Holmes J, Chipman M, Barbour T, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2022;48:12-24.
Air medical transport carries unique patient safety risks. In this study, researchers used simulation training and healthcare failure mode and effect analysis (HFMEA) to identify latent safety threats related to patient transport via helicopter. This approach identified 31 latent safety threats (18 were deemed critical) related to care coordination, facilities, equipment, and devices.
Li L, Foer D, Hallisey RK, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e108-e114.
Despite the introduction of computerized provider order entry into electronic health records, providers still frequently use free-text fields to communicate important information which introduces a patient safety risk. One healthcare system searched allergy-related free-text fields, identifying more than 242,000 entries. Approximately 131,000 were manually or automatically remediated (e.g., “latex from back brace” and “gloves” were coded “latex-natural rubber”).
Brown B, Bermingham S, Vermeulen M, et al. BMJ Open Qual. 2021;10:e001593.
Despite evidence of the benefits of the World Health Organization’s surgical safety checklist, implementation and sustainability are inconsistent in many hospitals. Using five cycles of Plan-Do-Study-Act, a hospital in Adelaide, South Australia, was able to increase use of the checklist from 3.5% to 63%. Staff reported that they felt the new checklist process improved patient safety and was easily incorporated into their workflow.
Gibson BA, McKinnon E, Bentley RC, et al. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2021;Epub Oct 21.
A shared understanding of terminology is critical to providing appropriate treatment and care. This study assessed pathologist and clinician agreement of commonly-used phrases used to describe diagnostic uncertainty in surgical pathology reports. Phrases with the strongest agreement in meaning were “diagnostic of” and “consistent with”. “Suspicious for” and “compatible with” had the weakest agreement. Standardized diagnostic terms may improve communication.
Kemp T, Butler‐Henderson K, Allen P, et al. Health Info Libr J. 2021;38:248-258.
This review focused on the impact of the Health Information Management (HIM) profession on patient safety as it relates to health information documentation. Key themes identified were data quality, information governance, corporate governance, skills, and knowledge required for HIM professionals.
Schefft M, Noda A, Godbout E. Curr Treat Options Pediatr. 2021;7:138-151.
Overuse of medical care represents a significant patient safety challenge. This review discusses the impacts of healthcare overuse and unnecessary care on patient safety, including contributions to avoidable adverse events, increasing risks for healthcare-acquired infections, and adverse psychological outcomes.
Weber L, Schulze I, Jaehde U. Res Social Adm Pharm. 2021;Epub Nov 18.
Chemotherapy administration errors can result in serious patient harm. Using failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA), researchers identified potential failures related to the medication process for intravenous chemotherapy. Common failures included incorrect patient information, non-standardized chemotherapy protocols, and problems related to supportive therapy.
Centola D, Guilbeault D, Sarkar U, et al. Nature Commun. 2021;12:6585.
Race and gender bias in healthcare remains a public health problem. Study participants were assigned to a control (i.e., independent reflection) or intervention (i.e., “egalitarian” information exchange network) group and asked to provide diagnostic and treatment recommendations for standardized patients (a white man or a black woman). Participants in the intervention group were more likely to recommend appropriate care and showed no bias in final recommendations. The authors note that these findings indicate that clinician network interventions might be useful in healthcare settings to reduce disparities in patient treatment.
Jomaa C, Dubois C‐A, Caron I, et al. J Adv Nurs. 2021;Epub Nov 30.
Nurses play a critical role in ensuring patient safety. This study explored the association between the organization of nursing services and patient safety incidents in rehabilitation units. Findings highlight the key role of appropriate nurse staffing in reducing the incidence of events such as falls and medication errors
Brenner MJ, Boothman RC, Rushton CH, et al. Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 2021;55.
This three-part series offers an in-depth look into the core values of honesty, transparency, and trust. Part 1, Promoting Professionalism, introduces interventions to increase provider professionalism. Part 2, Communication and Transparency, describes the commitment to honesty and transparency across the continuum of the patient-provider relationship. Part 3, Health Professional Wellness, describes the impact of harm on providers and offers recommendations for restoring wellness and joy in work.
Attia E, Fuentes A, Vassallo M, et al. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2022;79:297-305.
Anti-coagulants are classified as high-risk medications due to their potential to cause serious patient harm if not administered correctly. This hospital created a multidisciplinary anticoagulant safety taskforce to reduce errors and improve patient safety. The article describes the implementation process, including the use of the 2017 Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) Medication Safety Self-Assessment for Antithrombotic Therapy tool.
Adverse event reporting by health care providers, including medical trainees, is critical to improving patient safety. At one children’s hospital, graduate medical education (GME) trainees submitted reports of greater severity than pharmacists and nurses, and identified system vulnerabilities not detected by other health care providers, such as errors in transitions of care, diagnosis, and care delays.
Ellis LA, Tran Y, Pomare C, et al. BMC Health Serv Res. 2021;21:1256.
This study investigated the relationship between hospital staff perceived sociotemporal structures, safety attitudes, and work-related well-being. The researchers identified that hospital “pace” plays a central role in understanding that relationship, and a focus on “pace” can significantly improve staff well-being and safety attitudes.
Malevanchik L, Wheeler M, Gagliardi K, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2021;47:775-782.
Communication in healthcare is essential but can be complicated, particularly when there are language barriers between providers and patients. This study evaluated a hospital-wide care transitions program, with a goal of universal contact with discharged patients to identify and address care transition problems. Researchers found that the program reached most patients regardless of English proficiency, but that patients with limited English proficiency experienced more post-discharge issues, such as difficulty understanding discharge instructions, medication concerns and follow-up questions, and new or worsening symptoms.
Jessurun JG, Hunfeld NGM, Van Rosmalen J, et al. Int J Qual Health Care. 2021;33:mzab142.
Reducing medication administration errors (MAEs) is an ongoing patient safety priority. This prospective study assessed the impact of automated unit dose dispensing with barcode-assisted medication administration on MAEs at one Dutch hospital. Implementation was associated with a lower probability of MAEs (particularly omission errors and wrong dose errors), but impact would likely be greater with increased compliance with barcode scanning.
Benning S, Wolfe R, Banes M, et al. J Pediatr Nurs. 2021;61:372-377.
Patient falls represent a significant cause of patient harm. While most research on falls focus on the in-patient setting, this study reviewed research evidence and findings from environmental assessments to provide recommendations for reducing risk of falls in the pediatric ambulatory care setting. Three categories of barriers and interventions were identified: equipment and furniture, environment, and people.
Gadallah A, McGinnis B, Nguyen B, et al. Int J Clin Pharm. 2021;43:1404-1411.
This comparison study assessed the impact of virtual pharmacy technicians (vCPhT) obtaining best possible medication histories from patients admitted to the hospital from the emergency department. The rates of unintentional discrepancies per medication and incomplete medication histories were significantly lower for vCPhT than other clinicians. Length of stay, readmissions, and emergency department visits were similar for both groups.
Phillips R A, Schwartz RL, Sostman HD, et al. NEJM Catalyst. 2021;2.
This article summarizes the principles of high reliability organizations (HROs) and how one healthcare organization sought to become an HRO by emphasizing a culture of safety and the learning healthcare system. The authors discuss how the principles of high-reliability were successfully leveraged during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Seufert S, de Cruppé W, Assheuer M, et al. BMJ Open. 2021;11:e052973.
Patient reports of patient safety incidents are one method to detect safety hazards. This telephone survey of German citizens found that patients frequently report patient safety incidents back to their general practitioner or specialist and these incidents can lead to loss of trust in the physician.
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