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October 20, 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

Hofer IS, Cheng D, Grogan T. Anesth Analg. 2021;133(3):698-706.
Anesthesia-related adverse events have been associated with increased length of stay, morbidity and mortality. This study investigated the effect of missed documentation of select comorbidities on postoperative length of stay and mortality. Results indicate that missed documentation of one of the comorbid conditions increased risk of length of stay, and mortality was increased with missed atrial fibrillation.
Sosa T, Sitterding M, Dewan M, et al. Pediatrics. 2021;148(4):e2020034603.
Situational awareness during critical incidents is a key attribute of effective teams. This article describes the development of a situational awareness model, which included involving families and the interdisciplinary team in huddles, a shared mental model checklist, and an electronic health record (EHR) situational awareness navigator. Use of this new model decreased emergency transfers to the ICU and improved process measures, such as improved risk recognition before medical response team activation.
Trost SL, Beauregard JL, Smoots AN, et al. Health Aff (Millwood). 2021;40(10):1551-1559.
Missed diagnosis of mental health conditions can lead to serious adverse outcomes. Researchers evaluated data from 2008 to 2017 from 14 state Maternal Mortality Review Committees and found that 11% of pregnancy-related deaths were due to mental health conditions. A substantial proportion of people with a pregnancy-related mental health cause of death had a history of depression or past/current substance use. Researchers conclude that addressing gaps maternal mental health care is essential to improving maternal safety.
Hofer IS, Cheng D, Grogan T. Anesth Analg. 2021;133(3):698-706.
Anesthesia-related adverse events have been associated with increased length of stay, morbidity and mortality. This study investigated the effect of missed documentation of select comorbidities on postoperative length of stay and mortality. Results indicate that missed documentation of one of the comorbid conditions increased risk of length of stay, and mortality was increased with missed atrial fibrillation.
Zaheer S, Ginsburg LR, Wong HJ, et al. BMC Nurs. 2021;20(1):134.
Fostering a positive safety culture is essential to delivery of safe care. This mixed-methods study of nurses and non-physician health professionals found that staff perceptions of senior leadership, teamwork, and turnover intention were significantly associated with overall patient safety grade.
Griffin JA, Carr K, Bersani K, et al. Diagnosis (Berl). 2021;Epub Aug 23.
Diagnostic errors in the acute care setting can result in increased morbidity and mortality. Using the Diagnostic Error Evaluation and Research (DEER) taxonomy, researchers reviewed 16 records of patients whose deaths were associated with at least one medical error. Most (81.3%) patients had at least one diagnostic error and a total of 113 failure points and 30 significant failure points.
Abraham P, Augey L, Duclos A, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;17(7):e615-e621.
Patient misidentification errors are common and potentially catastrophic. Patient identification incidents reported in one hospital were examined to identify errors and contributory factors. Of the 293 reported incidents, the most common errors were missing wristbands, wrong charts or notes in files, administrative issues, and wrong labeling. The most frequent contributory factors include absence of patient identity control, patient transfer, and emergency context.
Cecil E, Bottle A, Majeed A, et al. Br J Gen Pract. 2021;71(708):e547-e554.
There has been an increased focus on patient safety, including missed diagnosis, in primary care in recent years. This cohort study evaluated the incidence of emergency hospital admission within 3 days of a visit with a GP with missed sepsis, ectopic pregnancy, urinary tract infection or pulmonary embolism. Shorter duration of appointment and telephone appointment (compared with in person) were associated with increased incidence of self-referred emergency hospital admission.
Lamming L, Montague J, Crosswaite K, et al. BMC Health Serv Res. 2021;21(1):1038.
