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March 30, 2022 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

Domingo J, Galal G, Huang J. NEJM Catalyst. 2022;3.
Failure to follow up on abnormal diagnostic test results can cause delays in patients receiving appropriate care. This hospital used an artificial intelligence natural language processing system to identify radiology reports requiring follow-up. The system triggered automated notifications to the patient and ordering provider, and tracked follow-ups to completion. System development, deployment and next steps are detailed.
Kukielka E, Jones R. Patient Safety. 2022;4:49-59.
Medication errors can occur in all clinical settings, but can have especially devastating results in emergency departments (EDs). Between January 1, 2011, and December 31, 2020, 250 serious medication errors occurring in the ED were reported to the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Reporting System. Errors were more likely to occur on weekends and between 12:00 pm and midnight; patients were more likely to be women. Potential strategies to reduce serious medication errors (e.g., inclusion of emergency medicine pharmacists in patient care) are discussed.

March KL, Peters MJ, Finch CK, et al. J Pharm Pract. 2022;35(1):86-93.

Transitions of care from inpatient to outpatient settings are vulnerable to medication errors. This study found that patients receiving pharmacist-led medication reconciliation and education prior to discharge reported higher patient satisfaction scores; lower readmission rates compared to standard care patients were also observed. Pharmacists potentially prevented 143 medication safety events during medication reconciliation.
Upadhyay S, Hu H-fen. Health Serv Insights. 2022;15:117863292110707.
Implementation of electronic health records (EHR) has shown both patient safety benefits and unanticipated challenges. Researchers interviewed patient safety officers, nurses, physicians, and other clinicians who use EHR to assess their perspectives on its impact on patient safety. Most clinicians reported both benefits and challenges, but views varied by role (e.g., nurses found EHR documentation efficient, while physicians found it time-consuming).
LaScala EC, Monroe AK, Hall GA, et al. Pediatr Emerg Care. 2022;38:e387-e392.
Several factors contribute to pediatric antibiotic medication errors in the emergency department, such as the frequent use of verbal orders and the need for  weight-based dosing. Results of this study align with previous research and reinforce the need for further investigation and interventions to reduce antibiotic medication errors such as computerized provider order entry.
Branch F, Santana I, Hegdé J. Diagnostics (Basel). 2022;12:105.
Anchoring bias is relying on initial diagnostic impression despite subsequent information to the contrary. In this study, radiologists were asked to read a mammogram and were told a random number which researchers claimed was the probability the mammogram was positive for breast cancer. Radiologists' estimation of breast cancer reflected the random number they were given prior to viewing the image; however, when they were not given a prior estimation, radiologists were highly accurate in diagnosing breast cancer.
Lacson R, Khorasani R, Fiumara K, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e522-e527.
Root cause analysis is a commonly used tool to identify systems-related factors that contributed to an adverse event. This study assessed a system-based approach, (i.e., collaborative case reviews (CCR) co-led by radiology and an institutional patient safety program) to identify contributing factors and explore the strength of recommended actions in the radiology department at a large academic medical center. Stronger action items, such as standardization of processes, were implemented in 41% of events, and radiology had higher completion rates than other hospital departments.
McGinty EE, Bicket MC, Seewald NJ, et al. Ann Intern Med. 2022;Epub Mar 15.
Prior research has found that unsafe opioid prescribing practices are common. This retrospective study explored the association between state opioid prescribing laws and trends in opioid and nonopioid pain treatment among commercially insured adults in the United States. Findings suggest that these laws were not associated with statistically significant changes in prescribing outcomes, but the authors note that some of these estimates were imprecise and may not be generalizable to non-commercially insured populations.
Fuchs A, Frick S, Huber M, et al. Anaesthesia. 2022;Epub Mar 18.
Pre-procedure checklists have been shown to improve patient safety but they are still not utilized in all situations. Analysis of five years of airway management checklist use in operating room, non-operating room, and emergency procedures showed increasing adherence to checklist use, but completion varied by time of day, location, and urgency of procedure. Further research into causes for these variations is recommended.
Dawson R, Saulnier T, Campbell A, et al. Hosp Pediatr. 2022;12:407-417.
Voluntary error reporting remains underutilized in many clinical settings despite its importance for organizational learning and improved patient safety. This pediatric health system implemented a new safety event management system (SEMS) aimed at increased usability, de-centralized event follow-up, and closed-loop communication. The new SEMS resulted in more event reporting and less staff time spent on each report.
Kukielka E, Jones R. Patient Safety. 2022;4:49-59.
Medication errors can occur in all clinical settings, but can have especially devastating results in emergency departments (EDs). Between January 1, 2011, and December 31, 2020, 250 serious medication errors occurring in the ED were reported to the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Reporting System. Errors were more likely to occur on weekends and between 12:00 pm and midnight; patients were more likely to be women. Potential strategies to reduce serious medication errors (e.g., inclusion of emergency medicine pharmacists in patient care) are discussed.
Lin M, Horwitz LI, Gross RS, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e470-e476.
Error disclosure is an essential activity to addressing harm and establishing trust between clinicians and patients. Trainees in pediatric specialties at one urban medical center were provided with clinical vignettes depicting an error resulting in a safety event or near-miss and surveyed about error classification and disclosure. Participants agreed with disclosing serious and minor safety events, but only 7% agreed with disclosing a near miss event. Trainees’ decisions regarding disclosure considered the type of harm, parental preferences, ethical principles, and anticipatory guidance to address the consequences of the error.
Aljuaid J, Al-Moteri M. J Emerg Nurs. 2022;48:189-201.
Situational awareness is the degree to which perception of a situation matches reality, and the lack of situational awareness can result in decreased patient outcomes. This study measured nurses’ situational awareness immediately after inspection of a resuscitation cart. Importantly, researchers observed significant issues related to readiness preparedness, such as empty oxygen tanks, drained batteries, and equipment failures.

