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June 1, 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

Al-Khafaji J, Townshend RF, Townsend W, et al. BMJ Open. 2022;12:e058219.
Checklists are used to improve patient outcomes in a wide variety of clinical settings and processes, such as childbirth, surgery, and diagnosis. This review applied the Systems Engineering Initiative for Patient Safety 2.0 (SEIPS 2.0) human factors framework to 25 diagnostic checklists. Checklists were characterized within the three primary components (work systems, processes, and outcomes) and subcomponents. Checklists addressing the Task subcomponent were associated with a reduction in diagnostic errors. Several subcomponents were not addressed (e.g. External Environment, Organization) and present an opportunity for future research.

Burton É, Flores B, Jerome B, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5(5):e2213234.

Disruptive clinician behavior is a recognized patient safety concern. This study used reports submitted to the internal patient safety reporting system to explore potential implicit bias in the types and severity of reports filed against physicians. Results showed women and minoritized physicians were disproportionately reported for low-severity issues such as communication, while men and white physicians were more likely to be reported for the highest severity level. Findings suggest a lower threshold for submitting reports against women and minoritized physicians which may be due to implicit bias.
Ramani S, Halpern TA, Akerman M, et al. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2022;226:556.e1-556.e9.
Cesarean delivery can lead to adverse outcomes and is commonly used as a measure of obstetrical quality; however, these measures do not account for preexisting maternal and neonatal morbidities, which may increase risk for cesarean delivery. This article describes the development and testing of a new obstetrical quality measure that integrates cesarean delivery rates adjusted for preexisting high-risk maternal factors as well as maternal and neonatal morbidities. Among obstetricians in one large hospital, researchers found that this metric led to significantly different clinician rankings in terms of obstetrical quality (compared to rankings based on crude or adjusted cesarean delivery rates alone.) The authors suggest that this new metric can help identify opportunities for practice improvement among individual clinicians and institutions.
Ramani S, Halpern TA, Akerman M, et al. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2022;226:556.e1-556.e9.
Cesarean delivery can lead to adverse outcomes and is commonly used as a measure of obstetrical quality; however, these measures do not account for preexisting maternal and neonatal morbidities, which may increase risk for cesarean delivery. This article describes the development and testing of a new obstetrical quality measure that integrates cesarean delivery rates adjusted for preexisting high-risk maternal factors as well as maternal and neonatal morbidities. Among obstetricians in one large hospital, researchers found that this metric led to significantly different clinician rankings in terms of obstetrical quality (compared to rankings based on crude or adjusted cesarean delivery rates alone.) The authors suggest that this new metric can help identify opportunities for practice improvement among individual clinicians and institutions.
McQueen JM, Gibson KR, Manson M, et al. BMJ Open. 2022;12:e060158.
Patients and families are important partners in improving patient safety. This qualitative study explored the experiences of patients and family members involved in adverse event reviews. The authors identified four themes (communication, trauma, learning and litigation) outline eight key recommendations to address these themes by involving patients and families in adverse event reviews.
Estiri H, Strasser ZH, Rashidian S, et al. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2022;Epub May 2.
While artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare may potentially improve some areas of patient care, its overall safety depends, in part, on the algorithms used to train it. One hospital developed four AI models at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to predict risks such as hospitalization or ICU admission. Researchers found inconsistent instances of model-level bias and recommend a holistic approach to search for unrecognized bias in health AI.

Burton É, Flores B, Jerome B, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5(5):e2213234.

