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September 14, 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

Adair KC, Heath A, Frye MA, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:513-520.
Psychological safety (PS) is integral to ensuring healthcare workers feel comfortable asking questions and raising patient safety concerns. A novel PS assessment was administered to over 10,000 healthcare workers and support staff in one academic health system. The scale showed a significant correlation with safety culture, especially among those exposed to institutional PS programs (i.e., Safety WalkRounds and Positive Leadership WalkRounds).
Burfeind KG, Zarnegarnia Y, Tekkali P, et al. Anesth Analg. 2022;135:1048-1056.
The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) Beers Criteria serves as a guideline for prescribers to avoid potentially inappropriate medications (PIM) in geriatric patients (age 65 years and older). In this retrospective cohort study, nearly 70% of geriatric patients undergoing elective surgery received at least one PIM identified by the Beers Criteria. Patients, including cognitively impaired and frail patients, who received at least one PIM, had longer length of hospital stay after surgery.
Wahl K, Stenmarker M, Ros A. BMC Health Serv Res. 2022;22:1101.
Patient safety huddles generally use a Safety-I approach to learn from errors and increase team awareness about safety threats. This mixed-methods study found that patient safety huddles including a focus on learning from what works well (Safety-II) may be beneficial to healthcare organizations, particularly if they can purposely focus on learning from both negative and positive experiences.
Yale SC, Cohen SS, Kliegman RM, et al. Diagnosis (Berl). 2022;9:348-351.
Diagnostic timeouts can improve the differential diagnosis process and limit missed diagnostic opportunities. This prospective study evaluated the implementation of diagnostic timeouts among eight pediatric hospital medicine providers over a 12-month period. In the majority of cases, the diagnostic timeout led to the pursuit of alternative diagnoses.
Gogalniceanu P, Kunduzi B, Ruckley C, et al. Surgery. 2022;172:537-545.
The patient safety field frequently adapts safety methods from aviation, such as checklists and crew resource management. Drawn from fieldwork, interviews with aviation safety experts, and focus groups with patient safety experts, this study adapted interventions from aviation crisis recovery for use in surgical error recovery. Twelve tools were developed based on three broad strategies: situational awareness and workload management; checklists for non-normal situations; decision making and problem solving.
Wahl K, Stenmarker M, Ros A. BMC Health Serv Res. 2022;22:1101.
Patient safety huddles generally use a Safety-I approach to learn from errors and increase team awareness about safety threats. This mixed-methods study found that patient safety huddles including a focus on learning from what works well (Safety-II) may be beneficial to healthcare organizations, particularly if they can purposely focus on learning from both negative and positive experiences.
Lim Fat GJ, Gopaul A, Pananos AD, et al. Geriatrics (Basel). 2022;7:81.
The risk of adverse events increases with prolonged hospital stays. This descriptive study examined adverse events among older patients with extended hospital admissions pending transfer to long-term care (LTC) settings at two Canadian hospitals. Analyses showed that patients were designated as “alternate level of care” (ALC) for an average of 56 days before transfer to LTC and adverse events such as falls and urinary tract infections were common.
Apodaca C, Casanova-Perez R, Bascom E, et al. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2022;29:2075-2082.
Minoritized patients who experience implicit or overt discrimination in healthcare report receiving lower quality of care and may avoid seeking care in the future altogether. In this study, patients who identify as Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), and/or Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ+) describe their experiences of unfair treatment and discrimination in healthcare. Four themes related to immediate reactions and six themes related to long-term coping emerged.