March KL, Peters MJ, Finch CK, et al. J Pharm Pract. 2022;35(1):86-93.

Transitions of care from inpatient to outpatient settings are vulnerable to medication errors. This study found that patients receiving pharmacist-led medication reconciliation and education prior to discharge reported higher patient satisfaction scores; lower readmission rates compared to standard care patients were also observed. Pharmacists potentially prevented 143 medication safety events during medication reconciliation.
Domingo J, Galal G, Huang J. NEJM Catalyst. 2022;3.
Failure to follow up on abnormal diagnostic test results can cause delays in patients receiving appropriate care. This hospital used an artificial intelligence natural language processing system to identify radiology reports requiring follow-up. The system triggered automated notifications to the patient and ordering provider, and tracked follow-ups to completion. System development, deployment and next steps are detailed.
Ozimek JA, Greene N, Geller AI, et al. Am J Perinatol. 2022;39:307-311.
Maternal morbidity and mortality remains a major public health concern, particularly among pregnant people of color. This US hospital established a multi-disciplinary committee, the obstetric Quality and Peer Review Committee (OBQPRC), to review all cases of severe maternal morbidity (SMM). This article compares the pre- and post-intervention periods to determine if rates of potentially preventable SMM decreased. While there was no difference in SMM rates pre- and post-intervention, the rate of potentially preventable events significantly decreased after implementation of routine review of all SMM.  
No results.
McCleskey SG, Shek L, Grein J, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2022;31:308-321.
Catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) prevention is an ongoing patient safety priority. This systematic review of economic evaluations of quality improvement (QI) interventions to reduce CAUTI rates found that QI interventions were associated with a 43% decline in infections.
O’Brien N, Shaw A, Flott K, et al. J Glob Health. 2022;12:04018.
Improving patient safety is a global goal. This literature review explored patient safety interventions focused on people living in fragile, conflict-affected, and vulnerable settings. Studies were generally from lower and lower-middle income countries and focused primarily on strengthening infection prevention and control; however, there is a call for more attention on providing patient safety training to healthcare workers, introducing risk management tools, and reducing preventable harm during care delivery.
No results.

Garb HN. Psyche. March 22, 2022.

A wide array of biases can affect clinical judgement and contribute to diagnostic error. This article discusses the impact of implicit biases, test inaccuracy, and data weaknesses in diagnosis of mental health conditions in both children and adults. The author provides recommendations for clinicians and researchers to reduce the impact of bias on diagnosis.

Washington, DC: VA Office of Inspector General; March 17, 2022.

