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July 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

Eldridge N, Wang Y, Metersky M, et al. JAMA. 2022;328:173-183.
Improving patient safety in hospitals is a longstanding national priority. Using longitudinal Medicare data from 2010 to 2019, this study identified a significant decrease in the rates of adverse events (e.g., adverse drug events, hospital-acquired infections, postoperative adverse events, hospital-acquired pressure ulcers, falls) over time among patients hospitalized for four common conditions – acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, pneumonia, and surgical procedures.
Tajeu GS, Juarez L, Williams JH, et al. J Gen Intern Med. 2022;37:1970-1979.
Racial bias in physicians and nurses is known to have a negative impact on health outcomes in patients of color; however, less is known about how racial bias in other healthcare workers may impact patients. This study used the Burgess Model framework for racial bias intervention to develop online modules related to racial disparities, implicit bias, communication, and personal biases to help healthcare workers to reduce their implicit biases. The modules were positively received, and implicit pro-white bias was reduced in this group. Organizations may use a similar program to reduce implicit bias in their workforce.
Walker D, Moloney C, SueSee B, et al. Prehosp Emerg Care. 2022;Epub Jun 27.
Safe medication management practices are critical to providing safe care in all healthcare settings. While there are studies reporting a variety of prehospital adverse events (e.g., respiratory and airway events, communication, etc.), there have been few studies of medication errors that occur in prehospital settings. This mixed methods systematic review of 56 studies and case reports identifies seven major themes such as organizational factors, equipment/medications, environmental factors, procedure-related factors, communication, patient-related factors, and cognitive factors as contributing to safe medication management.
Mrayyan MT. BMJ Open Qual. 2022;11:e001889.
Strong patient safety culture is a cornerstone to sustained safety improvements. This cross-sectional study explored nurses’ perceptions about patient safety culture. Identified areas of strength included non-punitive responses to errors and teamwork, and areas for improvement focused on supervisor and manager expectations, responses, and actions to promote safety and open communication. The authors highlight the importance of measuring patient safety culture in order to improve hospitals’ patient safety improvement practices, overall performance and quality of healthcare delivery.
Fridrich A, Imhof A, Staender S, et al. Int J Qual Health Care. 2022;34.
The World Health Organization (WHO) surgical safety checklist (SSC) can improve perioperative outcomes but implementation challenges persist. This study found that peer observation and immediate peer feedback improved SSC compliance and identified primary areas for future efforts to further improve compliance (i.e., reducing interruptions and improving sign outs).
Halvorson EE, Thurtle DP, Easter A, et al. Acad Pediatr. 2022;22:747-753.
Previous research has identified an association between patient weight and certain adverse events and patient safety threats, such as medication dosing errors and airway management. After analyzing data for pediatric patients discharged from a single children’s hospital, researchers in this study did not identify an association between patient body mass index (BMI) and the rate, severity, or preventability of adverse events.
Dzisko M, Lewandowska A, Wudarska B. Sensors (Basel). 2022;22:3536.
Interruptions and distractions in healthcare settings can inhibit safe care. This simulation study found that medical staff reaction time to changes in vital signs during stressful situations (telephone ringing, ambulance signal) was significantly slower than during non-stressful situations, which may increase the likelihood of medical errors.
Tajeu GS, Juarez L, Williams JH, et al. J Gen Intern Med. 2022;37:1970-1979.
Racial bias in physicians and nurses is known to have a negative impact on health outcomes in patients of color; however, less is known about how racial bias in other healthcare workers may impact patients. This study used the Burgess Model framework for racial bias intervention to develop online modules related to racial disparities, implicit bias, communication, and personal biases to help healthcare workers to reduce their implicit biases. The modules were positively received, and implicit pro-white bias was reduced in this group. Organizations may use a similar program to reduce implicit bias in their workforce.
Lear R, Freise L, Kybert M, et al. J Med Internet Res. 2022;24:e37226.
As patients increasingly access their electronic health records, they often identify errors requiring correction. This survey of 445 patients in the United Kingdom found that the majority of patients are willing and able to identify and respond to errors in their electronic health records, but information-related and systems-related barriers (e.g., limited understanding of medical terminology, poor information display) disproportionately impact patients with lower digital health literacy or language barriers.
Mrayyan MT. BMJ Open Qual. 2022;11:e001889.
Strong patient safety culture is a cornerstone to sustained safety improvements. This cross-sectional study explored nurses’ perceptions about patient safety culture. Identified areas of strength included non-punitive responses to errors and teamwork, and areas for improvement focused on supervisor and manager expectations, responses, and actions to promote safety and open communication. The authors highlight the importance of measuring patient safety culture in order to improve hospitals’ patient safety improvement practices, overall performance and quality of healthcare delivery.
Smith-Love J. J Nurs Care Qual. 2022;37:327-333.
Barcode medication administration (BCMA) is one approach to reducing near-miss medication safety events. Researchers used a FOCUS (find-organize-clarify-understand-select) PDSA (plan-do-study-act) methodology to help frontline nursing staff identify gaps in care processes and root causes contributing to poor compliance with barcode medication administration.
Wang M, Banda B, Rodwin BA, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:624-629.
Prior studies have examined students’ ability to recognize safety hazards in patient rooms using simulation; however, most of these studies focus on a single type of healthcare provider (e.g., medical or nursing students).  This study compared physicians, nurses, and other healthcare workers and found that nurses identified more hazards than other providers. All healthcare workers were challenged to identify hazards of omission and those requiring two-step thinking.
Walther F, Schick C, Schwappach DLB, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e1036-e1040.
Historically, there have been many patient safety errors associated with healthcare workers’ failure to speak up and report when they notice a problem. Many studies have identified organizational culture as important in creating a safe environment for workers to report medical errors. This study reports on a multimodal program to educate and train healthcare workers resulting in improvements on speaking up behaviors.
Eldridge N, Wang Y, Metersky M, et al. JAMA. 2022;328:173-183.
Improving patient safety in hospitals is a longstanding national priority. Using longitudinal Medicare data from 2010 to 2019, this study identified a significant decrease in the rates of adverse events (e.g., adverse drug events, hospital-acquired infections, postoperative adverse events, hospital-acquired pressure ulcers, falls) over time among patients hospitalized for four common conditions – acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, pneumonia, and surgical procedures.
De Micco F, Fineschi V, Banfi G, et al. Front Med (Lausanne). 2022;9:901788.
The COVID-19 pandemic led to a significant increase in the use of telehealth. This article summarizes several challenges that need to be addressed (e.g., human factors, provider-patient relationships, structural, and technological factors) in order to support continuous improvement in the safety of health care delivered via telemedicine.
Minyé HM, Benjamin EM. Br Dent J. 2022;232:879-885.
High reliability organization (HRO) principles used in other high-risk industries (such as aviation) can be applied patient safety. This article provides an overview of how HRO principles (preoccupation with failure, situational awareness, reluctance to simplify, deference to expertise, and commitment to resilience) can be successfully applied in dentistry.
Johnson KB, Stead WW. JAMA. 2022;328:523-524.
Electronic health record (EHR) system implementation should optimize interoperability and support clinician decision making. This commentary discusses a strategy to aid in the sociotechnical design of interfaces and involvement of the myriad of individuals that use EHRs, including patients.

