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Shervani S, Madden W, Gleason LJ. JAMA Intern Med. 2021;Epub Aug 31.
Prior research has found that electronic health record systems (EHRs) cannot effectively communicate medication discontinuation instructions to pharmacies. This “teachable moment” commentary highlights this issue with EHR and pharmacy system interoperability which resulted in the inadvertent dispensing of a discontinued medication. A related commentary discusses the challenges associated with attempting to discontinue prescriptions and how the CancelRx system can help mitigate these challenges.
Siebert JN, Bloudeau L, Combescure C, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(8):e2123007.
Medication errors are common in pediatric patients who require care from emergency medical services. This randomized trial measured the impact of a mobile app in reducing medication errors during simulated pediatric out-of-hospital cardiac arrest scenarios. Advanced paramedics were exposed to a standardized video simulation of an 18-month of child with cardiac arrest and tested on sequential preparations of intravenous emergency drugs of varying degrees of difficulty with or without mobile app support. Compared with conventional drug preparation methods, use of the mobile app significantly decreased the rate of medication errors and time to drug delivery.
Grundgeiger T, Hurtienne J, Happel O. Hum Factors. 2020;63(5):821-832.
The usability of information technology continues to be a challenge in health care. The authors suggest that consideration of the user is critical to improving interaction with technology and thus increasing patient safety. They provide a theoretical foundation for considering user experience in healthcare.
Alexander GL, Madsen RW. J Patient Saf. 2021;17(6):e483-e489.
Information technology (IT) is prevalent across healthcare settings. This study used publicly available nursing home data and a survey on IT sophistication to identify the relationship between nursing home health deficiencies and IT sophistication. Results indicate health deficiencies decreased as IT sophistication increased, suggesting investment in IT could lead to further patient safety benefits in nursing homes.
Nasca BJ, Bilimoria KY, Yang AD. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2021;47(9):604-607.
Surgical safety has made advances while new difficulties continuously emerge. This article suggests that the specialties capitalize on artificial intelligence and professional wellness as two avenues to generate sustainable safety progress.
Dave N, Bui S, Morgan C, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2021;Epub Aug 20.
This systematic review provides an update to McDonald et al’s 2013 review of strategies to reduce diagnostic error.  Technique (e.g., changes in equipment) and technology-based (e.g. trigger tools) interventions were the most studied intervention types. Future research on educational and personnel changes would be useful to determine the value of these types of interventions.
King CR, Abraham J, Fritz BA, et al. PLoS ONE. 2021;16(7):e0254358.
Analysis of canceled medication orders has been used to estimate medication ordering errors. Using the same dataset analyzed in their 2017 study, the authors update the analysis using machine learning to predict medication ordering errors and associated factors. Results indicate machine learning may be useful in understanding risk factors involved with medication ordering errors.

Szalavitz M. Wired Magazine. August 11, 2021. 