Patient safety huddles are used to promote team communication about safety threats. Based on direct observations and a survey of teamwork and safety climate, researchers concluded that patient safety huddles across three National Health Service (NHS) trusts improved teamwork and safety culture, especially for nurses.
Maxwell E, Amerine J, Carlton G, et al. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2021;78(Suppl 3):s88-s94.
Clinical decision support (CDS) tools are intended to enhance care decision and delivery processes. This single-site retrospective study evaluated whether a CDS tool can reduce discharge prescription errors for patients receiving a medication substitution at admission. Findings indicate that use of CDS did not result in a decrease in discharge prescription omissions, duplications, or inappropriate medication reconciliation.
Breuker C, Macioce V, Mura T, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;17(7):e645-e652.
In this prospective observational study, hospital pharmacy staff obtained the best possible medication history for adult patients at admission to and discharge from one French hospital. Unintended medication discrepancies were identified in nearly 30% of patients. Most medication errors were omissions and risk of error increased with the number of medications.
Sosa T, Sitterding M, Dewan M, et al. Pediatrics. 2021;148(4):e2020034603.
Situational awareness during critical incidents is a key attribute of effective teams. This article describes the development of a situational awareness model, which included involving families and the interdisciplinary team in huddles, a shared mental model checklist, and an electronic health record (EHR) situational awareness navigator. Use of this new model decreased emergency transfers to the ICU and improved process measures, such as improved risk recognition before medical response team activation.
Trost SL, Beauregard JL, Smoots AN, et al. Health Aff (Millwood). 2021;40(10):1551-1559.
Missed diagnosis of mental health conditions can lead to serious adverse outcomes. Researchers evaluated data from 2008 to 2017 from 14 state Maternal Mortality Review Committees and found that 11% of pregnancy-related deaths were due to mental health conditions. A substantial proportion of people with a pregnancy-related mental health cause of death had a history of depression or past/current substance use. Researchers conclude that addressing gaps maternal mental health care is essential to improving maternal safety.
James L, Elkins-Brown N, Wilson M, et al. Int J Nurs Stud. 2021;123:104041.
Many hospitals have adopted a 12-hour work shift for nurses and some studies have shown a resulting increase in burnout and decrease in patient safety. In this study, researchers assessed simulated nursing performance, cognition, and sleepiness in day nurses and night nurses who worked three consecutive 12-hour shifts. Overall results indicated nurses on both shifts mostly maintain their abilities on the simulated nursing performance assessment despite reporting increased sleepiness and fatigue. However there was more individual variation in cognition and some domains of performance.
Randall KH, Slovensky D, Weech-Maldonado R, et al. Pediatr Qual Saf. 2021;6(5):e470.
Achieving high reliability is an ongoing goal for health care. This survey of 25 pediatric organizations participating in a patient safety collaborative identified an inverse association between safety culture and patient harm, but found that elements of high-reliability, leadership, and process improvement were not associated with reduced patient harm.
Aasen L, Johannessen A‐K, Ruud Knutsen I, et al. J Clin Nurs. 2021;Epub Sep 28.
Patients receiving hospital-level care at home (hospital-at-home, (HAH) have fewer complications, better patient and family satisfaction, and better outcomes. This study describes nurses’ and physicians’ perspectives of pediatric HAH. Three themes evolved: building a trusting relationship with the child and family; performing essential skills; and acting as the “hub” between families and providers.
Budnitz DS, Shehab N, Lovegrove MC, et al. JAMA. 2021;326(13):1299.
Previous studies have utilized data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System-Cooperative Adverse Drug Event Surveillance Project (NEISS) to analyze harms from medication use. This study uses updated NEISS data to also describe harms from nontherapeutic medication use. Visits to emergency departments for medication adverse events varied by age group, medication class, and intent of use.
Organizational Policy/Guidelines

