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Lafferty M, Harrod M, Krein SL, et al. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2021;Epub Sep 28.
Use of one-way communication technologies, such as pagers, in hospitals have led to workarounds to improve communication. Through observation, shadowing, interviews, and focus groups with nurses and physicians, this study describes antecedents, types, and effects of workarounds and their potential impact on patient safety.
Pinnock R, Ritchie D, Gallagher S, et al. Adv Health Sci Educ Theory Pract. 2021;26(3):785-809.
Cognition is a recognized human factor that can contribute to medical error. This systematic review explored whether mindful practice can improve diagnosis in healthcare. Of the 33 included studies, the majority were non-empirical; however, the authors tentatively conclude that mindful practice may be a promising method to improve diagnostic accuracy and reduce error.
Zaheer S, Ginsburg LR, Wong HJ, et al. BMC Nurs. 2021;20(1):134.
A culture of safety is essential to reducing medical errors and improving patient safety. In this mixed-methods study, researchers found that acute care nurses’ perceptions of senior leadership, teamwork, and turnover intention were associated with perceived patient safety.
Berdot S, Vilfaillot A, Bézie Y, et al. BMC Nurs. 2021;20(1):153.
Interruptions have been identified as a common source of medication errors. In this study of the effectiveness of a “do not interrupt” vest worn by nurses from medication preparation to administration, neither medication administration error or interruption rates improved.
Hendrickx I, Voets T, van Dyk P, et al. J Med Internet Res. 2021;23(7):e19064.
Prioritization of patient complaints allows inspectors to follow up more quickly on those that pose the most severe safety risk. Using text mining and sentiment analysis, more than 22,000 patient complaints were assigned a severity category. The ‘bag-of-words representation’ was most successful for severity predicting and could be used to triage patient complaints.
Huynh I, Rajendran T. BMJ Open Qual. 2021;10(3):e001363.
Unintentional therapeutic duplication can lead to life-threatening complications. As part of a quality improvement project on a surgical ward, staff were educated about the risks of therapeutic duplication and strategies to decrease it. After one month of education and reminders, the rate of therapeutic duplication decreased by more than half.
Khidir H, McWilliams JM, O’Malley AJ, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(9):e2125193.
While racial, ethnic, and gender biases have been widely documented at the system level, it has not been well documented at the individual physician level. This analysis of 4.5 million emergency department visits in the US showed variation in hospital admission rates among physicians, but an individual physician’s propensity to admit patients did not vary by patient sociodemographic group.
Klatt TE, Sachs JF, Huang C-C, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2021;47(12):759-767.
This article describes the implementation of a peer support program for “second victims” in a US healthcare system. Following training, peer supporters assisted at-risk colleagues, raised awareness of second victim syndrome, and recruited others for training. The effectiveness of the training was assessed using the Second Victim Experience Support Tool. The most common event supported was inability to stop the progress of a medical condition, including COVID-19.
Lasser EC, Heughan JA-A, Lai AY, et al. Curr Med Res Opin. 2021;Epub Sep 8.
Patient-centered medical homes (PCMHs) are designed to be team-based, coordinated, accessible primary health care. This qualitative study explored patient perceptions about safety in PCMHs. Identified themes important to patient safety include communication with and between clinicians and trust in the care team, including being heard, respected, and treated as a whole person.
Montaleytang M, Correard F, Spiteri C, et al. Int J Clin Pharm. 2021;43(5):1183-1190.
Previous studies have found that discrepancies between patients’ medication lists and medications they are actually taking are common. This study found that sharing the results of medication reconciliation performed at admission and discharge with patients’ community care providers led to a decrease in medication discrepancies.
Schaffer AC, Babayan A, Einbinder JS, et al. Obstet Gynecol. 2021;138(2):246-252.
Adverse events in obstetrics threaten the safety of both maternal and infant patients. This study identified a significant reduction in malpractice claims among obstetrician-gynecologists after participation in simulation training focused on team training and crisis management.
Slikkerveer M, van de Plas A, Driessen JHM, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;17(7):e587-e592.
Anticoagulants, such as low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH), are known to be high-risk for adverse drug events. This cross-sectional study identified prescribing errors – primarily lack of dosage adjustment for body weight and/or renal function – among one-third of LMWH users admitted to one hospital over a five-month period.
Taylor E, Hignett S. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021;18(15):7780.
Informed environmental features, such as the built environment, can improve safety outcomes. The authors propose a theoretic model and matrix (DEEP SCOPE; DEsigning with Ergonomic Principles – Safety as Complexity of the Organization, People, and Environment) intended to synthesize design interventions into a systems-based model using the principles of human factors and ergonomics.
Volkar JK, Phrampus P, English D, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;17(7):e689-e693.
The goal of peer review is to provide clinicians with the opportunity to learn from errors. A multidisciplinary panel at one academic medical center established a new approach for physician peer review which incorporated a protected electronic portal for communication and engagement and a Just Culture peer review algorithm to identify opportunities for system improvements. The new approach decreased the average time necessary for full case review and increased provider engagement.

Collaborative for Accountability and Improvement. October 21, 2021. 

Communication-and-resolution program (CRP) initiatives are a valuable strategy for improving support and transparency after an adverse incident. This webinar discussed how patients and families feel about support mechanisms after they have experienced medical error, if they were involved in a CRP process and the types of information they required after a harmful incident.
Winters BD, Slota JM, Bilimoria KY. JAMA. 2021;326(12):1207.
Alarm fatigue is a pervasive contributor to distractions and error. This discussion examines how, while minimizing nuisance alarms is important, those efforts need to be accompanied by safety culture enhancements to realize lasting progress toward alarm reduction.

Bean M, Masson G. Becker's Hospital Review. October 4, 2021.

Staffing shortages can impact the safety of care by enabling burnout, care omission, and staff attrition. This article discusses how the COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated an examination of how staffing challenges affect areas such as diagnosis, infection control, and organizational patient safety focus.

Zirger JM, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fed Register. September 27, 2021;86:53309-53312.

Tracking healthcare-associated infection (HAI) data aids in national, regional, and organizational design of HAI improvement efforts. This notice calls for public comment on the continuation of the National Healthcare Safety Network HAI information collection process. The comment period closes November 26, 2021.