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Gandhi TK. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2022;48:61-64.
Families and caregivers play an important role in ensuring patient safety. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and, to a lesser extent, during surges, family and caregiver visitation was severely restricted. This commentary advocates reassessing risks and benefits of restricted visitation, both during the pandemic and beyond.
Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
In this annual publication, AHRQ reviews the results of the National Healthcare Quality Report and National Healthcare Disparities Report. The 2021 report highlights that a wide range of quality measures have shown improvement in quality, access, and cost.

Gebeloff R, Thomas K, Silver-Greenberg J. New York TimesDecember 9, 2021.

Nursing homes harbor numerous challenges to patient safety and they should be transparently reported and acted upon to ensure improvement. This news investigation discusses a gap in the reporting and inspection of nursing home incidents that undermines the ability of the US nursing home rating system to inform consumer long term care facility choice.

Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. January 12, 2022.

An organization’s understanding of its culture is foundational to patient safety. This webinar introduced the AHRQ Surveys on Patient Safety Culture™ (SOPS®) program. The session covered the types of surveys available and review resources available to best use the data to facilitate conversations and comparisons to inform improvement efforts. 
Simpson M, Kovach CR. Res Gerontol Nurs. 2021;14:293-304.
This prospective study explored iatrogenic events emerging among older adults in one post-acute care hospital. Researchers found that most new problems were exacerbations of preexisting conditions rather than problems stemming from the primary reason for hospitalization. Findings indicate risk factors such as comorbidities or functional level may not be useful in determining the likelihood of new problems or iatrogenic events during post-acute rehabilitation.

Deprescribing is an intervention used to reduce the risk of adverse drug events (ADEs) that can result from polypharmacy. It is the process of supervised medication discontinuation or dose reduction to reduce potentially inappropriate medication (PIM) use.

Brühwiler LD, Niederhauser A, Fischer S, et al. BMJ Open. 2021;11:e054364.
Polypharmacy and potentially inappropriate medications continue to pose health risks in older adults. Using a Delphi approach, experts identified 85 minimal requirements for safe medication prescribing in nursing homes. The five key topics recommend structured, regular review and monitoring, interprofessional collaboration, and involving the resident.
Weenink J-W, Wallenburg I, Leistikow I, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2021;30:804-811.
This qualitative study explored the impact of published inspection frameworks on quality and safety in nursing home care, dental care, and hospital care. Respondents noted the importance of the inspection framework design, the role of existing institutional frameworks, and how the frameworks can influence quality improvement across various organizational levels.
Buljac-Samardzic M, Dekker-van Doorn C, van Wijngaarden JDH. J Patient Saf. 2021;17:490-496.
Emotional exhaustion and burnout among healthcare workers can jeopardize patient safety. This survey of caregivers from two long-term care organizations found that psychological detachment – the ability to separate oneself from the job and focusing on other areas of life – positively affects patient safety and may contribute to less burnout.
Liukka M, Hupli M, Turunen H. Leadersh Health Serv (Bradf Engl). 2021;34:499-511.
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.
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).

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.
Preston-Suni K, Celedon MA, Cordasco KM. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2021;47:673-676.
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;21:842.
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: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.