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September 21, 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

Brown TH, Homan PA. Health Serv Res. 2022;57:443-447.
Structural racism, from race-adjusted algorithms to biased machine learning, contributes to and exacerbates health inequities. This commentary calls for developing valid measures of structural racism and a publicly available data infrastructure for researchers. A related study examined the relationship between structural racism and birth outcomes between Black and white patients in Minnesota.
Stenquist DS, Yeung CM, Szapary HJ, et al. J Am Acad Orthop Surg Glob Res Rev. 2022;6:e22.00079.
The I-PASS structured handoff tool has been widely implemented to improve communication during handoffs and patient transfers. In this study, researchers modified the I-PASS tool for use in orthopedic surgery and assessed the impact on adverse clinical outcomes. After 18 months, there was sustained adherence to the tool and the quality of handoffs improved, but no notable changes in clinical outcomes were identified.
Wylie JA, Kong L, Barth RJ. Ann Surg. 2022;276:e192-e198.
“Opioid never event” (ONE) is a proposed classification to describe dependence or overdose among opioid-naïve patients prescribed opioids at hospital discharge. Based on a retrospective review of medical records of patients at one academic medical center, researchers estimated that the ONE affected approximately 2 per 1,000 opioid-naïve surgical patients and persistent opioid use 90 to 360 days after surgery was present in 45% of patients with ONEs.
Luri M, Gastaminza G, Idoate A, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:630-636.
Clinical decision support systems can alert prescribers to potential interactions between the drug being ordered and other drugs or drug allergies. Earlier studies have shown high rates of overrides of drug allergy alerts. This study analyzed allergic adverse drug events that occurred because of overridden drug allergy alerts (ODAA). Less than 10% of ODAA were inappropriate and resulted in only mild adverse events.
Shiell A, Fry M, Elliott D, et al. Intensive Crit Care Nurs. 2022;Epub Aug 25.
Rapid response team (RRT) activations bring together a team of providers to immediately assess and treat a patient who is rapidly deteriorating. This mixed-methods study examined the characteristics of a collaborative RRT model in one Australian tertiary care hospital. The majority of activations occurred in general medicine units and some patients (approximately 5%) had more than five activations. Qualitative interviews with nurses and physicians highlighted how the collaborative RRT model improves patient safety and optimized early detection and management of patient deterioration.
Thiruchelvam K, Byles J, Hasan SS, et al. Res Social Adm Pharm. 2022;18:3758-3765.
Potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs) are common among older adults living in residential care facilities. This study examined the impact of the Australian Residential Medication Management Review (RMMR) service (a patient-centered medication review program) on PIM prescribing among older women living in residential aged care facilities. Researchers identified no evidence of an association between the medication review program and use of PIMs in the following year.
Ghaith S, Campbell RL, Pollock JR, et al. Healthcare (Basel). 2022;10:1328.
Obstetric and gynecologic (OB/GYN) physicians are frequently involved in malpractice lawsuits, some of which result in catastrophic payouts. This study categorized malpractice claims involving OB/GYN trainees (students, residents, and fellows) between 1986 and 2020. Cases are categorized by type of injury, patient outcome, category of error, outcome of lawsuit, and amount of settlement.
Wylie JA, Kong L, Barth RJ. Ann Surg. 2022;276:e192-e198.
“Opioid never event” (ONE) is a proposed classification to describe dependence or overdose among opioid-naïve patients prescribed opioids at hospital discharge. Based on a retrospective review of medical records of patients at one academic medical center, researchers estimated that the ONE affected approximately 2 per 1,000 opioid-naïve surgical patients and persistent opioid use 90 to 360 days after surgery was present in 45% of patients with ONEs.
Harris CK, Chen Y, Yarsky B, et al. Acad Pathol. 2022;9:100049.
Physicians, including resident physicians, report safety events at lower rates than nurses and other staff. This study analyzed adverse event and near miss reporting by residents in one American hospital. Although pathology residents accounted for more than 5% of residents in the hospital, they only accounted for 0.5% of all reports.
Stenquist DS, Yeung CM, Szapary HJ, et al. J Am Acad Orthop Surg Glob Res Rev. 2022;6:e22.00079.
The I-PASS structured handoff tool has been widely implemented to improve communication during handoffs and patient transfers. In this study, researchers modified the I-PASS tool for use in orthopedic surgery and assessed the impact on adverse clinical outcomes. After 18 months, there was sustained adherence to the tool and the quality of handoffs improved, but no notable changes in clinical outcomes were identified.
Redelmeier DA, Shafir E. Med Decis Making. 2022;Epub Sep 5.
Premature closure occurs when clinicians accept a diagnosis before it has been confirmed and alternative diagnoses have been explored and can lead to missed diagnosis. In this study, participants (including both health care professionals and community members) were provided one of five scenarios describing a hypothetical patient with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 in the presence or absence alternative diagnosis (e.g., COVID-19 symptoms and the presence or absence of a positive flu test). Findings suggest that bias can lead individual to overlook the likelihood of COVID-19 when an alternative diagnosis is present.
Keller C. Health Aff (Millwood). 2022;41:1353-1356.
Communication failures due to hierarchy and silos create opportunities for adverse medication and treatment events. This narrative essay discusses gaps in care coordination that contributed to anticoagulant medication errors. The author outlines areas for improvement such as assignment of accountability for error and commitment to the learning health system as avenues for improvement.
Austin JM, Bane A, Gooder V, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:526-530.
Use of bar code medication administration (BCMA) technology in hospitals has been shown to decrease medication errors at the time of administration. In 2016, the Leapfrog Group implemented a standard for BCMA use as part of its hospital survey. This article describes the development, testing, and subsequent refinement of the BCMA standard.
Vecchione TM, Agarwal R, Monitto CL. Paediatr Anaesth. 2022;32:982-992.
Appropriate pediatric pain management is an ongoing patient safety concern. This article discusses five categories of errors in pediatric acute pain management and how mitigating cognitive biases can help clinicians anticipate, identify, and avoid these errors.
Brown TH, Homan PA. Health Serv Res. 2022;57:443-447.
Structural racism, from race-adjusted algorithms to biased machine learning, contributes to and exacerbates health inequities. This commentary calls for developing valid measures of structural racism and a publicly available data infrastructure for researchers. A related study examined the relationship between structural racism and birth outcomes between Black and white patients in Minnesota.
Shimizu T, Graber ML. Diagnosis (Berl). 2022;9:311-315.
Improving diagnostic reasoning skills can reduce diagnostic errors. These authors discuss how insight – or the spontaneous emergence of the correct answer at a later point in time – can be incorporated into the diagnostic process and approaches to nurturing insight through existing strategies (e.g., cognitive forcing functions, mnemonics) and enhancing both critical and creative thinking.  
Goodwin C, Haas S, Berry WR. BMJ Leader. 2022;Epub Aug 19.
Disruptive behavior includes behaviors that show disrespect for others and impede safe delivery of patient care. This commentary presents a framework for new physician managers to address disruptive behavior modeled after clinical medicine: diagnose, treat, prevent. The authors stress maintaining curiosity during the “diagnostic” phase, careful consideration of “treatment” and follow-up, and “prevention” of future disruption though intentional training and building a culture of safety.
Lee SE, Hyunjie L, Sang S. West J Nurs Res. 2022;Epub Jul 23.
Effective nurse leadership can result in improved safety climate and willingness to report errors. This review identified 14 studies of the impact of nurse leadership on adverse patient outcomes, rates of nursing errors, error reporting and error reporting intention, quality of care, and patient satisfaction. Transformational leadership in particular showed a positive relationship with improved outcomes.
Eggenschwiler LC, Rutjes AWS, Musy SN, et al. PLoS ONE. 2022;17:e0273800.
Trigger tools alert patient safety personnel to potential adverse events (AE) which can then be followed up with retrospective chart review. This review sought to understand the variability in adverse event detection in acute care and study characteristics that may explain the variation. Fifty-four studies were included with a wide range of AEs detected per 100 admissions. The authors suggest developing guidelines for studies reporting on AEs identified using trigger tools to decrease study heterogeneity.
International Meeting/Conference

