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April 12, 2023 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

Adams M, Hartley J, Sanford N, et al. BMC Health Serv Res. 2023;23:285.
Patients and families expect full, timely disclosure after incidents. This realist synthesis examines research on patient disclosure to inform what is required to strengthen disclosure in maternity care. Five key themes were identified, including meaningful acknowledgment of harm and opportunities for patients and families to be involved in the follow-up.
Kern-Goldberger AR, Nicholls EM, Plastino N, et al. Am J Obstet Gynecol MFM. 2023:100893.
Many labor and delivery wards have implemented continuous fetal and maternal monitoring to improve patient safety, but this continuous monitoring may also have unintended consequences, such as alarm fatigue. This labor and delivery ward sought to decrease the overuse of monitoring, and related false or missed alarms, on low-risk obstetrical patients. Through the development and implementation of a vital sign guideline assessment, the rate of alarms was decreased with no increase in maternal complications.
Zhong J, Simpson KR, Spetz J, et al. J Patient Saf. 2023;19:166-172.
Missed nursing care is a key indicator of patient safety and has been linked to safety climate. Survey responses from 3,429 labor and delivery nurses from 253 hospitals across the United States found an average of 11 of 25 aspects of essential nursing care were occasionally, frequently, or always missed. Higher perceived safety climate was associated with less missed care. The authors discuss the importance of strategies to reduce missed care, such as adequate nurse staffing, ensuring nonpunitive responses to errors, and promoting open communication.
Shahin Z, Shah GH, Apenteng BA, et al. Healthcare (Basel). 2023;11:788.
The “July effect” is a widely held, yet poorly studied, belief that the quality of care delivered in teaching hospitals decreases during the summer months due to the arrival of new trainee physicians. Using national inpatient stay data from 2018, this study found that the risk of postpartum hemorrhage among patients treated at teaching hospitals was significantly higher during the first six months of the academic year (July to December) compared to the second half (January to June). The authors recommend future research examine whether postpartum hemorrhage is associated with resident work hours, technical deficiencies, or unfamiliarity with hospital practices, and emphasize the importance of monitoring and clinical training to mitigate the impacts of the “July effect.”
Liang MQ, Thibault M, Jouvet P, et al. BMJ Health Care Inform. 2023;30(1):e100622.
Computerized provider order entry (CPOE) systems are widely used and can help prevent medication administration errors. This mixed-methods study examined the impact of CPOE on medication safety in the pediatric department at one Canadian hospital. Researchers found that most errors occurred during the medication administration step rather than the prescribing step. The researchers also observed a non-statistically significant decrease in medication errors overall, which was primarily attributed to significant improvements in errors during order acknowledgement, transmission, and transcription.
Zhong J, Simpson KR, Spetz J, et al. J Patient Saf. 2023;19:166-172.
Missed nursing care is a key indicator of patient safety and has been linked to safety climate. Survey responses from 3,429 labor and delivery nurses from 253 hospitals across the United States found an average of 11 of 25 aspects of essential nursing care were occasionally, frequently, or always missed. Higher perceived safety climate was associated with less missed care. The authors discuss the importance of strategies to reduce missed care, such as adequate nurse staffing, ensuring nonpunitive responses to errors, and promoting open communication.
Johansson AC, Manago B, Sell J, et al. Acad Med. 2023;98:505-513.
Hierarchy based on expertise is appropriate in some situations, but hierarchy based on factors not related to expertise (i.e., gender or discipline) hinders safe patient care. In this study, teams of first-year residents and nurses participating in a training session were recorded on audio and video. Using the status characteristics and expectation states (SCES), transcripts and videos were coded separately by statement type (e.g., directive, question) and gender and discipline. Statement types by gender and status varied slightly between transcript and video, but were largely consistent with expectations, suggesting the SCES framework could be applied to larger teams and studies.
King CR, Shambe A, Abraham J. JAMIA Open. 2023;6:ooaf015.
Handoffs and transitions of care represent a vulnerable time for patients as important information must be shared and understood by multiple people. This study focuses on postoperative nurse handoffs, specifically regarding situational awareness and anticipatory guidance, and the role artificial intelligence (AI) could play in improving handoffs. Five themes were uncovered, including the importance of situational awareness and associated barriers, how AI could address those barriers, and how AI could result in new/additional barriers.
