare providers who are involved in a medical error and feel guilt, remorse, shame, and anger are sometimes referred to as “second victims”. This mixed-methods study surveyed medical residents about their well-being, coping strategies, and support following a self-perceived medical error. Residents reported feeling fear, shame, and feeling judged, and many used maladaptive strategies to cope.
Quach ED, Kazis LE, Zhao S, et al. BMC Health Serv Res. 2021;21(1):842.
The safety climate in nursing homes influences patient safety. This study of frontline staff and managers from 56 US Veterans Health Administration community living centers found that organizational readiness to change predicted safety climate. The authors suggest that nursing home leadership explore readiness for change in order to help nursing homes improve their safety climate.
Clabaugh M, Beal JL, Illingworth Plake KS. J Am Pharm Assoc (2003). 2021;Epub Jun 12.
Patient safety concerns in community pharmacies have been documented in the media. This study sought to examine the association of working conditions and patient safety. Results indicate that while all participants reported negative company climate and workflow, those in chain pharmacies reported significantly more fear of speaking up about patient safety issues than those in independent, big box, or grocery pharmacies.
Keister LA, Stecher C, Aronson B, et al. BMC Public Health. 2021;21(1):1518.
Constrained diagnostic situations in the emergency department (ED), such as crowding, can impact safe care. Based on multiple years of electronic health record data from one ED at a large U.S. hospital, researchers found that providers were significantly less likely to prescribe opioids during constrained diagnostic situations and less likely to prescribe opioids to high-risk patients or racial/ethnic minorities.
Carrillo I, Mira JJ, Guilabert M, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;17(6):e529-e533.
While prior research has shown patients want disclosure of adverse events, healthcare providers may still be hesitant to disclose and apologize. Factors that influence providers’ willingness to disclose errors and apologize include organizational support, experience in communicating errors, and expectations surrounding patient response. A culture of safety and a clear legal framework may increase providers’ willingness to disclose errors and apologize.
Liese KL, Davis-Floyd R, Stewart K, et al. Anthropol Med. 2021;28(2):188-204.
This article draws on interviews and observations to explore medical iatrogenesis in obstetric care. The authors discuss how various factors – such as universal management plans, labor and delivery interventions, and informed consent – contribute to iatrogenic harm and worse perinatal outcomes for racial/ethnic minority patients.
Grundgeiger T, Hurtienne J, Happel O. Hum Factors. 2020;63(5):821-832.
The usability of information technology continues to be a challenge in health care. The authors suggest that consideration of the user is critical to improving interaction with technology and thus increasing patient safety. They provide a theoretical foundation for considering user experience in healthcare.
Dave N, Bui S, Morgan C, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2021;Epub Aug 20.
This systematic review provides an update to McDonald et al’s 2013 review of strategies to reduce diagnostic error.  Technique (e.g., changes in equipment) and technology-based (e.g. trigger tools) interventions were the most studied intervention types. Future research on educational and personnel changes would be useful to determine the value of these types of interventions.
Upcoming Meeting/Conference

American Association for Physician Leadership. October 30-31, 2021.

Attaining high reliability remains a challenge throughout health care. This virtual session will focus on human error, safety culture, system thinking, and leadership as primary concepts driving progress toward reliable healthcare delivery.

ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute care edition. August 26, 2021;26(17);1-5. 

Error reporting is an essential contributor to system safety improvement. This article examines weaknesses in error reporting behaviors, characteristics of organizations and technologies that facilitate underreporting and ineffective report analysis. The piece shares recommendations to enhance adverse event reporting to support learning.

Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; August 2021. AHRQ Publication No. 21-0047-2-EF.

Patient and family engagement is core to effective and safe diagnosis. This new toolkit from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality promotes two strategies to promote meaningful engagement and communication with patients to improve diagnostic safety: (1) a patient note sheet to help patients share their story and symptoms and (2) orientation steps to support clinicians listening and “presence” during care encounters.

This Month’s WebM&Ms

WebM&M Cases
Minna Wieck, MD |
A seven-year-old girl with esophageal stenosis underwent upper endoscopy with esophageal dilation under general anesthesia. During the procedure, she was fully monitored with a continuous arterial oxygen saturation probe, heart rate monitors, two-lead electrocardiography, continuous capnography, and non-invasive arterial blood pressure measurements. The attending gastroenterologist and endoscopist were serially dilating the esophagus with larger and larger rigid dilators when the patient suddenly developed hypotension. She was immediately given a fluid bolus, phenylephrine, and 100% oxygen but still developed cardiac arrest. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation was initiated with cardiac massage, but she could not be resuscitated and died. This commentary highlights the role of communication between providers, necessary technical steps to mitigate the risks of upper endoscopy in children, and the importance of education and training for care team members.
WebM&M Cases
Narath Carlile, MD, MPH, Soheil El-Chemaly, MD, MPH, and Gordon D. Schiff, MD |
A 31-year-old woman presented to the ED with worsening shortness of breath and was unexpectedly found to have a moderate-sized left pneumothorax, which was treated via a thoracostomy tube. After additional work-up and computed tomography (CT) imaging, she was told that she had some blebs and mild emphysema, but was discharged without any specific follow-up instructions except to see her primary care physician. Three days later, the patient returned to the same ED with similar symptoms and again was found to have had a left pneumothorax that required chest tube placement, but the underlying cause was not established. After she was found two weeks later in severe respiratory distress, she was taken to another ED by paramedics where the consulting pulmonary physician diagnosed her with a rare cystic lung disease. The commentary discusses the importance of CT scans for evaluating spontaneous pneumothorax and educating providers to increase awareness of rare cystic lung diseases.
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