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Gregory H, Cantley M, Calhoun C, et al. Am J Emerg Med. 2021;46:266-270.
Medication safety continues to be a challenge in most healthcare settings, including emergency departments. In this academic emergency department, an overall error rate of 16.5% was observed, including errors in directions, quantity prescribed, and prescriptions written with refills. Involving a pharmacist at discharge may increase patient safety.
Liukka M, Hupli M, Turunen H. Leadersh Health Serv (Bradf Engl). 2021;Epub Sep 8.
The Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture and Nursing Home Survey on Patient Safety Culture were used in one Finish healthcare organization to assess 1) differences in employee perceptions of safety culture in their respective settings, and 2) differences between professionals’ and managers’ views. Managers assessed safety culture higher than professionals in both settings. Acute care patient safety scores were significantly positive in 8 out of twelve domains, compared to only one in long-term care.
Weiner-Lastinger LM, Pattabiraman V, Konnor RY, et al. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2021;Epub Sept 13.
Using data reported to the National Healthcare Safety Network, this study identified significant increases in the incidence of healthcare-associated infections from 2019 to 2020. The authors conclude that these findings suggest a need to return to conventional infection control and prevention practices and prepare for future pandemics.

ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute care edition.  September 9, 2021;26(18);1-5.

Disrespectful behavior is a persistent contributor to failures in medical care. This article summarizes influences that enable the acceptance and perpetuation of unprofessional behaviors and calls for data to assess its presence and impact in health care environments. The deadline for survey participation is October 29, 2021.

Mirtallo JM, Ayers P. Pharmacy Practice News. September 7, 2021;48(9):17-20.

Parenteral nutrition (PN) processes contain various steps that are prone to errors resulting in patient harm. This article discusses standardization as a strategy to reduce the potential for missteps and shares resources for process evaluation to improve PN reliability and safety.
Grailey K, Leon-Villapalos C, Murray E, et al. BMJ Open. 2021;11(8):e046699.
Psychological safety enables staff to raise concerns, reduce mistakes and learn from errors. The majority of surveyed intensive care unit staff in three units within one trust in London reported feeling psychologically safe within their teams (e.g. being able to bring up problems). In a novel finding, this study identified potential negative consequences of psychological safety, including distraction and fatigue for team leaders.
Warm EJ, Ahmad Y, Kinnear B, et al. Acad Med. 2021;96(9):1268-1275.
Technical and procedural skills are an important emphasis of medical training. This article briefly summarizes the “as low as reasonably achievable” (ALARA) approach, which was developed for the nuclear industry and has been used in radiology. The authors outline how ALARA risk standards can be adapted by training program directors to measure procedural competency and assess and reduce bedside procedural risks.
Raghuram N, Alodan K, Bartels U, et al. Virchows Archiv. 2021;478(6):1179-1185.
Autopsies are an important tool for identifying diagnostic errors. This retrospective study of 821 pediatric cancer deaths found that 10% had a major diagnostic discrepancy between antemortem and postmortem diagnoses. These discrepancies primarily consisted of missed infections, missed cancer diagnoses, and organ complications.
Combs CA, Einerson BD, Toner LE. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2021;Epub Jul 30.
Maternal and newborn safety is challenged during cesarean delivery due to the complexities of the practice. This guideline recommends specific checklist elements to direct coordination and communication between the two teams engaged in cesarean deliveries. The guideline provides a sample checklist and steps for its implementation.
Boquet A, Cohen T, Diljohn F, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;17(6):e534-e539.
This study classified flow disruptions affecting the anesthesia team during cardiothoracic surgeries. Disruptions were classified into one of six human factors categories: communication, coordination, equipment issues, interruptions, layout, and usability. Interruptions accounted for nearly 40% of disruptions (e.g., events related to alerts, distractions, searching activity, spilling/dropping, teaching moment).
Kaya GK. Appl Ergon. 2021;94:103408.
A systems approach provides a framework to analyze errors and improve safety. This study uses the Systems Theoretic Process Analysis (STPA) to analyze risks related to pediatric sepsis treatment process. Fifty-four safety recommendations were identified, the majority of which were organizational factors (e.g., communication, organizational culture).

Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; September 9, 2021. PA-21-267. 

This funding opportunity supports large research demonstration and implementation projects applying existing strategies to understand and reduce adverse events in ambulatory and long-term care settings. Projects focused on preventing harm in disadvantaged populations to improve equity are of particular interest. The funding cycle will be active through May 27, 2024.
D'Angelo JD, Lund S, Busch RA, et al. Surgery. 2021;170(2):440-445.
This study evaluated the type and effectiveness of resident and faculty coping strategies following an intraoperative error and the interaction with physician gender. Results show that while men and women surgeons experience adverse events at approximately the same rate, the coping methods utilized and effectiveness of the methods varied.
Wang X, Wilson C, Holmes K. J Gerontol Soc Work. 2021:1-17.
Nursing home residents are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 due to their age and communal living conditions. Using publicly available data for nursing homes in Florida, this study explored the association between nursing home characteristics and COVID-19 cases and deaths. Findings suggest that the likelihood of COVID-19 cases in nursing homes is related to ownership status, facility size and average occupancy rate, rather than quality (as measured by infection prevention and control deficiencies).
Burrus S, Hall M, Tooley E, et al. Pediatrics. 2021;148(3):e2020030346.
Based on analysis of four years of data submitted to the Child Health Patient Safety Organization (CHILDPSO), researchers sought to identify types of serious safety events and contributing factors. Three main groups of serious safety events were identified: patient care management, procedural errors, and product or device errors. Contributing factors included lack of situational awareness, process failures, and failure to communicate effectively.
Davidson JE, Chechel L, Chavez J, et al. Am J Crit Care. 2021;30(5):375-384.
Nurses play a critical role in ensuring patient safety. Following the Joint Commission’s revised standards for titration of continuous intravenous medications, 730 nurses were surveyed about their experiences. Based on 159 comments, two overarching themes were identified: harms (e.g., erosion of workplace wellness, moral dilemma, patient safety) and professionalism (e.g., autonomy, nurse proficiency).

Pasztor A. Wall Street Journal. September 2, 2021.

Aviation continues to serve as an exemplar for healthcare safety efforts. This story highlights work toward the development of a National Patient Safety Board for medicine to establish a neutral centralized body to examine errors and share improvements driven by a robust self-reporting culture similar to that in commercial aviation.
Khawagi WY, Steinke DT, Carr MJ, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2021;Epub Aug 27.
Patient safety indicators (PSIs) can be used to identify potential patient safety hazards. Researchers used the Clinical Practice Research Datalink GOLD database to examine prevalence, variation, and patient- and practice-level risk factors for 22 mental health-related PSIs for medication prescribing and monitoring in primary care. The authors found that potentially inappropriate prescribing and inadequate medication monitoring commonly affected patients with mental illness in primary care.
Newman B, Joseph K, Chauhan A, et al. Health Expect. 2021;Epub Aug 26.
Patients and families are essential partners in identifying and preventing safety events. This systematic review characterizes patient engagement along a continuum of engagement that includes consultation (e.g., patients are invited to provide input about a specific safety issue), involvement (e.g., patients are asked about their preferences/concerns and given the opportunity to engage with practitioners about a specific issue), and partnership/leadership (e.g., patients ‘work’ with practitioners to improve the safety of their care, often using tools designed to empower patients to alert practitioners to concerns).

Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research. Fed Register. August 31, 2021;86:48703-48705.

This announcement calls for public comment on the intention of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to launch the Ambulatory Surgery Center Survey on Patient Safety Culture Database data collection process. The comment period closes September 30, 2021.