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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.

Arvidsson L, Lindberg M, Skytt B, et al. J Clin Nurs. Epub 2021 Jul 6. 

 

Healthcare associated infections (HAI) affect thousands of hospitalized patients each year. This study evaluated working conditions that impact risk behaviors, such as missed hand hygiene, that may contribute to HAI. Main findings indicate that interruptions and working with colleagues were associated with increased risk behaviors.

A 64-year-old woman was admitted to the hospital for aortic valve replacement and aortic aneurysm repair. Following surgery, she became hypotensive and was given intravenous fluid boluses and vasopressor support with norepinephrine. On postoperative day 2, a fluid bolus was ordered; however, the fluid bag was attached to the IV line that had the vasopressor at a Y-site and the bolus was initiated.

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Washington DC:  National Academies Press; 2021. ISBN (Pre-publication): 9780309491518.

Health care system safety and effectiveness requires an engaged and empowered nursing workforce. This report builds on the foundation of nursing as a core care contributor. It shares a framework positioning nurses to improve equity, reduce disparities and support family-centered care in the future through education, healthy work environments and enhanced professional autonomy.
Nurses play a critical role in patient safety through their constant presence at the patient's bedside. However, staffing issues and suboptimal working conditions can impede a nurse’s ability to detect and prevent adverse events.

Constellation, Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine. 

The processes supporting safe and accurate diagnosis involve many steps that are prone to human error. This collaborative will engage teams to explore test result management and follow-up coordination to improve timeliness, collaboration, and communication to support safe care. The launch of the collaborative has been delayed due to COVID-19.

A 93-year-old man on warfarin with chronic heart failure, atrial fibrillation, and a ventricular assist device (VAD) was admitted to the hospital upon referral from the VAD team due to an elevated internal normalized ratio (INR) of 13.4. During medication review, the hospital team found that his prescribed warfarin dose was 4 mg daily on Mondays and Fridays and 3 mg daily on all other days of the week; this prescription was filled with 1 mg tablets. However, his medication list also included an old prescription for 5 mg tablets.

Medication administration errors are a persistent patient safety problem. Increasing the safety of medication administration requires a multifaceted, system-level approach that spans all areas of health care delivery, such as primary, specialty, inpatient, and community-based care.
Buhlmann M, Ewens B, Rashidi A. J Clin Nurs. 2020;Epub Dec 23.
Adverse events can have significant impacts on the providers involved. This systematic review explored the experiences of critical incidents on nurses and midwives and their perceived support from the healthcare system. The article discusses the emotional, physical, and professional impacts; perceptions of personal, peer and workplace support; and how nurses and midwives move forward and cope with the impact of critical incidents.  
Forbes TH, Wynn J, Anderson T, et al. Nurs Manage. 2020;51(12):36-42.
A positive safety culture can improve nursing-sensitive patient safety outcomes. This secondary analysis of Hospital Survey on Patient Safety scores indicate that manager- and peer-level factors greatly influence clinical nurses’ perceptions of patient safety and nonpunitive responses to error. The authors discuss the importance of the role of organizational leaders, managers and staff in creating a safe patient care environment
Muhrer JC. Nurs Pract. 2021;46(2):44-49.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to wide-ranging changes to health care delivery, some of which may negatively impact patient outcomes.The authors use a syndemic perspective to discuss existing challenges interfering with diagnosis (structural, socioeconomic, patient-related, and provider-related), how the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated those challenges, and strategies related to nurse practitioners and community health workers to improve diagnosis.  

MedWatch Safety Alert. Silver Spring, MD: US Food and Drug Administration; January 27, 2021.  

Labeling mistakes in the pharmaceutical production cycle can remain undetected until the affected medication reaches a patient. This alert reports a recall of a neuromuscular blocker for use in surgery due to it being mislabeled as a medication to increase blood pressure. 
Lewandowska K, Weisbrot M, Cieloszyk A, et al. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020;17(22):8409.
Alarm fatigue, which can lead to desensitization and threaten patient safety, is particularly concerning in intensive care settings. This systematic review concluded that alarm fatigue may have serious consequences for both patients and nursing staff. Included studies reported that nurses considered alarms to be burdensome, too frequent, interfering with patient care, and resulted in distrust in the alarm system. These findings point to the need for a strategy for alarm management and measuring alarm fatigue.  
Arshad SA, Ferguson DM, Garcia EI, et al. J Surg Res. 2021;257:455-461.
Engaging patients and families is an important strategy in ensuring safe health care delivery. In this prospective, observational study, use of a parent-centered script did not improve parent engagement during the preinduction checklist and resulted in an expected decline in checklist adherence.  
Bacon CT, McCoy TP, Henshaw DS. J Nurs Adm. 2021;51(1) :12-18.
Lack of communication and interpersonal dynamics can contribute to failure to rescue. This study surveyed 262 surgical staff about perceived safety climate, but the authors did not find an association between organizational safety culture and failure to rescue or inpatient mortality.  
Ruutiainen HK, Kallio MM, Kuitunen SK. Eur J Hosp Pharm. 2021;Epub Jan 17.
Automated drug dispensing systems can reduce medication dispensing and administration errors.  However, this study found that medication automated dispensing cabinets ADCs)in one hospital frequently contained look-alike, sound-alike (LASA) medications, which may increase the risk for medication error.
Shaw J, Bastawrous M, Burns S, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;17(1):30-35.
Patients who have fallen in their homes and are found by a home healthcare worker are referred to as “found-on-floor” incidents. This study found that length of stay was a key theme in found-on-floor incidents and signaled underlying system-level issues, such as lack of informational continuity across the continuum of care (e.g., lack of standard documentation across settings, unclear messaging regarding clients’ home care needs), reliance on home healthcare workers instead of rehabilitation professionals, and lack of fall assessment follow-up. The authors recommend systems-level changes to improve fall prevention practices, such as use of electronic health records across the continuum of care and enhanced accountability in home safety.