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Addressing diagnostic errors to improve outcomes and patient safety has long been a problem in the US healthcare system.1 Many methods of reducing diagnostic error focus on individual factors and single cases, instead of focusing on the contribution of system factors or looking at diagnostic errors across a disease or clinical condition. Instead of addressing individual cases, KP sought to improve the disease diagnosis process and systems. The goal was to address the systemic root cause issues in systems that lead to diagnostic errors.
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.
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.
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.
Patient falls in hospitals are common and debilitating adverse events that persist despite decades of effort to minimize them. Improving communication across the assessing nurse, care team, patient, and patient’s most involved friends and family may strengthen fall prevention efforts. A team at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, sought to develop a standardized fall prevention program that centered around improved communication and patient and family engagement.
With increasing recognition that health is linked to the conditions in which a patient lives, health systems are looking for innovative ways to support recently discharged patients in their lives outside of the hospital. In a recent innovation, Prime Healthcare Services, Inc., which includes a network of 45 hospitals, provided social needs assessments and strengthened its partnerships with community agencies to support the health of high-needs patients after their discharge from the hospital.
During a time of unprecedented patient volume and clinical uncertainty, a diverse team of health system administrators and clinicians within the University of Pennsylvania Health System quickly investigated, updated, and disseminated airway management protocols after several airway safety incidents occurred among COVID-19 patients who were mechanically ventilated. Based on this experience, the team created the I-READI framework as a guide for healthcare systems to prepare for and quickly respond to quality and safety crises.1
Appropriate follow-up of incidental abnormal radiological findings is an ongoing patient safety challenge. Inadequate follow-up can contribute to missed or delayed diagnosis, potentially resulting in poorer patient outcomes. This study describes implementation of an electronic health record-based referral system for patients with incidental radiologic finding in the emergency room.
Patient falls are a never event and a frequent focus of patient safety and quality improvement projects. This pediatric ICU implemented a colored alert system based on fall risk assessments for all admitted patients.
Community pharmacists encounter a wide range of challenges to medication safety. This study used a novel prospective method of predicting errors and developing remedial solutions.
Medical residents, alongside interns, nurses and attending physicians, are uniquely positioned to identify safety concerns because they are on the front lines of patient care.1 Residents can bring a fresh perspective that is informed by their cross-department training experiences.1,2 As a tool to leverage resident potential and improve reporting of safety events, some evidence supports the use of resident-led training and hands-on activities.3,4 Yet, while there are many studies on patient
Post-discharge adverse drug events (ADEs) are one of the most common preventable harms leading to hospital readmission in the United States.1,2 To improve medication-related safety and reduce hospital readmissions, the Memphis Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) started a transitional care clinic (TCC) led by clinical pharmacy specialists (CPSs) who provide follow-up care to patients after they are discharged from the hospital or emergency department (ED). CPSs are independent mi
In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center and Lower Manhattan Hospital faced multiple challenges.
Studies show that home visits to patients recently discharged from the hospital can help prevent unnecessary readmission.1 Providing continuing care instructions to patients in their homes—where they may be less overwhelmed than in the hospital—may also be a key mechanism for preventing readmission.2 Home visit clinicians and technicians can note any health concerns in the home environment and help patients understand their care plan in the context of that environment.2
Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a serious but preventable medical condition in which blood clots form in the veins.
An increasing volume of patients presenting for acute care can create a need for more ICU beds and intensivists and lead to longer wait times and boarding of critically ill patients in the emergency department (ED).1 Data suggest that boarding of critically ill patients for more than 6 hours in the emergency department leads to poorer outcomes and increased mortality.2,3 To address this issue, University of Michigan Health, part of Michigan Medicine, developed an ED-based ICU, the first of its kind, in its 1,000-bed adult hospital.
Mobile health apps are becoming increasingly popular for patients and clinicians. This innovative study implemented a pharmacist-led mobile health based intervention to improve medication safety of patients following kidney transplant.
Checklists are used in many clinical settings to improve patient safety. This pediatric intensive care unit updated a static checklist, eSIMPLE, to a dynamic, decision-support enhanced checklist, eSIMPLER.