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May 11, 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

Cox C, Fritz Z. BMJ. 2022;377:e066720.

As more patients are gaining access to their electronic health records, including clinician notes, the language clinicians use can shape how patients feel about their health and healthcare provider. This commentary describes how some words and phrases routinely used in provider notes, such as “deny” or “non-compliant”, may inadvertently build distrust with the patient. The authors recommend medical students and providers reconsider their language to establish more trusting relationships with their patients.
Lee EH, Pitts S, Pignataro S, et al. Clin Teach. 2022;19:71-78.
The inherent power imbalance between supervisors and new clinicians may inhibit new clinicians from asking questions or reporting mistakes. This lack of psychological safety can result in patient harm and restrict learning. This article provides strategies for healthcare educators and leaders to model and guide a safer organization. Three phases of the supervisor-learner relationship, along with suggested prompts, are provided.
Sederstrom N, Lasege T. Hastings Cent Rep. 2022;52:s24-s29.
Racial bias and systemic racism in healthcare are increasingly seen as critical patient safety issues. This commentary discusses the relationship between medical ethics and racism in healthcare institutions, using examples such as racial biases in clinical tools and algorithms, the effect of racial bias on diagnosis and diagnostic error, and how excess disease burden can be viewed as proxy for racism.
Redley B, Taylor N, Hutchinson AM. J Adv Nurs. 2022;Epub Apr 22.
Nurses play a critical role in reducing preventable harm among inpatients. This cross-sectional survey of nurses working in general medicine wards identified both enabling factors (behavioral regulation, perceived capabilities, and environmental context/resources) and barriers (intentions, perceived consequences, optimism, and professional role) to implementing comprehensive harm prevention programs for older adult inpatients.
Brady KJS, Barlam TF, Trockel MT, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2022;48:287-297.
Inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics to treat viral illnesses is an ongoing patient safety threat. This study examined the association between clinician depression, anxiety, and burnout and inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics for acute respiratory tract infections (RTIs) in outpatient care. Depression and anxiety, but not burnout, were associated with increased adjusted odds of inappropriate prescribing for RTIs.
Ulmer FF, Lutz AM, Müller F, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e573-e579.
Closed-loop communication is essential to effective teamwork, particularly during complex or high-intensity clinical scenarios. This study found that participation in a one-day simulation team training for pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) nurses led to significant improvements in closed-loop communication in real-life clinical situations.
Morsø L, Birkeland S, Walløe S, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2022;48:271-279.
Patient complaints can provide insights into safety threats and system weaknesses. This study used the healthcare complaints analysis tool (HCAT) to identify and categorize safety problems in emergency care. Most problems arose during examination/diagnosis and frequently resulted in diagnostic errors or errors of omission.
MacLeod JB, D’Souza K, Aguiar C, et al. J Cardiothorac Surg. 2022;17:69.
Post-operative complications can lead to increased length of hospital stay, cost, and resource utilization. This retrospective study compared “fast track” patients (patients extubated and transferred from ICU to a step-down unit the same day as their procedure) and patients who were not fast tracked. Results showed fast track pathways led to a reduction in ICU and overall hospital length of stay and similar post-operative outcomes.
Buhlmann M, Ewens B, Rashidi A. J Adv Nurs. 2022;Epub Apr 22.
The term “second victims” describes clinicians who experience emotional or physical distress following involvement in an adverse event. Nurses and midwives were interviewed about “moving on” from the impact of a critical incident. Five main themes were identified: Initial emotional and physical response, the aftermath, long-lasting repercussions, workplace support, and moving on. Lack of organizational support exacerbated the nurses’ and midwives’ responses.
Braun EJ, Singh S, Penlesky AC, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2022;Epub Apr 15.
Early warning systems (EWS) use patient data from the electronic health record to alert clinicians to potential patient deterioration. Twelve months after a new EWS was implemented in one hospital, nurses were interviewed to gather their perspectives on the program experience, utility, and implementation. Six themes emerged: timeliness, lack of accuracy, workflow interruptions, actionability of alerts, underappreciation of core nursing skills, and opportunity cost.
Tan J, Krishnan S, Vacanti JC, et al. J Healthc Risk Manag. 2022;Epub Apr 1.
Inpatient falls are a common patient safety event and can have serious consequences. This study used hospital safety reporting system data to characterize falls in perioperative settings. Falls represented 1% of all safety reports between 2014 and 2020 and most commonly involved falls from a bed or stretcher. The author suggests strategies to identify patients at high risk for falls, improve fall-related training for healthcare personnel, and optimize equipment design in perioperative areas to prevent falls.
Salwei ME, Hoonakker PLT, Carayon P, et al. Hum Factors. 2022;Epub Apr 4.
Clinical decision support (CDS) systems are designed to improve diagnosis. Researchers surveyed emergency department physicians about their evaluation of human factors-based CDS systems to improve diagnosis of pulmonary embolism. Although perceived usability was high, use of the CDS tool in the real clinical environment was low; the authors identified several barriers to use, including lack of workflow integration.
Sederstrom N, Lasege T. Hastings Cent Rep. 2022;52:s24-s29.
Racial bias and systemic racism in healthcare are increasingly seen as critical patient safety issues. This commentary discusses the relationship between medical ethics and racism in healthcare institutions, using examples such as racial biases in clinical tools and algorithms, the effect of racial bias on diagnosis and diagnostic error, and how excess disease burden can be viewed as proxy for racism.
Lim L, Zimring CM, DuBose JR, et al. HERD. 2022;Epub Apr 5.
Social distancing policies implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic challenged healthcare system leaders and providers to balance infection prevention strategies and providing collaborative, team-based patient care. In this article, four primary care clinics made changes to the clinic design, operational protocols, and usage of spaces. Negative impacts of these changes, such as fewer opportunities for collaboration, communication, and coordination, were observed.
Sosa T, Galligan MM, Brady PW. J Hosp Med. 2022;17:199-202.
Situation awareness supports effective teamwork and safe care delivery. This commentary highlights the role of situation awareness in watching the condition of pediatric inpatients to reduce instances of unrecognized clinical deterioration. It features rapid response models enhanced by event review, psychological safety, and patient and family partnering as mechanisms improved through situation awareness.
Lee EH, Pitts S, Pignataro S, et al. Clin Teach. 2022;19:71-78.
The inherent power imbalance between supervisors and new clinicians may inhibit new clinicians from asking questions or reporting mistakes. This lack of psychological safety can result in patient harm and restrict learning. This article provides strategies for healthcare educators and leaders to model and guide a safer organization. Three phases of the supervisor-learner relationship, along with suggested prompts, are provided.