Auerbach AD, Astik GJ, O’Leary KJ, et al. J Gen Intern Med. 2023;38:1902-1910.
COVID-19 ushered in new diagnostic challenges and changes in care practices. In this study conducted during the first wave of the pandemic, charts for hospitalized adult patients under investigation (PUI) for COVID-19 were reviewed for potential diagnostic error. Diagnostic errors were identified in 14% of cases; patients with and without diagnostic errors were statistically similar and errors were not associated with pandemic-related change practices.
Kern-Goldberger AR, Nicholls EM, Plastino N, et al. Am J Obstet Gynecol MFM. 2023:100893.
Many labor and delivery wards have implemented continuous fetal and maternal monitoring to improve patient safety, but this continuous monitoring may also have unintended consequences, such as alarm fatigue. This labor and delivery ward sought to decrease the overuse of monitoring, and related false or missed alarms, on low-risk obstetrical patients. Through the development and implementation of a vital sign guideline assessment, the rate of alarms was decreased with no increase in maternal complications.
Baartmans MC, van Schoten SM, Smit BJ, et al. J Patient Saf. 2023;19:158-165.
Sentinel events are adverse events that result in death or severe patient harm and require a full organizational investigation to identify root causes and make recommendations to prevent recurrence. This study pooled sentinel event reports from 28 Dutch hospitals to identify common system-level contributing factors. Aggregation of system-level factors may provide more urgency in implementing recommendations than a single case at one organization.
Schnipper JL, Reyes Nieva H, Yoon CS, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2023;32:457-469.
Implementing successful interventions to support effective medication reconciliation is an ongoing challenge. The MARQUIS2 study examined whether system- and patient-level interventions plus physician mentors can improve medication reconciliation and reduce medication discrepancies. This analysis based on patient exposure in the MARQUIS2 study found that patient receipt of a best possible medication history (BPMH) in the emergency department and medication reconciliation at admission and discharge were associated with the largest reductions in medication discrepancy rates.
Lewis NJW, Marwitz KK, Gaither CA, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2023;49:280-284.
Community pharmacies face unique challenges in ensuring patient safety. This commentary summarizes research on prescribing errors in community pharmacies and how a culture of safety in community pharmacies can drive improvements in prescribing safety.
Kemper T, van Haperen M, Eberl S, et al. Simul Healthc. 2023;18:367-374.
Simulation-based training provides a safe environment to learn technical and nontechnical skills (NTS) such as communication and teamwork. This article describes the development of nontechnical, simulation-based crisis scenarios in cardiothoracic surgery. Cardiac surgeons, cardiac anesthesiologists, cardiac perfusionists, and cardiac operating room nurses from all surgical cardiac centers in the Netherlands participated in the development of 13 crisis scenarios. The list of selected and non-selected scenarios and an example scenario design template are provided.
Rosner BI, Zwaan L, Olson APJ. Diagnosis (Berl). 2023;10:31-37.
Peer feedback is an emerging approach to improving clinicians’ diagnostic reasoning skills. The authors outline several barriers to diagnostic performance feedback and propose solutions to improve diagnostic performance.
Wright I. AORN J. 2023;117:231-238.
Normalization of deviance refers to the wide adoption of poor practices despite associated safety hazards. This article discusses how normalization of deviance threatens high-reliability and outline strategies to mitigate normalization of deviance in operating rooms (ORs).
Emani S, Rodriguez JA, Bates DW. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2023;30:995-999.
Electronic health records (EHR) are essential for recording patients' clinical data but may also perpetuate stigma, particularly for people of color. This article describes how the EHR can perpetuate individual, organizational, and structural racism and ways organizations, researchers, practitioners, and vendors can address racism.
Adams M, Hartley J, Sanford N, et al. BMC Health Serv Res. 2023;23:285.
Patients and families expect full, timely disclosure after incidents. This realist synthesis examines research on patient disclosure to inform what is required to strengthen disclosure in maternity care. Five key themes were identified, including meaningful acknowledgment of harm and opportunities for patients and families to be involved in the follow-up.