Neft MW, Sekula K, Zoucha R, et al. AANA J. 2022;90(3):189-196. 

Healthcare workers who are involved in a patient safety incident may experience adverse psychological outcomes. This integrative review summarizes the importance of organizational safety culture and highlights strategies and programs (such as the RISE support program and peer support teams) for supporting healthcare professionals after involvement in a patient safety incident.
No results.

Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; July 2022.  AHRQ Publication No. 22-0038.

Diagnostic improvement continues to gain focus as a goal in health care. The Measure Dx tool provides teams with guidance and strategies to detect and learn from diagnostic errors in their organizations. It includes a checklist to gauge readiness for implementation, measurement strategies, and recommendations for analyzing data and translating findings into front line care. 

ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute care edition. July 14, 2022:27(14):1-4.

Human errors that occur while interacting with electronic health record (EHR) systems can impact patients. This article discusses a keystroke error that delayed the scheduling of an antibiotic for one year. Recommendations to mitigate the potential for similar errors include risk assessment, hard stop use, and daily medication review.

Lachman P, Runnacles J, Jayadev A et al, eds. London, England; Oxford University Press; 2022. ISBN: 9780192846877.

Patient safety needs to routinely involve new professionals to promote improvement. This publication introduces the foundations of patient safety. It aligns with an established curriculum to enhance learning and engage physicians in the application of safety concepts in their daily practice.

Washington, DC: VA Office of the Inspector General; July 14 2022. Report No. 22-01137-204.

Problems with clinician order delivery can result in harmful care delays. This report discusses how an electronic health record (EHR) system sent thousands of requests for medical care in a large health system to no location rather than to the intended site for care. These misattributions contributed to 142 patient safety events. The analysis highlighted factors contributing to the EHR misdistribution of orders and shared concerns that the organization’s approach to reduce the risk for misrouted orders lacks effectiveness.

This Month’s WebM&Ms

WebM&M Cases
Spotlight Case
Kevin J. Keenan, MD, and Daniel K. Nishijima, MD, MAS |
A 58-year-old man with a past medical history of seizures presented to the emergency department (ED) with acute onset of left gaze deviation, expressive aphasia, and right-sided hemiparesis. The patient was evaluated by the general neurology team in the ED, who suspected an acute ischemic stroke and requested an evaluation by the stroke neurology team but did not activate a stroke alert. The stroke team concluded that the patient had suffered a focal seizure prior to arrival and had postictal deficits. The stroke team did not order emergent CT angiography and perfusion imaging but recommended routine magnetic resonance imaging with angiography (MRI/MRA) for further evaluation, which showed extensive cerebral infarction in the distribution of an occluded left middle cerebral artery (MCA). Due to the delayed diagnosis of left MCA stroke, it was too late to perform any neurovascular intervention. The commentary highlights the importance of timely use of stroke alert protocols, challenges with CT angiography in early acute ischemic stroke, and the importance of communication and collaboration between ED and neurology teams.
WebM&M Cases
Garima Agrawal, MD, MPH, Pouria Kashkouli, MD, MS, and and Deb Bakerjian PhD, APRN, FAAN, FAANP, FGSA |
This WebM&M describes a 78-year-old veteran with dementia-associated aggressive behavior who was hospitalized multiple times over several months for hypoxic respiratory failure and atrial fibrillation before being discharged to a skilled nursing facility. The advanced care planning team, in consultation with palliative care and ethics experts, determined that transition to hospice was appropriate. However, these recommendations were verbally communicated and not documented in the chart. The patient developed acute hypoxic respiratory failure the night prior to the planned transition to hospice, was re-admitted to the hospital, and passed away three weeks later at the hospital. The commentary discusses the importance of well-coordinated transitions of care and the importance of active communication and standardized documentation during palliative care transitions.
WebM&M Cases
Luciano Sanchez, PharmD, Hollie Porras, PharmD, BCPS, and Cathy Lammers, MD |
This WebM&M highlights two cases of patient safety events that occurred due to medication dosing related to diagnostic imaging. The commentary highlights the challenges of administering sedation for diagnostic imaging, the use of risk stratification to understand patient risk for oversedation, and strategies for appropriate monitoring and communication.
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