Cox C, Fritz Z. BMJ. 2022;377:e066720.

As more patients are gaining access to their electronic health records, including clinician notes, the language clinicians use can shape how patients feel about their health and healthcare provider. This commentary describes how some words and phrases routinely used in provider notes, such as “deny” or “non-compliant”, may inadvertently build distrust with the patient. The authors recommend medical students and providers reconsider their language to establish more trusting relationships with their patients.
Carfora L, Foley CM, Hagi-Diakou P, et al. PLoS ONE. 2022;17:e0267030.
Patients are frequently asked to complete patient-reported outcome measures (PROM), or standardized questionnaires, to assess general quality of life, screen for specific conditions or risk factors, and perspectives on their health. This review identified 14 studies related to patient perspectives regarding PROMs. Three themes emerged: patient preferences regarding PROMs, patient perceived benefits, and barriers to patient engagement with PROMs.
Ong N, Long JC, Weise J, et al. J Appl Res Intellect Disabil. 2022;35:675-690.
Children with intellectual disabilities can be at higher risk for patient safety events and poor-quality care. This systematic review and thematic analysis identified several themes (e.g., distress, communication, training, and education) underscoring healthcare staff experiences in providing care for pediatric patients with intellectual disabilities. The review found that healthcare staff feel they lack necessary skills to provide care for children with intellectual disabilities and have difficulties communicating effectively with both patients and their parents.

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press; 2022.

The COVID-19 crisis affected most health care processes, including diagnosis. This report recaps a session examining impacts of the pandemic on diagnostic approaches, inequities, and innovations that may inform future diagnostic improvement efforts.

The Collaborative for Accountability and Improvement. May 19, 2022. 

The sharing of stories is a key approach for providing information and context to promote change. This webinar focused on stories drawn from lawsuits, the general patient and family motivation of legal action to minimize the repetition of similar errors, and the ironies involved in the adherence to legal confidentiality that can reduce learning from error.

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

TeamSTEPPS promotes effective teamwork, collaboration, and communication in health care while focusing on strategies known to improve patient safety. This challenge competition seeks submissions to revise existing TeamSTEPPS videos to improve health literacy, equity, and cultural sensitivity. Written proposals are due June 20, 2022.

Kelman B. Kaiser Health News. April 29, 2022.

Technological solutions harbor unique risks that can result in patient harm. This article shares a response to reports of automated dispensing cabinet (ADC) menu selection limitations that contribute to mistakes. The piece suggests the implementation of a 5-letter search requirement prior to removing a medication from an ADC. It provides an update on industry response to this forcing function recommendation.
Audiovisual Presentation

Chicago, IL: Harpo Productions, Smithsonian Channel: May 2022.

The COVID-19 pandemic revealed the impact of racial disparities and inequities on patient safety for patients of color. This film shares stories of families whose care was unsafe. The cases discussed highlight how missed and dismissed COVID symptoms and inattention to patient and family concerns due to bias reduces patient safety.

This Month’s WebM&Ms

WebM&M Cases
Garima Agrawal, MD, MPH, and Mithu Molla, MD, MBA |
This WebM&M describes two cases involving patients who became unresponsive in unconventional locations – inside of a computed tomography (CT) scanner and at an outpatient transplant clinic – and strategies to ensure that all healthcare teams are prepared to deliver advanced cardiac life support (ACLS), such as the use of mock codes and standardized ACLS algorithms. 
WebM&M Cases
Alexandria DePew, MSN, RN, James Rice, & Julie Chou, BSN |
This WebM&M describes two incidences of the incorrect patient being transported from the Emergency Department (ED) to other parts of the hospital for tests or procedures. In one case, the wrong patient was identified before undergoing an unnecessary procedure; in the second case, the wrong patient received an unnecessary chest x-ray. The commentary highlights the consequences of patient transport errors and strategies to enhance the safety of patient transport and prevent transport-related errors.
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.

This Month’s Perspectives

Remle P. Crowe
Interview
Remle Crowe, PhD, NREMT, is the Director of Clinical and Operational Research at ESO. In her professional role, she provides strategic direction for the research mission of the organization, including oversight of a warehouse research data set of de-identified records (the ESO Data Collaborative). We spoke with her about how data is being used in the prehospital setting to improve patient safety.
Perspective
This piece focuses on measuring and monitoring patient safety in the prehospital setting.
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