US Department of Health and Human Services. 2023-2024. 

Work toward zero harm in health care is gaining national attention in the United States. These webinars align with efforts by the National Action Alliance to Advance Patient and Workforce Safety. There have been seven videos in this series of offerings from the Alliance supporting its work to improve safety. Four upcoming sessions discussing alliance aims and diagnostic safety research are open for registration.

Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK: Care Quality Commission; March 2023.

The ability to raise patient safety concerns without fear of retribution is a core element of a safety culture. This pair of reports examines a failure in organizational response to an employee expressing concerns. The first report examines an explicit whistleblowing incident in the National Health Service that was poorly managed. The second looks at broader system-level elements needed to support effective responses when concerns are voiced.

D'Ambrosio A. MedPage Today. March 31, 2023.

Maternal health is challenged across social strata but notably amongst populations of color, economic disparity, and social minority. This article discusses barriers mothers face trying to manage substance use disorders during pregnancy and after birth due to system problems and stigma.
Audiovisual Presentation

Shaikh U, van der List L, Blumberg D. Kids Considered. March 27, 2023.

Medication administration at home can be problematic especially for parents caring for children. This podcast highlights common reasons for medication mistakes at home and how they can be avoided. Simple steps such as not using regular spoons as methods of delivering liquid medications are highlighted.

Bean M, Carbajal E. Becker's Hospital Review. March 29, 2023.

The RaDonda Vaught conviction reverberated throughout health care and marked weaknesses in systems response to errors and the clinicians who make them. This news article examines how health care organizations renewed efforts to establish and nurture a culture of safety and error reporting in service of safe patient care and learning from mistakes.

This Month’s WebM&Ms

WebM&M Cases
Spotlight Case
Commentary by Michael Leonardo Amashta, MD, and David K. Barnes, MD, FACEP |
This case involves a procedural sedation error in a 3-year-old patient who presented to the Emergency Department with a left posterior hip dislocation. The commentary summarizes the indications and risks of procedural sedation in non-surgical settings and highlights the value of implementing system-wide safety protocols and practices to prevent medication administration errors during high-risk procedures.
WebM&M Cases
Charleen Singh, PhD, MSN/ED, FNP-BC, CWOCN, RN and Brent Luu, PharmD, BCACP |
This case represents a known but generally preventable complication of calcium chloride infusion, eventually necessitating surgical amputation of the patient’s left fourth (ring) finger. The commentary discusses the importance of correctly identifying IV fluids as irritants or vesicants, risks associated with the use of vesicants such as calcium chloride, and the role of early recognition of infiltration and extravasation and symptom management to minimize tissue damage and accelerate healing.
WebM&M Cases
Spotlight Case
Barbara Resnick, PhD, CRNP, and Marie Boltz, PhD, CRNP |
This Spotlight Case highlights two cases of falls in older patients in nursing homes. The commentary discusses how risk factors for falls should be considered in care planning and approaches to fall prevention in long-term care settings.

This Month’s Perspectives

Annual Perspective
Jawad Al-Khafaji, MD, MHSA, Merton Lee, PhD, PharmD, Sarah Mossburg, RN, PhD |
Throughout 2022, AHRQ PSNet has shared research that elucidates the complex nature of misdiagnosis and diagnostic safety. This Year in Review explores recent work in diagnostic safety and ways that greater safety may be promoted using tools developed to improve diagnostic practices.
Interview
Drs. Susan McGrath and George Blike discuss surveillance monitoring and its challenges and opportunities.
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