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Watterson TL, Stone JA, Brown RL, et al. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2021;28(7):1526-1533.
Prior research has found that ambulatory electronic health records cannot communicate medication discontinuation instructions to pharmacies. In this study, the implementation of the CancelRx system led to a significant, sustained increase in successful medication discontinuations and reduced the time between medication discontinuation in the clinic EHR and pharmacy dispensing software.

Clinical Human Factors Group. October 19, 2021. 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM (eastern).

The application of human factors and ergonomics methods to healthcare process design results in proactive failure reduction opportunities. This virtual conference will discuss the Systems Engineering Initiative for Patient Safety (SEIPS) framework to describe how this sociotechnical model supports system safety. Speakers include Pascale Carayon, Andrew Petrosoniak and Richard Holden.
Anderson E, Mohr DC, Regenbogen I, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;17(4):316-322.
Burnout and low staff morale have been associated with poor patient safety outcomes. This study focused on the association between organizational climate, burnout and morale, and the use of seclusion and restraints in inpatient psychiatric hospitals. The authors recommend that initiatives aimed at reducing restraints and seclusion in inpatient psychiatric facilities also include a component aimed at improving organizational climate and staff morale.
Chua K-P, Brummett CM, Conti RM, et al. Pediatrics. 2021;Epub Aug 16.
Despite public policies and guidelines to reduce opioid prescribing, providers continue to overprescribe these medications to children, adolescents, and young adults. In this analysis of US retail pharmacy data, 3.5% of US children and young adults were dispensed at least one opioid prescription; nearly half of those included at least one factor indicating they were high risk. Consistent with prior research, dentists and surgeons were the most frequent prescribers, writing 61% of all opiate prescriptions.
Douglas RN, Stephens LS, Posner KL, et al. Br J Anaesth. 2021;127(3):470-478.
Effective communication among providers helps ensure patient safety. Through analysis of perioperative malpractice claims using the Anesthesia Closed Claims Project database, researchers found that communication failures contributed to 43% of total claims, with the majority between the anesthesiologist/anesthesia team and the surgeon/surgery team. Methods to improve perioperative communication are discussed.
King CR, Abraham J, Fritz BA, et al. PLoS ONE. 2021;16(7):e0254358.
Analysis of canceled medication orders has been used to estimate medication ordering errors. Using the same dataset analyzed in their 2017 study, the authors update the analysis using machine learning to predict medication ordering errors and associated factors. Results indicate machine learning may be useful in understanding risk factors involved with medication ordering errors.

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.
Mikos M, Banas T, Czerw A, et al. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021;18(15):8167.
Patient falls resulting in injury are considered a never event. In this analysis of falls within one hospital, rates and trends varied across six clinical departments. The highest rate of falls was seen in rehabilitation and internal medicine, and the lowest rate in orthopedic and rheumatology. Clinical department, rates, and trends should be considered when implementing fall prevention strategies.
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.
Petrosoniak A, Fan M, Hicks CM, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2021;30(9):739-746.
Trauma resuscitation is a complex, specialized process with a high risk for errors. Researchers analyzed videotapes of in situ simulations to evaluate latent safety events occurring during trauma resuscitation. Themes influencing latent safety events related to physical workspace, mental model formation, equipment, unclear accountability, demands exceeding individuals’ capacity, and task-specific issues.
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.
Speaks L, Helmer SD, Quinn KR, et al. J Surg Educ. 2021;Epub Aug 4.
Balancing resident autonomy and supervision is an ongoing challenge in medical training. The authors reviewed patient data to identify adverse outcomes (e.g., complications, readmissions, reoperation, mortality) undergoing common general surgery procedures performed by, or indirectly supervised by, attending surgeons or the chief resident service. Findings suggest that indirect supervision of appendectomies, cholecystectomies, and hernia repairs by the chief resident surgery service is safe and can serve as a model to enhance resident autonomy during training.
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.
Van Eerd D, D'Elia T, Ferron EM, et al. J Safety Res. 2021;78:9-18.
Working conditions for healthcare workers can affect patient safety. Conducted at four long-term care facilities in Canada, this study found that a participatory organizational change program can have positive impacts on identifying and reducing musculoskeletal disorder hazards for employees, including slips, trips, falls, and ergonomic hazards. Key factors for successful implementation of the change program include frontline staff involvement/engagement, support from management, and training.

MedWatch Safety Alert. Silver Spring, MD: US Food and Drug Administration; August 20, 2021.

Delays in treatment due to device misuse or design flaws can result in patient harm. This recall announcement highlights the omission of instructions describing a distinct device feature that, if a surgeon is unaware of it, reduces emergent umbilical vein catheter placement safety. Two deaths have been reported due to problems with the device.
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.

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.

Washington Patient Safety Coalition. October 6-7, 2021.

This annual virtual conference will highlight regional and local experiences driving improvement in health equity, diagnostic safety, and patient engagement. Sidney Dekker and John D. Banja are among the speakers.
Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; October 2020.
This survey collects information from outpatient providers and staff about the culture of patient safety in their medical offices. The survey is intended for offices with at least three providers, but it also can be used as a tool for smaller offices to stimulate discussion about quality and patient safety issues. The survey is accompanied by a set of resources to support its use. The current data submission window launched on September 1 and runs through October 20, 2021.