Gillespie A, Reader TW. Risk Anal. 2022;Epub Aug 9.
Patients are uniquely situated to identify safety risks that may be missed or not reported by healthcare providers. This study used automated language analysis to analyze more than 140,000 reports submitted by patients and families to an online reporting system in the UK. Despite limitations, online patient feedback can serve as an additional source of potential safety risks.
Burfeind KG, Zarnegarnia Y, Tekkali P, et al. Anesth Analg. 2022;135:1048-1056.
The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) Beers Criteria serves as a guideline for prescribers to avoid potentially inappropriate medications (PIM) in geriatric patients (age 65 years and older). In this retrospective cohort study, nearly 70% of geriatric patients undergoing elective surgery received at least one PIM identified by the Beers Criteria. Patients, including cognitively impaired and frail patients, who received at least one PIM, had longer length of hospital stay after surgery.
Adair KC, Heath A, Frye MA, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:513-520.
Psychological safety (PS) is integral to ensuring healthcare workers feel comfortable asking questions and raising patient safety concerns. A novel PS assessment was administered to over 10,000 healthcare workers and support staff in one academic health system. The scale showed a significant correlation with safety culture, especially among those exposed to institutional PS programs (i.e., Safety WalkRounds and Positive Leadership WalkRounds).
Derrong Lin I, Hertig JB. Hosp Pharm. 2022;57:323-328.
The COVID-19 pandemic necessitated urgent changes in all clinical settings including community and hospital pharmacies. This commentary describes global threats to patient safety (rapidly changing clinical evidence, counterfeit medications, drug shortages) and strategies pharmacy leaders can implement to maintain patient safety.
Wise J. BMJ. 2022;378:o1974.
Patients can be vulnerable to having concerns dismissed or being gaslighted as to their legitimacy. Implicit biases against women in both clinical and administrative settings are known to foster conditions for unsafe care. This piece defines the use of the term gaslighting and how it can result in diagnostic delay due to a lack of patient-centered communication and respect.
Le Coze JC. Saf Sci. 2022;154:105853.
Safety science can be conceptualized in numerous ways, such as resilience engineering (RE) or cognitive systems engineering (CSE). This article describes the origins of the “new view” in safety science, ambiguities surrounding the term, and successes and critiques. Dr. Sidney Dekker, who coined the term “new view,” was interviewed for a PSNet Perspective in 2013.
Scott G, Hogden A, Taylor R, et al. Int J Qual Health Care. 2022;34:mzac059.
Healthcare worker engagement is an important indicator of safety culture. This literature review including 15 studies found a positive correlation between engagement and perceptions of patient safety, but research assessing the impact on patient safety outcomes is in its infancy.
Wawersik D, Palaganas J. J Healthc Manag. 2022;67:283-301.
Organizational cultures encouraging psychological safety can increase safe healthcare practices such as error reporting. This narrative review identified several organizational factors that promote psychological safety and error reporting (e.g., leadership support, nonpunitive and fair blame cultures, and continuous improvement processes) as well as organizational factors that serve as barriers to reporting (e.g., blame culture, poor communication, burnout, leadership resistance to change).
Nijor S, Rallis G, Lad N, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e999-e1003.
Usability issues related to electronic health record (EHR) use among clinicians can contribute to burnout and threaten patient safety. This literature review outlines how EHR usability issues, such as information overload, can lead to errors and threaten patient safety. The authors suggest that future research explore methods to mitigate EHR overload-related errors, including the role of EHR usability.
No results.