The opioid epidemic has contributed to uncertainties for pain management patients that result in harm. This article discusses how an endometriosis patient was unable to get prescriptions to manage her pain due to misinformation generated through screening tools designed to identify opioid misuse and inform prescribing decisions.
Ellahham S. Am J Med Qual. 2021;Epub Jul 22.
Linguistic, culture, and health literacy barriers between patients and providers can lead to adverse events. In addition to the use of professional interpreters, the authors suggest additional culturally and linguistically appropriate services (CLAS) to improve communication between patients, particularly refugees and migrants, and providers.
Morris AH, Stagg B, Lanspa M, et al. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2021;28(6):1330-1344.
Clinical decision support systems are designed to improve clinical decision-making. The authors of this commentary suggest an alternative, eActions, to reduce clinician burden and increase replicability. Dissemination and use of eActions could contribute to improved clinical care quality and research.
Small K, Sidebotham M, Gamble J, et al. Midwifery. 2021;102:103074.
Health information technologies intended to reduce patient harm may have unintended consequences (UC). Midwives describe the unintended consequences of central fetal monitoring technology. These consequences included potential loss of patient trust in the midwife, changes in clinical practice, and increased documentation during labor. The authors recommend reevaluation of use of central fetal monitoring due to potential UC without demonstrating improvements in maternal safety.
Kern-Goldberger AR, Kneifati-Hayek J, Fernandes Y, et al. Obstet Gynecol. 2021;138(2):229-235.
Patient misidentification errors can result in serious patient harm. The authors reviewed over 1.3 million electronic orders for inpatients at one New York hospital between 2016 and 2018 and found that wrong-patient order errors occurred more frequently on obstetric units than medical-surgical units. Medication errors were the largest source of order errors and commonly involved antibiotics and opioid and non-opioid analgesics.
Abraham J, Pfeifer E, Doering M, et al. Anesth Analg. 2021;132(6):1563-1575.
Intraoperative handoffs between anesthesiologists are frequently necessary but are not without risk. This systematic review of 14 studies of intraoperative handoffs and handoff tools found that use of handoff tools has a positive impact on patient safety. Additional research is needed around design and implementation of tools, particularly the use of electronic health records to record handoffs.  
Chang T-P, Bery AK, Wang Z, et al. Diagnosis (Berl). 2021;Epub Jun 20.
A missed or delayed diagnosis of stroke increases the risk of permanent disability or death. This retrospective study compared rates of misdiagnosed stroke in patients presenting to general care or specialty care who were initially diagnosed with “benign dizziness”. Patients with dizziness who presented to general care were more likely to be misdiagnosed than those presenting to specialty care. Interventions to improve stroke diagnosis in emergency departments may also be successful in general care clinics.
Sujan M, Habli I. BMJ Qual Saf. 2021;Epub May 27.
This commentary discusses the use of “safety cases” to communicate the safety of a product, system or service in industry (e.g., aviation, defense, railways). Using an example of a smart infusion pump, the authors discuss how to apply this concept in healthcare to support the safe adoption of digital health innovations.

Health Ethics & Governance, World Health Organization. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2021.  ISBN: 9789240029200

Advanced computing technologies can help or hinder safe care. This guidance summaries ethical concerns and risks stemming from the influx of artificial intelligence (AI) into decision making throughout health care. The report provides 6 tenets to guide AI implementation worldwide and shares governance recommendations to ensure the clinical and public health impacts of AI are equitable, responsible and safe.
Adams KT, Pruitt Z, Kazi S, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;Epub May 20.
It is important to consider unintended consequences when implementing new tools, such as health information technology (HIT). This study reviewed 2,700 patient safety event reports to identify the type of medication error, the stage in the process in which the error occurred, and how HIT usability issues contributed to the errors. Errors in dosing were the most frequent type, and occurred during ordering or reviewing. Most errors described usability issues which should be considered and addressed to improve medication safety.
Blease CR, Salmi L, Hägglund M, et al. JMIR Ment Health. 2021;8(6):e29314.
This commentary outlines six benefits of the new requirement that health systems offer online patient access to their medical records, including clinician notes. Benefits include strengthened patient-clinician relationships, patient engagement, and adherence to mental health care plans. While online access may help narrow the digital divide, the authors also point out that lack of access to technology is still a barrier.

Obermeyer Z, Nissan R, Stern M, et al. Center for Applied Artificial Intelligence, Chicago Booth: June 2021.

Biased algorithms are receiving increasing attention as artificial intelligence (AI) becomes more present in health care. This publication shares four steps for organizational assessment algorithms to reduce their potential for negatively influencing clinical and administrative decision making.  
Aftab H, Shah SHH, Habli I. Stud Health Technol Inform. 2021;281:659-663.
Patients are increasingly using the internet and conversational agents (CAs) like Siri, Alexa, and Google to find answers to their healthcare questions. Investigators used these CAs to detect errors and failures in calculating correct insulin doses. Failure classes include misunderstanding and misrecognition of words. Potential failures must be considered before deployment of CAs in safety-critical environments.