Disruptive clinician behavior is a recognized patient safety concern. This study used reports submitted to the internal patient safety reporting system to explore potential implicit bias in the types and severity of reports filed against physicians. Results showed women and minoritized physicians were disproportionately reported for low-severity issues such as communication, while men and white physicians were more likely to be reported for the highest severity level. Findings suggest a lower threshold for submitting reports against women and minoritized physicians which may be due to implicit bias.
Politi RE, Mills PD, Zubkoff L, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;Epub Apr 30.
Delays in diagnosis and treatment can lead to poor outcomes for patients. Researchers reviewed root cause analysis (RCA) reports to identify factors contributing to delays in diagnosis and treatment among surgical patients at the Veterans Health Administration. Of the 163 RCAs identified, 73% reflected delays in treatment, 15% reflected delays in diagnosis, and 12% reflected delays in surgery. Policies and processes (e.g., lack of standardized processes, procedures not followed correctly) was the largest contributing factor, followed by communication challenges, and equipment or supply issues.
Sonis J, Pathman DE, Read S, et al. J Healthc Manag. 2022;67:192-205.
Lack of organizational support can inhibit safety culture and increase risk of burnout among healthcare workers. Researchers surveyed internal medicine physicians to explore how institutional actions and policies influenced perceived organizational support (POS) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Higher POS was associated with opportunities to discuss ethnical issues related to COVID-19, adequate access to personal protective equipment, and leadership communication regarding healthcare worker concerns regarding COVID-19. High POS was also associated with lower odds of screening positive for burnout, mental health systems, and intention to leave the profession.
Massart N, Mansour A, Ross JT, et al. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2022;163:2131-2140.e3.
Surgical site infections and other postoperative healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) can lead to significant patient morbidity and mortality. This retrospective study examined the relationship between HAIs after cardiac surgery and postoperative inpatient mortality. Among 8,853 patients undergoing cardiac surgery in one academic hospital in France, 4.2% developed an HAI after surgery. When patients developing an HAI were matched with patients who did not, the inpatient mortality rate was significantly greater among patients with HAIs (15.4% vs. 5.7%).
Shiner B, Gottlieb DJ, Levis M, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2022;31:434-440.
Previous research has emphasized suicide prevention in inpatient mental health settings, but less is known about suicide in outpatient settings. Using longitudinal data from 2013 to 2017, this study found no relationship between overall quality of outpatient mental healthcare and suicide rates among patients treated by the Veterans Health Administration healthcare system.
Dyrbye LN, West CP, Sinsky CA, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5:e2213080.
Burnout is characterized as emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and decreased sense of accomplishment at work which results in overwhelming negative emotions. Earlier studies have focused on the association of burnout with the electronic medical record and the COVID-19 pandemic, among others. This study focused on the association of physician burnout and mistreatment by patients, families and visitors. Survey respondents reported experiencing mistreatment (e.g., racially or ethnically offensive remarks) and discrimination (e.g., patients or families refusing to allow the physician to provide treatment based on their gender, race, or ethnicity) in the past year. Experiencing mistreatment or discrimination was associated with burnout.
Luty JT, Oldham H, Smeraglio A, et al. Acad Med. 2022;97:529-535.
Improving student and resident education and involvement in quality improvement and patient safety is a goal of graduate medical education. Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University developed a simulation-based medical education curriculum for multidisciplinary residents and fellows. The pilot cohort reported significantly improved reactions, attitudes and confidence, and knowledge and skills.
Aranaz-Ostáriz V, Gea-Velázquez De Castro MT, López-Rodríguez-Arias F, et al. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022;19:4761.
Preventable adverse events (AE) can occur across medical settings. This study of patients admitted to a surgical ward in Spain compared rates of AE in operated and non-operated patients. Operated patients were more than twice as likely to experience an AE compared with non-operated patients. The most common AE was infection following surgery, affecting 24% of operated and 9% of non-operated patients.
Jambon J, Choukroun C, Roux-Marson C, et al. Clin Neuropharmacol. 2022;45:65-71.
Polypharmacy in older adults is an ongoing safety concern due to the risk of being prescribed a potentially inappropriate medication or co-prescription of medications with dangerous interactions. In this study of adults aged 65 and older with chronic pain, 54% were taking at least one potentially inappropriate medication and 43% were at moderate or high risk of adverse drug events. Measures such as involvement of a pharmacist in medication review could reduce risk of adverse drug events in older adult outpatients.
No results.
Al-Khafaji J, Townshend RF, Townsend W, et al. BMJ Open. 2022;12:e058219.
Checklists are used to improve patient outcomes in a wide variety of clinical settings and processes, such as childbirth, surgery, and diagnosis. This review applied the Systems Engineering Initiative for Patient Safety 2.0 (SEIPS 2.0) human factors framework to 25 diagnostic checklists. Checklists were characterized within the three primary components (work systems, processes, and outcomes) and subcomponents. Checklists addressing the Task subcomponent were associated with a reduction in diagnostic errors. Several subcomponents were not addressed (e.g. External Environment, Organization) and present an opportunity for future research.
Lazzara EH, Simonson RJ, Gisick LM, et al. Ergonomics. 2022;Epub Apr 19.
Structured handoffs support appropriate communication between teams or departments when transferring responsibility for care. This meta-analysis aimed to determine if structured, standardized post-operative anesthesia handoffs improved provider, patient, organizational and handoff outcomes. Postoperative outcomes moved in a generally positive direction when compared with non-standardized handoffs. The authors suggest additional research into pre- and intra-operative handoffs is needed.
No results.

Famolaro T, Hare R, Tapia A, et al. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; April 2022. AHRQ Publication No. 22-0027.

A strong safety culture affects practice and learning in health care. This survey of over 1,000 clinicians and staff in 110 medical offices examined the extent to which elements of safety culture support safe diagnosis. Key findings demonstrate strengths in specialist consultation and test result communication. Identified weaknesses included lack of discussions about misdiagnoses when they occurred.

ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute care edition. May 19, 2022;27(10):1-5.

Challenging authority can be difficult but necessary in risky situations. This article examines a serial euthanasia overdose case and how the individuals interfacing with the physician involved sensed the medications ordered were inappropriate, yet said nothing. The piece discusses organizational and individual steps to encourage raising concerns in an appropriate and effective manner.

Clark C. MedPage Today. May 20, 2022.

Public reporting of safety measures is considered a hallmark of health care transparency. This article discusses a proposed change to reporting requirements in the Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program (HACRP). The change would limit the sharing of patient safety indicator data that informs Care Compare and hospital Medicare reimbursements.
Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; 2019.
The AHRQ Surveys on Patient Safety Culture™ (SOPS®) Hospital Survey and accompanying toolkit were developed to collect opinions of hospital staff on the safety culture at their organizations. An accompanying database serves as a central repository for hospitals to report their results. Participating hospitals will be able to measure patient safety culture in their institutions and compare results with other sites. Data will be collected for the latest submission period from June 1–July 22, 2022.

Whitaker B. CBS News. May 22, 2022.

Drug shortages represent a complex system level challenge in health care that can harm patients. This news segment details economic and production factors that affect the availability of generic medications. Clinicians and families were interviewed to share tactics for managing these situations to support patient safety despite shortages.

Sausser L. Kaiser Health News. May 24, 2022.

Lack of education contributes to misunderstandings and unhelpful preconceptions. This article discusses biases affecting the care of patients who are overweight. It introduces an educational effort to raise awareness of potential diagnostic and treatment actions affected by clinician bias to decrease safety for this patient population.

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.

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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