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Concern over patient safety issues associated with inadequate tracking of test results has grown over the last decade, as it can lead to delays in the recognition of abnormal test results and the absence of a tracking system to ensure short-term patient follow-up.1,2 Missed abnormal tests and the lack of necessary clinical follow-up can lead to a late diagnosis.
A 56-year-old man was admitted to the hospital and required mechanical ventilation due to COVID-19-related pneumonia and acute respiratory failure. The care team performed a tracheostomy percutaneously at the bedside with some difficulty. The tracheostomy tube was secured, inspected via bronchoscopy, and properly sutured. During the next few days, the respiratory therapist noticed a leak that required additional inflation of the cuff to maintain an adequate seal.
To address a well-documented hospital adverse outcome (in-hospital patient clinical deterioration), Kaiser Permanente Northern California (KPNC) developed and implemented the Advance Alert Monitor (AAM) program. Using predictive analytics, the team developed a model to alert clinicians up to 12 hours prior to a patient’s likely deterioration. This early detection allowed clinicians to devise and implement a care plan to prevent deterioration of the patient’s condition and/or align the care plan with the goals of the patient.
A 25-year-old female was sent by ambulance to the emergency department (ED) by a mental health clinic for suicidal ideation. Upon arrival to the ED, she was evaluated by the triage nurse and determined to be awake, alert, calm, and cooperative and she denied current suicidal thoughts. The ED was extremely busy, and the patient was placed on a gurney with a Posey restraint in the hallway next to the triage station awaiting psychiatric social work assessment. Approximately 40 minutes later, the triage nurse noticed that the patient was missing from the gurney.
Seeking a sustainable process to enhance their hospitals’ response to sepsis, a multidisciplinary team at WellSpan Health oversaw the development and implementation of a system that uses customized electronic health record (EHR) alert settings and a team of remote nurses to help frontline staff identify and respond to patients showing signs of sepsis. When the remote nurses, or Central Alerts Team (CAT), receive an alert, they assess the patient’s information and collaborate with the clinical care team to recommend a response.
Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. April 2022 – October 2023.
This WebM&M highlights two cases of hospital-acquired diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) in patients with type 1 diabetes. The commentary discusses the role of the inpatient glycemic team to assist with diabetes management, the importance of medication reconciliation in the emergency department (ED) for high-risk patients on insulin, and strategies to empower patients and caregivers to speak up about medication safety.