Electronic health record (EHR) implementation failures cause major disruptions to care delivery that can result in inefficiencies, misinformation, and unsafe care. This three-part investigation examines the impact of the new United States Veterans Affairs EHR system problems on medication management, care coordination, and problem reporting and resolution at one facility.
Special or Theme Issue

Stein L, Fraser J, Penzenstadler N et al. USA Today. March 10, 2022.

Nursing home residents, staff, and care processes were particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. This collection of resources examines data and documentation involving one nursing home chain to reveal systemic problems that contributed to failure. It shares family stories that illustrate how COVID affected care in long-term care environments.

Olson APJ, Danielson J, Stanley J, et al. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; March 2022. AHRQ Publication No. 22-0026-1-EF

Diagnostic skill development begins early in the education of health professionals. Advocates suggest that adjustments be made in curricula, instruction, and student assessment to address gaps in current educational methods and to enhance the team-focused diagnosis. This issue brief is part of a series on diagnostic safety.

This Month’s WebM&Ms

WebM&M Cases
Robert Scott Kriss, DO |
This WebM&M describes an adverse event due to mislabeling or “syringe swap” in a preoperative patient. The commentary outlines several recommendations and safeguards to ensure that medications administration is safe.
WebM&M Cases
Spotlight Case
David Barnes, MD and Joseph Yoon, MD |
An 18-month-old girl presented to the Emergency Department (ED) after being attacked by a dog and sustaining multiple penetrating injuries to her head and neck. After multiple unsuccessful attempts to establish intravenous access, an intraosseous (IO) line was placed in the patient’s proximal left tibia to facilitate administration of fluids, blood products, vasopressors, and antibiotics.  In the operating room, peripheral intravenous (IV) access was eventually obtained after which intraoperative use of the IO line was restricted to a low-rate fluid infusion.  An hour into the operation, the anesthesiologist found her left calf to be warm and tense, presumably due to fluid extravasation from the IO line.  The IO line was removed, and the Orthopedic Surgery service was consulted intraoperatively due to concern for acute compartment syndrome.  Signs of compartment syndrome eventually resolved without any surgical intervention.  The commentary summarizes complications associated with IO lines, the importance of anticipating procedural complications, and methods to identify the signs and symptoms of acute compartment syndrome.
WebM&M Cases
Spotlight Case
Katrina Pasao, MD and Pouria Kashkouli, MD, MS |
This Spotlight Case describes an older man incidentally diagnosed with prostate cancer, with metastases to the bone. He was seen in clinic one month after that discharge, without family present, and scheduled for outpatient biopsy. He showed up to the biopsy without adequate preparation and so it was rescheduled. He did not show up to the following four oncology appointments. Over the course of the following year, the patient’s son and daughter were contacted at various points to re-establish care, but he continued to miss scheduled appointments and treatments. During a hospital admission, a palliative care team determined that the patient did not have capacity to make complex medical decisions. He was discharged to a skilled nursing facility, and then to a board and care when he failed to improve. He missed two more oncology appointments before being admitted with cancer-related pain. Based on the patient’s poor functional status, he was not considered a candidate for additional therapy. After a discussion of goals of care with the patient and daughter, he was enrolled in hospice. The commentary outlines key elements for assessing patient capacity, the importance of understanding the patient’s psychosocial history, and strategies to strengthen psychosocial training for medical and nursing trainees.

This Month’s Perspectives

Perspective
This piece discusses the role that media plays in affecting patient safety.
Interview
Michael L. Millenson is the President of Health Quality Advisors LLC, author of the critically acclaimed book Demanding Medical Excellence: Doctors and Accountability in the Information Age, and an adjunct associate professor of medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. He serves on the Board of Directors for Project Patient Care, and earlier in his career he was a healthcare reporter for the Chicago Tribune, where he was nominated three times for a Pulitzer Prize. We spoke with him about how patient safety efforts are shaped by the media and how the role of media has changed since our original discussion on the role of media in patient safety (published in October of 2009 (https://psnet.ahrq.gov/perspective/conversation-charles-ornstein; https://psnet.ahrq.gov/perspective/media-essential-if-sometimes-arbitrary-promoter-patient-safety)).
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