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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.
Barber Doucet H, Ward VL, Johnson TJ, et al. Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2021;60(9-10):408-417.
Healthcare provider implicit biases can lead to inequitable care delivery and poorer patient outcomes. Pediatric residents were surveyed about their attitudes, skill level, and preferred educational interventions related to implicit bias and care of diverse populations. Prior medical education or training in diversity and bias-related skills was associated with higher self-reported skill level.

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.
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).
Pilosof NP, Barrett M, Oborn E, et al. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021;18(16):8391.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to dramatic changes in healthcare delivery. Based on semi-structured interviews and direct observations, researchers evaluated the impact of a new model of remote inpatient care using telemedicine technologies in response to the pandemic. Intensive care and internal medicine units were divided into contaminated and clean zones and an integrated control room with audio-visual technologies allowed for remote supervision, communication, and support. The authors conclude that this model can increase flexibility in staffing via remote consultations and allow staff to supervise and monitor more patients without compromising patient and staff safety.
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

Ellis NT, Broaddus A. CNN. August 25, 2021. 

Maternal safety is an ongoing challenge worldwide. This news feature examines how the COVID pandemic has revealed disparities and implicit biases that impact the maternal care of black women. The stories shared highlight experiences of mothers with preventable pregnancy-related complications.
Pring ET, Malietzis G, Kendall SWH, et al. Int J Surg. 2021;91:105987.
This literature review summarizes approaches to crisis management used by non-healthcare institutions (e.g., private businesses, large military organizations) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and how healthcare organizations – particularly the surgical community – can leverage these approaches in operational planning and crisis management.
Hansen J, Terreros A, Sherman A, et al. Pediatrics. 2021;148(3):e2021050555.
Physicians have demonstrated knowledge gaps in accurately diagnosing child maltreatment. This article describes the implementation of a system-wide daily review of patients with concerns of maltreatment, allowing child abuse pediatricians (CAPs) to intervene and address potential errors (e.g., history taking, injury identification, testing for occult injuries, and cognitive analysis) and to identify patients who require immediate intervention. Over a 30-month period, the program identified potential diagnostic errors and safe discharge concerns, many of which led to new or changed diagnoses.
Keister LA, Stecher C, Aronson B, et al. BMC Public Health. 2021;21(1):1518.
Constrained diagnostic situations in the emergency department (ED), such as crowding, can impact safe care. Based on multiple years of electronic health record data from one ED at a large U.S. hospital, researchers found that providers were significantly less likely to prescribe opioids during constrained diagnostic situations and less likely to prescribe opioids to high-risk patients or racial/ethnic minorities.
Liese KL, Davis-Floyd R, Stewart K, et al. Anthropol Med. 2021;28(2):188-204.
This article draws on interviews and observations to explore medical iatrogenesis in obstetric care. The authors discuss how various factors – such as universal management plans, labor and delivery interventions, and informed consent – contribute to iatrogenic harm and worse perinatal outcomes for racial/ethnic minority patients.

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.
Neprash HT, Sheridan B, Jena AB, et al. Health Aff (Millwood). 2021;40(8):1321-1327.
The COVID-19 pandemic led to an increase in the use of telehealth in order to limit patient exposure to the virus. Findings from this study highlight the value of telehealth visits for patients with suspected respiratory infections to prevent further transmission. Researchers found that patients exposed to influenza-like illness in primary care office settings were more likely than nonexposed patients to return with a similar illness within two weeks.
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.
Taylor M, Reynolds C, Jones RM. Patient Safety. 2021;3(2):45-62.
Isolation for infection prevention and control – albeit necessary – may result in unintended consequences and adverse events. Drawing from data submitted to the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Reporting System (PA-PSRS), researchers explored safety events that impacted COVID-19-positive or rule-out status patients in insolation. The most common safety events included pressure injuries or other skin integrity events, falls, and medication-related events.
Dhahri AA, Refson J. BMJ Leader. 2021;Epub Aug 12.
Hierarchy and professional silos can disrupt collaboration. This commentary describes one hospital’s approach to shifting the surgical leadership role to facilitate communication and cross-organizational influence to affect quality and safety performance.
Fatemi Y, Coffin SE. Diagnosis (Berl). 2021;Epub Aug 5.
Using case studies, this commentary describes how availability bias, diagnostic momentum, and premature closure resulted in delayed diagnosis for three pediatric patients first diagnosed with COVID-19. The authors highlight cognitive and systems factors that influenced this diagnostic error.
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.
Miller-Kleinhenz JM, Collin LJ, Seidel R, et al. J Am Coll Radiol. 2021;Epub Jul 16.
Delayed diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer can lead to poor outcomes. Based on multi-year data from one health system, the authors of this cohort study found that black women with screen-detected breast cancers were more likely than white women to experience diagnostic delays, including delays in diagnostic evaluation and biopsy. The delay in diagnosis was also associated with an increase in breast cancer mortality.