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April 27, 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

Beed M, Hussain S, Woodier N, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e652-e657.
Critical incident reporting is an important method to detect patient safety hazards and improve care. A research team in one large UK tertiary hospital reviewed cardiac arrest calls and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) events reported to the hospital incident reporting system; ten thematic areas for potential improvement were identified (e.g., failure to rescue, staffing concerns, equipment/drug concerns). Organizations could replicate this longitudinal process to improve high-risk patient safety event outcomes.
Fischer SH, Shih RA, McMullen TL, et al. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2022;70:1047-1056.
Medication reconciliation (MR) occurs during transitions of care and is the process of reviewing a patient’s medication list and comparing it with the regimen being considered for the new setting of care. This study developed and tested standardized assessment data elements (SADE) for reconciliation of high-risk medications in post-acute care settings. The final set included seven elements; results demonstrate feasibility and moderate to strong reliability. The resulting seven data elements may provide the means for post-acute care settings to assess and improve this important quality process. 
Wojcieszak D. J Patient Saf Risk Manag. 2022;27:15-20.
Open disclosure and apology for errors is recommended in healthcare. In this study, 38 state medical boards responded to a survey regarding disclosure and apology practices after medical errors. Findings suggest that state medical boards have generally favorable views toward clinicians who disclose errors and apologize, and that these actions would not make the clinician a target for disciplinary action; respondents had less favorable views towards legislative initiatives regarding apologies and disclosure.
Beed M, Hussain S, Woodier N, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e652-e657.
Critical incident reporting is an important method to detect patient safety hazards and improve care. A research team in one large UK tertiary hospital reviewed cardiac arrest calls and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) events reported to the hospital incident reporting system; ten thematic areas for potential improvement were identified (e.g., failure to rescue, staffing concerns, equipment/drug concerns). Organizations could replicate this longitudinal process to improve high-risk patient safety event outcomes.
Frisch NK, Gibson PC, Stowman AM, et al. Am J Emerg Med. 2022;Epub Feb 21.
Electronic health records (EHR) can improve patient care and safety but are not without potential risks. A cyberattack led to a 25-day shutdown of a hospital’s EHR that necessitated a rapid shift to manual processes. This article outlines the laboratory service’s processes during the shutdown, including patient safety and error reduction, billing, and maintaining compliance with regulatory policies.
Patel SJ, Ipsaro A, Brady PW. Hosp Pediatr. 2022;Epub Feb 28.
Diagnostic uncertainty can arise in complex clinical scenarios. This qualitative study explored how physicians in pediatric emergency and inpatient settings mitigate diagnostic uncertainty. Participants discussed common mitigation strategies, such as employing a “diagnostic pause.” The authors also noted outstanding gaps regarding communicating diagnostic uncertainty to families.
Staal J, Speelman M, Brand R, et al. BMC Med Educ. 2022;22:256.
Diagnostic safety is an essential component of medical training. In this study, medical interns reviewed six clinical cases in which the referral letters from the general practitioner suggested a correct diagnosis, an incorrect diagnosis, or lacked a diagnostic suggestion. Researchers found that diagnostic suggestions in the referral letter did not influence subsequent diagnostic accuracy but did reduce the number of diagnoses considered.  
Otachi JK, Robertson H, Okoli CTC. Perspect Psychiatr Care. 2022;Epub Apr 6.
Workplace violence in healthcare settings can jeopardize the safety of both patients and healthcare workers. This study found that over half of healthcare workers at one large academic medical center in the United States reported witnessing or experiencing workplace violence. Witnessing or experiencing workplace violence was most common in psychiatric settings and in the emergency department.  
Wang L, Goh KH, Yeow A, et al. J Med Internet Res. 2022;24:e23355.
Alert fatigue is an increasingly recognized patient safety concern. This retrospective study examined the association between habit and dismissal of indwelling catheter alerts among physicians at one hospital in Singapore. Findings indicate that physicians dismissed 92% of all alerts and that 73% of alerts were dismissed in 3 seconds or less. The study also concluded that a physician’s prior dismissal of alerts increases the likelihood of dismissing future alerts (habitual dismissal), raising concerns that physicians may be missing important alerts.
Wojcieszak D. J Patient Saf Risk Manag. 2022;27:15-20.
Open disclosure and apology for errors is recommended in healthcare. In this study, 38 state medical boards responded to a survey regarding disclosure and apology practices after medical errors. Findings suggest that state medical boards have generally favorable views toward clinicians who disclose errors and apologize, and that these actions would not make the clinician a target for disciplinary action; respondents had less favorable views towards legislative initiatives regarding apologies and disclosure.
Acorda DE, Bracken J, Abela K, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2022;48:196-204.
Rapid response (RR) systems are used to improve clinical outcomes and prevent transfer to ICU of patients demonstrating signs of rapid deterioration. To evaluate its RR system, one hospital’s pediatric department reviewed all REACT (Rapid Escalation After Critical Transfer) events (i.e., cardiopulmonary arrest and/or ventilation and/or hemodynamic support) which occurred within 24 hours of the RR. These reviews identified opportunities for systemwide improvements. 
Saleem J, Sarma D, Wright H, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:152-160.
Hospitals employ a variety of strategies to prevent inpatient falls. Based on data from incident reports, this study used process mapping to identify opportunities to improve timely diagnosis of serious injury resulting from inpatient falls. Researchers found that multiple interventions (e.g., education, changes in the transport process) with small individual effects resulted in a substantial cumulative positive impact on delays in the diagnosis of serious harm resulting from a fall.
Lin MP, Vargas-Torres C, Shin-Kim J, et al. Am J Emerg Med. 2022;53:135-139.
Drug shortages can result in patient harm, such as dosing errors from a medication substitution. In this study, 28 of the 30 most frequently used medications in the emergency department experienced shortages between 2006 and 2019. The most common reasons for shortages were manufacturing delays and increased demand. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated pre-existing drug shortages.
Fischer SH, Shih RA, McMullen TL, et al. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2022;70:1047-1056.
Medication reconciliation (MR) occurs during transitions of care and is the process of reviewing a patient’s medication list and comparing it with the regimen being considered for the new setting of care. This study developed and tested standardized assessment data elements (SADE) for reconciliation of high-risk medications in post-acute care settings. The final set included seven elements; results demonstrate feasibility and moderate to strong reliability. The resulting seven data elements may provide the means for post-acute care settings to assess and improve this important quality process. 
Uitvlugt EB, Heer SE, van den Bemt BJF, et al. Res Soc Admin Pharm. 2022;18:2651-2658.
Pharmacists play a critical role in medication safety during transitions of care. This multi-center study found that a transitional pharmacy care program (including teach-back, pharmacy discharge letter, home visit by community pharmacist, and medication reconciliation by both the community and hospital pharmacist) did not decrease the proportion of patients with adverse drug events (ADE) after hospital discharge. The authors discuss several possible explanations as to why the intervention did not impact ADEs and suggest that a process evaluation is needed to explore ways in which a transitional pharmacy care program could reduce ADEs.
Navathe AS, Liao JM, Yan XS, et al. Health Aff (Millwood). 2022;41:424-433.
Opioid overdose and misuse continues to be a major public health concern with numerous policy- and organization-level approaches to encourage appropriate clinician prescribing. A northern California health system studied the effects of three interventions (individual audit feedback, peer comparison, both combined) as compared to usual care at several emergency department and urgent care sites. Peer comparison and the combined interventions resulted in a significant decrease in pills per prescription.
No results.
Armstrong BA, Dutescu IA, Nemoy L, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2022;31:463-478.
Despite widespread use of surgical safety checklists (SSC), its success in improving patient outcomes remains inconsistent, potentially due to variations in implementation and completion methods. This systematic review sought to identify how many studies describe the ways in which the SSC was implemented and completed, and the impact on provider outcomes, patient outcomes, and moderating factors. A clearer positive relationship was seen for provider outcomes (e.g., communication) than for patient outcomes (e.g., mortality).
Essex R, Weldon SM. Nurs Ethics. 2022;Epub Apr 12.
Appropriate staffing levels have been shown to impact patient safety and patient outcomes. This review of literature on healthcare worker strikes explores potential negative impacts, such as compromised patient safety due to decreased staffing levels, and justifications, such as long-term benefits.

