Skip to main content

April 13, 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

Blijleven V, Hoxha F, Jaspers MWM. J Med Internet Res. 2022;24:e33046.
Electronic health record (EHR) workarounds arise when users bypass safety features to increase efficiency. This scoping review aimed to validate, refine, and enrich the Sociotechnical EHR Workaround Analysis (SEWA) framework. Multidisciplinary teams (e.g. leadership, providers, EHR developers) can now use the refined SEWA framework to identify, analyze and resolve unsafe workarounds, leading to improved quality and efficiency of care.
Nether KG, Thomas EJ, Khan A, et al. J Healthc Qual. 2022;44:23-30.
Medical errors in the neonatal intensive care unit threaten patient safety. This children’s hospital implemented a robust process improvement program (RPI, which refers to widespread dissemination of process improvement tools to support staff skill development and identify sustainable improvements) to reduce harm in the neonatal intensive care unit. The program resulted in significant and sustainable improvements to staff confidence and knowledge related to RPI tools. It also contributed to improvements in health outcomes, including healthcare-acquired infection.
Tee QX, Nambiar M, Stuckey S. J Med Imaging Radiat Oncol. 2022;66:202-207.
Diagnostic errors in radiology can result in treatment delays and contribute to patient harm. This article provides an overview of the common cognitive biases encountered in diagnostic radiology that can contribute to diagnostic error, and strategies to avoid these biases, such as the use of a cognitive bias mitigation strategy checklist, peer feedback, promoting a just culture, and technology approaches including artificial intelligence (AI).
Heed J, Klein S, Slee A, et al. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2022;Epub Feb 16.
Hospitals in the US can evaluate the safety of their computerized provider order entry using a simulation tool such as the one provided by the Leapfrog Group. This study developed a similar simulation tool for use in the UK. Study participants rated 178 clinical scenarios for likelihood of occurrence, level of associated harm, and likelihood of harm. One hundred and thirty-one extreme or high-risk prescribing scenarios were developed and will be used to create the evaluation tool.
Hall N, Bullen K, Sherwood J, et al. BMJ Open. 2022;12:e050283.
Reporting errors is a key component of improving patient safety and patient care. Primary care prescribers and community pharmacists in Northeast England were interviewed about perceived barriers and enablers to reporting medication prescribing errors, either internally or externally. Motivation, capability, and opportunity influenced reporting behaviors. 
Brunelli L, Cristofori V, Battistella C, et al. Int J Integr Care. 2022;22:19.
Accreditation programs are intended to improve patient safety and quality of care. Researchers in Italy aimed to develop and validate an accreditation tool for home care. The tool, validated by 21 experts, is divided into six domains: 1) Organization and governance; 2) Patient safety and risk management; 3) Professionals’ knowledge, skills, and competencies; 4) Information and communication; 5) Care integration, and 6) Improvement and innovation.
Nether KG, Thomas EJ, Khan A, et al. J Healthc Qual. 2022;44:23-30.
Medical errors in the neonatal intensive care unit threaten patient safety. This children’s hospital implemented a robust process improvement program (RPI, which refers to widespread dissemination of process improvement tools to support staff skill development and identify sustainable improvements) to reduce harm in the neonatal intensive care unit. The program resulted in significant and sustainable improvements to staff confidence and knowledge related to RPI tools. It also contributed to improvements in health outcomes, including healthcare-acquired infection.
Giardina TD, Choi DT, Upadhyay DK, et al. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2022;Epub Mar 29.
Most patients can now access their provider visit notes via online portals and many have reported mistakes such as diagnostic errors or missed allergies. This study asked patients who may be “at-risk” for diagnostic error about perceived concerns in their visit notes. Patients were more likely to report having concerns if they did not trust their provider and did not have a good feeling about the visit. Soliciting patient concerns may be one way to improve transparency regarding diagnostic errors and trust in providers.
Van De Sijpe G, Quintens C, Walgraeve K, et al. BMC Med Inform Decis Mak. 2022;22:48.
Clinical decision support systems (CDSS) can help identify potential drug-drug interactions (DDI), but they can lead to alert fatigue and threaten patient safety. Based on an analysis of DDI alerts and survey data regarding physician experience using the DDI module in the CDSS, researchers identified barriers (i.e., lack of patient-specific characteristics and DDI-specific screening intervals) that contribute to false-positive alerts and alert fatigue.
Derksen C, Kötting L, Keller FM, et al. Front Psychol. 2022;13:771626.
Effective communication and teamwork are fundamental to ensure safe patient care. Building on their earlier systematic review of communication interventions in obstetric care, researchers developed and implemented a training to improve communication at two obstetric hospitals. While results did not show a change in communication behavior, perceived patient safety did improve. Additional resources are available in the curated library on maternal safety.
Paulik O, Hallen J, Lapkin S, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e613-e619.
Patient falls are considered a never event and can result in serious injury. This study retrospectively reviewed inpatient falls resulting in injury and the strength of the improvement recommendations proposed after investigation of the event. The researchers classified 8.5% of recommendations as ‘strong’ (i.e., environmental modifications, equipment/process redesign), 35.7% as ‘medium’ (i.e., changing documentation process and/or skill mix, providing education) and 55.8% as ‘weak’ (i.e., alerts or warnings).
Muchiri S, Azadeh-Fard N, Pakdil F. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:237-244.
The Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP), implemented by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), imposes a financial penalty on hospitals with higher than average readmission rates for certain conditions. Six years of readmission rates for four conditions included in the HRRP (acute myocardial infarction, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure, and pneumonia) and two conditions not included (septicemia and mood disorders) were analyzed to assess the impact of the HRRP. The researchers conclude the HRRP reduced readmission rates for the four targeted conditions, but reductions were not consistent across all categories of patients.
Wade C, Malhotra AM, McGuire P, et al. BMJ. 2022;376:e067090.
The role of healthcare disparities in patient safety is an emerging priority. This article summarizes disparities in preventable harm and outlines solutions to reducing inequalities in patient safety at the individual-, leadership-, and system-levels, such as identifying clear chains of accountability for adverse events and improving incident measurement and analysis specific to marginalized patient groups.
Tee QX, Nambiar M, Stuckey S. J Med Imaging Radiat Oncol. 2022;66:202-207.
Diagnostic errors in radiology can result in treatment delays and contribute to patient harm. This article provides an overview of the common cognitive biases encountered in diagnostic radiology that can contribute to diagnostic error, and strategies to avoid these biases, such as the use of a cognitive bias mitigation strategy checklist, peer feedback, promoting a just culture, and technology approaches including artificial intelligence (AI).
Verhagen MJ, de Vos MS, Sujan M, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2022;31:402-408.
The Safety-II framework uses a proactive approach to improving patient safety by learning form what goes right in healthcare. This article summarizes the attributes of the Safety-II framework and outlines the challenges and opportunities related to integrating Safety-II within healthcare settings.
Howlett O, Gleeson R, Jackson L, et al. JBI Evid Synth. 2022;Epub Mar 4.
Rapid response teams are designed to provide emergency medical support to deteriorating hospitalized patients. This review examines the role of a family support person (FSP) as part of the rapid response team. The FSP supported the family during the resuscitation in numerous ways, such as explaining jargon and medical procedures and attending to the practical needs of the family.
Willis E, Brady C. Nurs Open. 2022;9:862-871.
Incomplete nursing care can negatively affect care quality and safety. This rapid review found that missed or omitted nursing care in adults contributes to increased mortality, adverse events, and clinical deterioration. Included studies cited several causes (e.g., environmental factors, staffing levels and skill mix) as well as solutions (e.g., education, process redesign).
Blijleven V, Hoxha F, Jaspers MWM. J Med Internet Res. 2022;24:e33046.
Electronic health record (EHR) workarounds arise when users bypass safety features to increase efficiency. This scoping review aimed to validate, refine, and enrich the Sociotechnical EHR Workaround Analysis (SEWA) framework. Multidisciplinary teams (e.g. leadership, providers, EHR developers) can now use the refined SEWA framework to identify, analyze and resolve unsafe workarounds, leading to improved quality and efficiency of care.
No results.
Press Release/Announcement