AHA Team Training. October 6 – November 17, 2022.

Despite the recognition that teamwork is essential to safe care, its implementation into established processes can be a challenge. Building on the established TeamSTEPPS® principles, this virtual workshop series focuses on leadership, change management and process integration to enrich organizational efforts to embed effective teamwork into care.

Donovan-Smith O. Spokesman-Review. September 11, 2022.

Electronic health record (EHR) system issues degrade the data sharing and communication needed to inform safe patient care. This newspaper feature discusses problems with the new Veterans Affairs EHR system from the patient and family perspective in the context of diagnostic and treatment delay.

Saver C. AORN J. 2022;116(2):111-132.

Retained surgical items (RSI) are regarded as “never events” but are a persistent cause of patient harm. This three-part series discusses the RSI problem, RSI prevention efforts, and the role of human factors in unintended retention of surgical objects.

Farnborough, UK: Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch; 2022. HSIB Report no. NI-005831

This report summarizes the work of an independent office that examines maternity care safety lapses in the United Kingdom. It discusses the number of investigations done, criteria for investigation selection and primary improvement themes drawn from the review of 706 investigations in the period covered which include clinical assessment and oversight, care escalation, and fetal monitoring. The report outlines the goal to establish a maternity review effort as an independent entity in 2023.

This Month’s WebM&Ms

WebMandM 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.
WebMandM 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.
WebMandM Cases
Samantha Brown, MD, John S. Rose, MD, and David K. Barnes, MD |
A 71-year-old man presented to a hospital-based orthopedic surgery clinic for a follow-up evaluation of his knee and complaints of pain and swelling in his right shoulder. His shoulder joint was found to be acutely inflamed and purulent fluid was aspirated from his shoulder. The patient was sent to the Emergency Department (ED) for suspected septic arthritis. Although the inpatient team was made aware of the incoming patient and admission orders were entered into the electronic health record (EHR) before ED arrival, ED staff were not informed of the incoming patient or the orthopedic surgeon’s plan for immediate admission. When the patient arrived, there were multiple patients in the ED waiting room and multiple boarding patients awaiting inpatient beds. The patient stayed in the ED hallway on “wall time” under the care of the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel; no ED physician or nurse was assigned to evaluate or care for the patient because the transfer of care from EMS had not occurred. The patient was on wall time for at least 10 hours before any actions were taken by the ED before being admitted to the orthopedic inpatient service. The commentary discusses challenges associated with ED transfers and ED overcrowding, potential system-level solutions to the “wall time” problem, and the importance of closed-loop communication.

This Month’s Perspectives

Francoise A. Marvel
Interview
Francoise A. Marvel, MD, is an assistant professor of medicine within the Division of Cardiology at Johns Hopkins Hospital, codirector of the Johns Hopkins Digital Health Innovation Lab, and the chief executive officer (CEO) and cofounder of Corrie Health. We spoke with her about the emergence of application-based tools used for healthcare and the patient safety issues surrounding the use of such tools.
Perspectives on Safety
This piece focuses on the emergence and use of digital applications (apps), app-based products and devices for healthcare, and the implications for patient safety.
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