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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.

Thomas K, Gebeloff R, Silver-Greenberg J. New York Times. September 11, 2021.

Nursing home medication misuse is a contributor to resident harm. This story highlights system influences such as staffing shortages, reporting failures and normalization of prescribing behaviors that coincide with the misuse of antipsychotic medications and overdiagnosis of schizophrenia.

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.
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).
Preston-Suni K, Celedon MA, Cordasco’s KM. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2021;47(10):673-676.
Presenteeism among healthcare workers – continuing to work while sick – has been attributed to various cultural and system factors, such as fear of failing colleagues or patients. This commentary discusses the patient safety and ethical considerations of presenteeism during the COVID-19 pandemic
Quach ED, Kazis LE, Zhao S, et al. BMC Health Serv Res. 2021;21(1):842.
The safety climate in nursing homes influences patient safety. This study of frontline staff and managers from 56 US Veterans Health Administration community living centers found that organizational readiness to change predicted safety climate. The authors suggest that nursing home leadership explore readiness for change in order to help nursing homes improve their safety climate.
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.

Li L, Childs AW. J Psychiatr Pract. 2021;27(4):245-253.

Although telehealth has been available for some time, its use increased exponentially at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Using the Six Domains of Health Care Quality (safe, timely, effective, efficient, equitable, patient-centered), the authors outline a framework to evaluate the safety and quality of psychiatric and behavioral health care provided via telehealth for older adults and disadvantaged youths.
Pinheiro LC, Reshetnyak E, Safford MM, et al. Med Care. 2021;Epub Aug 14.
Prior research has found that racial/ethnic minorities may be at higher risk for adverse patient safety outcomes. This study evaluated racial disparities in self-reported adverse events based on cross-sectional survey data collected as part of a national, prospective cohort evaluating stroke mortality. Findings show that Black participants were significantly more likely to report a preventable adverse event attributable to poor care coordination (e.g., drug-drug interaction, emergency department visitor, or hospitalization) compared to White participants.

Center for Healthy Aging--New York Academy of Medicine, Yale School of Nursing.

Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) challenge safety in long-term care. This toolkit highlights multidisciplinary approaches to reducing HAIs and teaching tools focused on distinct audiences across the continuum to share principles and tactics supporting improvement.
Blum MR, Sallevelt B, Spinewine A, et al. BMJ. 2021;374:n1585.
Older adults with multimorbidity and polypharmacy are at increased risk of adverse drug events. This cluster randomized controlled trial compared drug-related hospitalization rates of older adults who received a structured deprescribing intervention and those who received usual care. While rates of polypharmacy decreased, there was no effect on drug-related hospitalizations.
Damery S, Flanagan S, Jones J, et al. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021;18(14):7581.
Hospital admissions and preventable adverse events, such as falls and pressure ulcers, are common in long-term care. In this study, care home staff were provided skills training and facilitated support. After 24 months, the safety climate had improved, and both falls and pressure ulcers were reduced.
Marziliano A, Burns E, Chauhan L, et al. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2021;Epub Jul 19.
Many COVID-19 patients present with atypical symptoms, such as delirium, smell and taste dysfunction, or cardiovascular features. Based on inpatient electronic health record data between March 1 and April 20 of 2020, this cohort study examined the frequency of atypical presentation of COVID-19 among older adults. Analyses suggest that atypical presentation was often characterized by functional decline or altered mental status.
Chalmers K, Gopinath V, Brownlee S, et al. JAMA Health Forum. 2021;2(7):e211719.
Overuse or low-value procedures may result in patient physical, psychological, or emotional harm. This study explored the association between eight low-value care procedures and length of stay (LOS) and cost. All eight procedures were associated with increased LOS and cost, particularly spinal fusion. Patients receiving low-value care may be exposed to increased risk of adverse events and hospital-acquired conditions.
Serre N, Espin S, Indar A, et al. J Nurs Care Qual. 2021;Epub Jul 15.
Safety concerns are common in long-term care (LTC) facilities. This qualitative study of LTC nurses explored nurses’ experiences managing patient safety incidents (PSI). Three categories were identified: commitment to resident safety, workplace culture, and emotional reaction. Barriers and facilitators were also discussed.
Baughman AW, Triantafylidis LK, O'Neil N, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2021;47(10):646-653.
Medication reconciliation is the process of reviewing a patient’s medication list for discrepancies and safety. Patients in nursing homes are at increased risk for medication discrepancies due to complexity of care and frequent transitions of care. By using Healthcare Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA), researchers uncovered several factors that contribute to medication discrepancies. Interventions to improve medication safety can be targeted to one or more of the contributing factors.
Werner NE, Rutkowski RA, Krause S, et al. Appl Ergon. 2021;96:103509.
Shared mental models contribute to effective team collaboration and communication. Based on interviews and thematic analysis, the authors explored mental models between the emergency department (ED) and skilled nursing facility (SNF). The authors found that these healthcare professionals had misaligned mental models regarding communication during care transitions and healthcare setting capability, and that these misalignments led to consequences for patients, professionals, and the organization.
Zaidi AS, Peterson GM, Bereznicki LRE, et al. Ann Pharmacother. 2021;55(4):530-542.
Prior research has found that polypharmacy among elderly patients with dementia is associated with greater risk of functional decline. This meta-analysis of five studies concluded that exposure to potentially inappropriate medications (PIM) was not associated with either mortality or hospitalization for patients with cognitive impairment.
Abela G. J Tissue Viability. 2021;30(3):339-345.
Hospital-acquired pressure injuries (HAPI) can lead to increase costs and length of stay. Through root cause analysis, this geriatric rehabilitation hospital identified factors that contributed to the development of HAPI in its facility. Recommendations for improvement targeted both system- and human-level factors.