American College of Emergency Physicians, National Association of Emergency Medical ServicesAnn Emerg Med. 2021;78(3):e37-e57. 

Emergency medical services (EMS) are often provided in stressful situations that require an orientation to safety to keep patients and staff from harm. This policy statement outlines components of an EMS safety orientation that rests on an established culture of safety in the field.
Shea T, De Cieri H, Vu T, et al. Safety Sci. 2021;143:105413.
Assessing safety climate is critical to understanding how organizational efforts can improve safety. This review identified deficiencies and inconsistencies in the way that safety climate has been conceptualized and measured. The authors underscore the importance of a consistent approach to measuring safety climate in order to evaluate its impact on patient safety outcomes.

Patient Safety Movement. October 29, 2021. 

Effective response to medical harm involves a variety of perspectives that are aligned in purpose. This webinar discussed how different stakeholders might view approaches to medical error management. It described how strategies have changed from paternalistic to inclusive processes that consider the impact of mistakes on patients and families and the role of communication is key to achieving fair and honest resolution to adverse incidents.

NHSX, NHS Digital, NHS England, et al. London, England: Crown Copyright; September 2021.

Digital clinical technologies hold promise for care improvement while contributing to potential failures due to the lack of collective guidance to assess and measure if they are safe. This document provides background on digital safety. It shares an approach that aligns with the United Kingdom system safety strategy to situate its priorities and support the strategy.

ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute care edition. October 7, 2021;26(20):1-4.

Production pressure and low staff coverage can result in medication mistakes in community pharmacies. This article shares reported vaccine errors and factors contributing to mistaken administration of flu and COVID vaccines. Storage, staffing and collaboration strategies are shared to protect against vaccine mistakes.

MedWatch Safety Alert. Silver Spring, MD: US Food and Drug Administration; October 12, 2021.

This announcement highlights the possibility of medication administration inaccuracy due to design characteristics of a low dose tip (LDT) syringe. Recommended cleaning methods and other actions for patients, families and clinicians are provided to protect dose precision when using these syringes.

This Month’s WebM&Ms

WebM&M Cases
Marissa G. Vadi, MD, MPH, and Mathew R. Malkin, MD |
A 6-week-old infant underwent a craniotomy and excision of abnormal brain tissue for treatment of hemimegalencephaly and epilepsy. A right femoral central venous catheter and an arterial catheter were inserted, as well as 22-gauge intravenous catheter inserted into the external jugular vein, which was covered with surgical drapes.  During the surgical procedure, the neurosurgeon adjusted the patient’s head, displacing the external jugular intravenous catheter into the subcutaneous tissue.  The catheter’s dislodgment went unnoticed due to its position underneath the surgical drapes. The commentary discusses the importance intraoperative monitoring of intravenous catheters and the use of surgical safety checklists to improve communication and prevent surgical complications.
WebM&M Cases
Robin Aldwinckle, MD and Edmund Florendo, MD |
A 78-year-old woman with macular degeneration presented for a pars plana vitrectomy (PPV) under monitored anesthesia care (MAC) with an eye block. At this particular hospital, eye cases under MAC are typically performed with an eye block by the surgeon after the anesthesiologist has administered some short-acting sedation, commonly with remifentanil. On this day, there was a shortage of premixed remifentanil and the resident – who was unfamiliar with the process of drug dilution – incorrectly diluted the remifentanil solution. Shortly after receiving sedation, the patient became unresponsive, and a code was called. The commentary addresses the challenges of drug dilution and strategies to reduce dilutional errors and prioritize patient safety.
WebM&M Cases
Spotlight Case
Florence Tan, PharmD, Karnjit Johl, MD and Mariya Kotova, PharmD |
This case describes multiple emergency department (ED) encounters and hospitalizations experienced by a middle-aged woman with sickle cell crisis and a past history of multiple, long admissions related to her sickle cell disease. The multiple encounters highlight the challenges of opioid prescribing for patients with chronic, non-cancer pain. The commentary discusses the limitations of prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) data for patients with chronic pain, challenges in opioid dose conversions, and increasing patient safety through safe medication prescribing and thorough medication reconciliation.

This Month’s Perspectives

Gina Luchen
Interview
Georgia Galanou Luchen, Pharm. D., is the Director of Member Relations at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). In this role, she leads initiatives related to community pharmacy practitioners and their impact throughout the care continuum. We spoke with her about different types of community pharmacists and the role they play in ensuring patient safety. 
Alison Stuebe photo
Interview
Alison Stuebe, MD, MSc, is a professor and Division Director for Maternal-Fetal Medicine in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill and the co-director of the Collaborative for Maternal and Infant Health. Kristin Tully, PhD, is a research assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UNC Chapel Hill and a member of the Collaborative for Maternal and Infant Health. We spoke with them about their work in maternal and infant care and what they are discovering about equitable care and its impact on patient safety.
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