Mills M. The Guardian. September 3, 2022

Families experiencing medical error can harbor frustration with the system but also with themselves for allowing care mistakes to take their loved one. This first-person account shares the story of a mother’s loss of a daughter to sepsis. The memoir illustrates how lack of respect for a family’s concern contributed to the incident.

Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; 2022.  SAMHSA Publication No. PEP22-06-02-005.

Behavioral health workers are particularly susceptible to burnout, which sets the stage for unsafe care. This guide highlights organizational strategies to amend six thematic conditions in the behavioral health setting that degrade worker wellbeing: workload; control; reward, promotion, and career development; community; fairness; and values.

Farnborough, UK: Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch; July 7, 2022.

Misuse of insulin pens contributes to never events associated with diabetic medication therapy in hospitalized patients. This investigation of an injurious insulin extraction workaround culminated in recommendations to improve insulin administration safety including the explicit use of pen devices to administer U-500 insulin.
Multi-use Website
World Health Organization. September 17, 2022.
Patients, families, and providers around the world are affected by medical error. This annual event and its associated materials seek to raise awareness, motivate collaboration, and stimulate innovative work targeting a distinct patient safety theme. The 2022 theme is “Medication Safety” with the slogan “Medication without Harm". Explicit objectives of the effort include increasing awareness worldwide of the impact of medication errors and enabling a robust patient and family role in medication safety efforts.

This Month’s WebM&Ms

WebM&M Cases
Carla S. Martin, MSN, RN, CIC, CNL, NEA-BC, FACHE, Shannon K. Reese, BSN, RN, VABC, and Margaret Brown-McManus, MSN, RN, CNL |
This case describes a 20-year-old woman was diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism and occlusive thrombus in the right brachial vein surrounding a  peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) line (type, gauge, and length of time the PICC had been in place were not noted). The patient was discharged home but was not given any supplies for cleaning the PICC line, education regarding the signs of PICC line infection, or referral to home health services. During follow-up several days after discharge, the patient’s primary care provider noted that the PICC dressing was due to be changed and needed to be flushed, but the outpatient setting lacked the necessary supplies. An urgent referral to home health was placed, but the agency would be unable to attend to the patient for several days. The primary care provider changed the dressing, and the patient was referred to the emergency department for assessment. The commentary summarizes the risks of PICC lines, the role of infection prevention practices during the insertion and care of PICC lines, and the importance of patient education and skill assessment prior to discharge home with a PICC line.
WebM&M Cases
Samson Lee, PharmD, and Mithu Molla, MD, MBA |
This WebM&M highlights two cases where home diabetes medications were not reviewed during medication reconciliation and the preventable harm that could have occurred. The commentary discusses the importance of medication reconciliation, how to compile the ‘best possible medication history’, and how pharmacy staff roles and responsibilities can reduce medication errors.
WebM&M Cases
Commentary by Jennifer Rosenthal, MD, MAS and Michelle Hamline, MD, PhD, MAS |
A 2-year-old girl presented to her pediatrician with a cough, runny nose, low grade fever and fatigue; a nasal swab for SARS-CoV-2 and influenza was negative and lung sounds were clear. The patient developed a fever and labored breathing and was taken to the Emergency Department (ED) before being admitted to the hospital. She developed respiratory distress and clinically worsened over time until she developed respiratory failure requiring air transportation to the pediatric intensive care unit at a children’s hospital. She was ultimately diagnosed with adenovirus after developing conjunctivitis and bronchiolitis. After 3 days of continuous monitoring and treatment in the PICU, the patient was alert, responsive, and hungry. She was taken off supplemental oxygen after about 24 more hours, transferred to a regular pediatric bed, and then discharged to outpatient follow-up care. The commentary addresses patient safety risks associated with pediatric interfacility transfers and strategies to mitigate preventable harms due to poor provider-provider communication, provider-family communication, and family engagement.

This Month’s Perspectives

Freya Spielberg
Perspective
Freya Spielberg MD, MPH, is the Founder and CEO of Urgent Wellness LLC, a social enterprise dedicated to improving the health of Individuals living in low-income housing in Washington, DC. Previously, as an Associate Professor at George Washington University, and at the University of Texas Dell Medical School, and School of Public Health, she developed a curriculum in Community Oriented Quality Improvement, to train the next generation of healthcare providers how to integrate population health into primary care to achieve the quintuple aim of better health outcomes, better patient experience, better provider experience, lower health care costs, and decreased health disparities. We spoke with her about her ongoing work in low-income communities to improve access to primary care and its impact on patient safety.
Jack Westfall
Interview
Jack Westfall, MD MPH, is a retired professor from the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Former Director of the Robert Graham Center. We spoke with him about the role of primary care in the health and well-being of individuals, the hallmarks of high quality primary care and opportunities of primary care providers to enhance or promote patient safety.
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