Institute for Safe Medication Practices and the Just Culture Company. May 6, 2022.

Organizational factors can contribute to the occurrence of patient safety events and how health systems respond to such events. This webinar highlighted lessons learned in the aftermath of a fatal medication error, and strategies to improve patient safety at the organizational level through system design and accountability.

Zangaro GA, Dulko D, Sullivan D, eds. Nurs Clin North Am. 2022;57(1):1-170. 

Clinician burnout is a pervasive problem and can threaten patient safety. This special issue explores burnout among nurses and its impact across healthcare systems, approaches to recognizing burnout, and strategies for managing and reducing burnout at individual and organizational levels.

London UK: Crown Copyright; March 30, 2022. ISBN: 9781528632294.

Maternal and baby harm in healthcare is a sentinel event manifested by systemic failure. This report serves as the final conclusions of an investigation into 250 cases at a National Health System (NHS) trust. The authors share overarching system improvement suggestions and high-priority recommendations to initiate NHS maternity care improvement.

Oakbrook Terrace, IL: Joint Commission: April 19, 2022.

The Eisenberg Award recognizes individual and organizational accomplishment toward patient safety and quality improvement. The 2021 honorees are Hardeep Singh, MD, MPH, Prime Healthcare Services, Ontario, California, Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Oakland, California, and Mark R. Chassin, MD, FACP, MPP, MPH. The awards will be presented virtually during the National Quality Forum's annual meeting in July.

Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; April 2022.

Healthcare-associated infections can result in significant morbidity and mortality. Developed by AHRQ, this customizable, educational toolkit uses the Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program (CUSP) and other evidence-based practices to provide clinical and cultural guidance to support practice changes to prevent and reduce central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) and catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) rates in intensive care units (ICUs). Sections of the kit include items such an action plan template, implementation playbook, and team interaction aids.

Kindelan K. ABC News. April 14, 2022.

Maternal injury is a persistent challenge in the Black community. This article discusses the case of one mother whose discounted health concerns contributed to diagnostic delay and death. The piece shares social media tools to assist Black mothers in keeping themselves safe during pregnancy and after birth.

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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