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Härkänen M, Haatainen K, Vehviläinen-Julkunen K, et al. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021;18:9206.
Building on previous research on the use of text mining related to medication administration error incidents, researchers in this study found that artificial intelligence can be used to accurately classify the free text of medication incident reports causing serious or moderate harm, to identify target risk management areas.
Townsend T, Cerdá M, Bohnert AS, et al. Health Aff (Millwood). 2021;40:1766-1775.
Misuse of prescription opioids represents a serious patient safety issue. Using commercial claims from 2014 - 2018, researchers examined the association between the 2016 CDC guidelines to reduce unsafe opioid prescribing and opioid dispensing for patients with four common chronic pain diagnoses. Findings indicate that the release of the 2016 guidelines was associated with reductions in the percentage of patients receiving opioids, average dose prescribed, percentage receiving high-dose prescriptions, number of days supplied, and the percentage of patients receiving concurrent opioid/benzodiazepine prescriptions. The authors observe that questions remain about how clinicians are tailoring opioid reductions using a patient-centered approach.
Soncrant C, Mills PD, Pendley Louis RP, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;17:e821-e828.
Using data from the Veterans Health Administration National Center for Patient Safety, this retrospective study found that suicide and opioid overdose are the most serious healthcare-related adverse events affecting homeless veterans. Identified root causes include issues related to risk assessment for suicidal or overdose behaviors as well as poor interdisciplinary communication and coordination of care.
Orenstein EW, Kandaswamy S, Muthu N, et al. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2021;28:2654-2660.
Alert fatigue is a known contributor to medical error. In this cross-sectional study, researchers found that custom alerts were responsible for the majority of alert burden at six pediatric health systems. This study also compared the use of different alert burden metrics to benchmark burden across and within institutions.
Sauro KM, Machan M, Whalen-Browne L, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;17:e1285-e1295.
Hospital adverse events are common and can contribute to serious patient harm. This systematic review included 94 studies (representing 590 million admissions from 25 countries) examining trends in hospital adverse events from 1961 to 2014. Findings indicate that hospital adverse events have increased over time and that over half are considered preventable.
Sood N, Lee RE, To JK, et al. Birth. 2022;49:141-146.
Cesarean delivery can contribute to increased maternal morbidity. This retrospective study found that the introduction of a hospital-wide perioperative bundle significantly reduced surgical site infection rates. The perioperative bundle consisted of five elements (1) an antibiotic protocol, (2) preoperative warming and intraoperative maintenance of normal temperature, (3) standardized surgical preparation for each patient, (4) use of standardized fascial closure trays, and (5) standardized intraoperative application of wound dressing. 
Warm EJ, Ahmad Y, Kinnear B, et al. Acad Med. 2021;96:1268-1275.
Technical and procedural skills are an important emphasis of medical training. This article briefly summarizes the “as low as reasonably achievable” (ALARA) approach, which was developed for the nuclear industry and has been used in radiology. The authors outline how ALARA risk standards can be adapted by training program directors to measure procedural competency and assess and reduce bedside procedural risks.
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.
Fernandez Branson C, Williams M, Chan TM, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2021;30:1002-1009.
Receiving feedback from colleagues may improve clinicians’ diagnostic reasoning skills. By building on existing models such as Safer Dx, and collaborating with professionals outside of the healthcare field, researchers developed the Diagnosis Learning Cycle, a model intended to improve diagnosis through peer feedback.
Agnoli A, Xing G, Tancredi DJ, et al. JAMA. 2021;326:411-419.
Sudden discontinuation of opioids has been linked to increased patient harm. This observational study evaluated the link between tapering and overdose, and mental health crisis among patients who were receiving long-term opioid therapy. Patients who underwent dose tapering had an increased risk of overdose and mental health crisis compared to those who did not undergo dose tapering. 
Paradissis C, Cottrell N, Coombes ID, et al. Ther Adv Drug Saf. 2021;12:204209862110274.
Adverse drug events are a common source of harm in both inpatient and ambulatory patients. This narrative review of 75 studies concluded that cardiovascular medications are a leading cause of medication harm across different clinical settings, and that older adults are at increased risk. Medications to treat high blood pressure and arrhythmias were the most common cause of medication harm.
Hernández-Prats C, López-Pintor E, Lumbreras B. Res Social Adm Pharm. 2022;18:2748-2756.
Clinical pharmacists play an important role in ensuring patient safety, particularly in interventions aimed at reducing polypharmacy. This review focused on interventions involving pharmacists to reduce polypharmacy and inappropriate medications for patients with heart failure. Findings indicate interventions are most successful when specific guidelines or recommendations to assess appropriate prescribing of heart failure medications are followed.
Barbara L, Roberta DB, Vanda R, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18(2):e480-e488.
Patient safety indicators can help hospitals identify and prevent potential adverse events. Researchers in this study developed a conceptual framework for monitoring patient safety and a set of fifteen actionable patient safety indicators.
Chang T-P, Bery AK, Wang Z, et al. Diagnosis (Berl). 2022;9:96-106.
A missed or delayed diagnosis of stroke increases the risk of permanent disability or death. This retrospective study compared rates of misdiagnosed stroke in patients presenting to general care or specialty care who were initially diagnosed with “benign dizziness”. Patients with dizziness who presented to general care were more likely to be misdiagnosed than those presenting to specialty care. Interventions to improve stroke diagnosis in emergency departments may also be successful in general care clinics.
Mackenhauer J, Winsløv J-H, Holmskov J, et al. Crisis. 2021;43:307-314.
Prior research has found that patients who die by suicide often had recent contact with the healthcare setting. Based on a multi-year chart review at one institution, the authors concluded that suicide risk assessment and documentation in the heath record to be insufficient. The authors outline quality improvement recommendations focused on improving documentation, suicide assessment and intervention training, and improving communications with families, caregivers, and other health care providers.
Khan NF, Booth HP, Myles P, et al. BMC Health Serv Res. 2021;21.
This study assessed how and when quality improvement (QI) feedback reports on prescribing safety are used in one general practice in the UK. Four themes were identified: receiving the report, facilitators and barriers to acting upon the report, acting upon the report, and how the report contributes to a quality culture. Facilitators included effective dissemination of reports while barriers included lack of time to act upon the reports. As most practitioners indicated the QI reports were useful, efforts should be made to address barriers to acting upon the reports.
Dynan L, Smith RB. Health Serv Outcomes Res Methodol. 2021.
Peer review is one strategy for assessing clinical performance and uncovering potential safety issues. Based on hospital discharge and expenditure data from 2004 – 2015 in Florida, the authors found a significant beneficial effect of increased hospital expenditure on peer review and patient safety outcomes.
Worsham CM, Woo J, Jena AB, et al. Health Aff (Millwood). 2021;40:970-978.
Adolescent patients transitioning from pediatric to adult medicine may experience patient safety risks. Using a large commercial insurance claims database, the authors compared opioid prescribing patterns and risk for opioid-related adverse events (overdose, opioid use disorder, or long-term use) among adolescents transitioning from “child” to “adult” at 18 years of age. The authors estimate a 14% increased risk for an opioid-related adverse outcome within one year when “adults” just over age 18 years were prescribed opioids that would not have been prescribed if they were under 18 years and considered “children.” The authors discuss how systematic differences in how pediatric and adult patients may be treated can lead to differences in opioid prescribing.