Institute for Safe Medication Practices.

Workplace bullying and disrespectful behavior have been shown to negatively affect fall rates, medication errors, and other adverse events. The Institute for Safe Medication Practices is seeking clinician input on and experiences with disrespectful behaviors in the ambulatory care setting (e.g., community, specialty, and long-term care pharmacies, physician practices, and outpatient visits) and how organizations have been working to improve the culture of respect. The survey will be open until May 27, 2022.

Loller T. Associated PressMarch 30, 2022.

Reporting medical errors, learning from them, and improving systems is a cornerstone of improving patient safety. A just culture centers on moving from blaming individuals for medical errors towards a systems-based approach to learning what went on, in order to prevent similar errors in the future. The recent conviction of a nurse involved in the death of a patient has raised concerns that clinicians may not disclose medical errors out of fear of criminal prosecution and conviction.
Press Release/Announcement

Health Care Futures. June-July 2022.

Strategies to educate new health professionals in patient safety and quality improvement can ensure commitment to improvement work. This fellowship will help learners understand the evolution of patient safety and develop skills in quality improvement and human factors engineering. Applications are due by Sunday, May 1, 2022.
Special or Theme Issue

J Med Imaging Radiat Oncol. 2022;66(2):165-309.

Improving patient safety related to radiology and radiation oncology is an ongoing priority. This special issue explores themes related to radiology and radiation oncology, including monitoring and improving quality of care, promoting a culture of safety, and measuring, reporting, and learning from errors.

ECRI. Plymouth Meeting, PA. March 2022.

The global COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated patient safety concerns. ECRI presents the top ten patient concerns for 2022, including staffing challenges, human factors in telehealth, and supply chain disruptions.

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)).
Stay Updated!
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!