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Ensuring maternal safety is a patient safety priority. This library reflects a curated selection of PSNet content focused on improving maternal safety. Included resources explore strategies with the potential to improve maternal care delivery and outcomes, such as high reliability, care standardization, teamwork, unit-based safety initiatives, and trigger tools.

Metersky ML, Eldridge N, Wang Y, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;Epub Aug 14.
The July Effect is a belief that the quality of care delivered in academic medical centers decreases during July and August due to the arrival of new trainees. Using data from the Medicare Patient Safety Monitoring System, this retrospective cohort, including over 185,000 hospital admissions from 2010 to 2017, found that patients admitted to teaching hospitals in July and August did not experience higher rates of adverse events compared to patients admitted to non-teaching hospitals.

Harolds JA, Harolds LB. Clin Nucl Med. 2015–2021.

This monthly commentary explores a wide range of subjects associated with patient safety, such as infection prevention, surgical quality improvement, and high reliability organizations.

Elsabeth Kalenderian, DDS, MPH, PhD is a professor at UCSF. Muhammad F. Walji, PhD is the Associate Dean for Technology Services and Informatics and professor for Diagnostic and Biomedical Sciences at the UT Health Science Center at Houston, School of Dentistry. We spoke to them about the identification and prevention of adverse events in dentistry.   

Leone TA. Seminars in perinatology. 2019;43:151179.
Resuscitations are highly complex interventions, particularly in neonatal settings. Ineffective teamwork, poor communication, and knowledge deficits in the neonatal team can result in adverse patient outcomes. Video is one approach to mitigating these issues by providing education, practice simulations, and skill assessment in order to improve patient care.
Carmack HJ. Health Comm. 2020;35(12):1466-1474.
Large-scale system failures can damage an organization's credibility. This commentary analyzes how one organization responded after an incident that involved 76 patients who mistakenly received fatally high doses of radiation. The strategies discussed center on the importance of organizational communication to patients, navigating the blame response, and rapid efforts to prevent similar events.
Pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum year present a complex set of patient safety challenges. Numerous maternal safety initiatives aim to prevent errors and harm, while enhancing readiness to address maternal complications.

ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute Care Edition. August 1, 2019;24.

Having family members or patient advocates present during hospitalizations can help prevent errors. This newsletter article suggests that utilizing this risk prevention strategy in peripheral care areas such as radiology and other testing units could also prevent patient harm. Recommendations to ensure success of this approach include communicating with advocates, encouraging them to speak up, and activating a rapid response to patient deterioration.
Stahl JM, Mack K, Cebula S, et al. Military medicine. 2019.
This retrospective study of dental patient safety reports in the military health system demonstrated an increase in reported events, which may reflect improvements in safety culture. Wrong-site surgery was the most common adverse event, suggesting the need to enhance safety practices in dentistry.
Macrae C, Draycott T. Safety Sci. 2016;117:490-500.
Simulation training can enhance teamwork, identify latent problems, and contribute to improved patient outcomes. This commentary explores the value of frontline obstetric simulation to develop high reliability. The authors discuss relational rehearsal, system structuring, and practice elaboration as elements of a successful simulation-focused organizational learning initiative.
First admitted to the hospital at 25 weeks of pregnancy for vaginal bleeding, a woman (G5 P2 A2) received 4 units of packed red blood cells and 2 doses of iron injections. She was discharged after 3 days with an improved hemoglobin level. At 35 weeks, she was admitted for an elective cesarean delivery. Intraoperatively, an upper uterine segment incision was made and the newborn was delivered in good condition. Immediately after, a subtotal hysterectomy was performed. The anesthesiologist noted that the patient was hypotensive; blood was transfused.
Li RC, Wang JK, Sharp C, et al. BMJ quality & safety. 2019;28:987-996.
This retrospective audit of electronic health record orders assessed the performance of bundled computerized provider order entry into order sets. Researchers examined how often order sets were supplemented with additional orders, retraction of orders within sets, infrequent ordering of specific components of order sets, and use of individual orders when sets were available. These workarounds occurred frequently and prompted the authors to conclude that existing electronic order sets do not align with frontline clinician needs.
Cohen WR, Friedman EA. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2019;32(9):1567-1570.
Guidelines play an important role in enhancing safety and reliability, but they must be rigorously evidence-based, followed, and applied. This commentary suggests that overconfidence in the guideline development process can result in reliance on recommendations that misinform practice and contribute to patient harm. As an example, the authors discuss the wide adoption of a guideline to address the cesarean delivery rate that omitted important clinical prognosticators.
A proceduralist went to perform ultrasound and thoracentesis on an elderly man admitted to the medicine service with bilateral pleural effusions. Unfortunately, he scanned the wrong patient (the patient had the same last name and was in the room next door). When the patient care assistant notified the physician of the error, he proceeded to scan the correct patient. He later nominated the assistant for a Stand Up for Safety Award.
Lacson R, Cochon L, Ip I, et al. Journal of the American College of Radiology : JACR. 2019;16:282-288.
This retrospective review of nearly 900 incident reports related to diagnostic imaging found that the most common type of safety problem was linked to the imaging procedure. Events associated with communicating abnormal results were less common but had a higher potential to harm patients. Most events had multiple contributing factors.
American Hospital Association; AHA.
Maternal harm is a patient safety concern that is increasingly prioritized in regulatory and care delivery environments. This website provides tools, policies, news articles, case studies, and information for patients and families to inform efforts to protect mothers and infants across geographic regions.

Gluck PA, ed. Obstet Gynecol Clin North Am. 2019;46:H1-H8, 199-398.

Obstetrics is a high-risk practice that concurrently manages the safety of mothers and newborns. Articles in this special issue explore various facets of health care quality and safety improvement in the care of women and expectant mothers. Topics covered include the patient experience, safety culture, disparities, program implementation, and clinical trends.