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Vo J, Gillman A, Mitchell K, et al. Clin J Oncol Nurs. 2021;25:17-24.
Racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare can affect patient safety and contribute to adverse health outcomes. This review outlines the impact of health disparities and treatment decision-making biases (implicit bias, default bias, delay discounting, and availability bias) on cancer-related adverse effects among Black cancer survivors. The authors identify several ways that nurses may help mitigate health disparity-related adverse treatment effects, such as providing culturally appropriate care; assessing patient health literacy and comprehension; educating, empowering, and advocating for patients; and adhering to evidence-based guidelines for monitoring and management of treatment-related adverse events. The authors also discuss the importance of ongoing training on the impact of structural racism, ways to mitigate its effects, and the role of research and implementation to reduce implicit bias.
Bernstein SL, Kelechi TJ, Catchpole K, et al. Worldviews Evid Based Nurs. 2021;18:352-360.
Failure to rescue, the delayed or missed recognition of a potentially fatal complication that results in the patient’s death, is particularly tragic in obstetric care. Using the Systems Engineering Initiative for Patient Safety (SEIPS) framework, the authors describe the work system, process, and outcomes related to failure to rescue, and develop intervention theories.
Zwaan L, El-Kareh R, Meyer AND, et al. J Gen Intern Med. 2021;36:2943-2951.
Reducing harm related to diagnostic error remains a major focus within patient safety. Based on input from an international group of experts and stakeholders, the authors identified priority questions to advance diagnostic safety research. High-priority areas include strengthening teamwork factors (such as the role of nurses in diagnosis), addressing system factors, and strategies for engaging patients in the diagnostic process.
Huang C, Koppel R, McGreevey JD, et al. Appl Clin Inform. 2020;11:742-754.
Prior studies have shown that adverse events can increase during the implementation of a new electronic health record (EHR) system. EHR transitions are remarkably expensive, laborious, personnel devouring, and time consuming. This article presents recommendations to facilitate transitions between one EHR system to another and opportunities for problem mitigation to avoid patient safety events.
Turner K, Staggs V, Potter C, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2020;29:1000-1007.
Fall prevention remains a patient safety priority. This article describes how fall prevention strategies are being implemented and operationalized across 60 hospitals in the United States. While many hospitals employed recommended strategies identified, implementation was suboptimal at times – for example, interdisciplinary fall committees were common but rarely included physicians.
Salvador RO, Gnanlet A, McDermott C. Personnel Rev. 2020;50:971-984.
Prior research suggests that functional flexibility has benefits in several industries but may carry patient safety risks in healthcare settings. Using data from a national nursing database, this study examined the effect of unit-level nursing functional flexibility on the incidence of hospital-acquired pressure ulcers. Results indicate that higher use of functionally flexible nurses was associated with a higher number of pressure ulcers, but this effect was moderated when coworker support within the unit was high.
Demaria J, Valent F, Danielis M, et al. J Nurs Care Qual. 2021;36:202-209.
Little empirical evidence exists assessing the association of different nursing handoff styles with patient outcomes. This retrospective study examined the incidence of falls during nursing handovers performed in designated rooms away from patients (to ensure confidentiality and prevent interruptions and distractions). No differences in the incidence of falls or fall severity during handovers performed away from patients versus non-handover times were identified.
O’Donovan R, McAuliffe E. BMC Health Serv Res. 2020;20:810.
Organizational cultures that encourage psychological safety have been shown to increase safe healthcare. The authors used survey, observational, and interview data to explore psychological safety within four healthcare teams in one hospital. While survey results indicated a high level of psychological safety, observations and interviews identified examples of situations resulting in lower levels of psychological safety, such as absence of learning behavior, low levels of support from other team members, and lack of familiarity among team members.
Deacon A, O’Neill T, Delaloye N, et al. Hosp Pediatr. 2020;10:758-766.
This qualitative study used a resuscitation simulation to explore the effect of family presence during resuscitation on team performance. Thematic analyses identified five key factors that are influenced by the presence of a parent during resuscitation – resuscitation environment, affective responses, cognitive responses, behavioral responses, and team dynamics.
Choudhury A, Asan O. JMIR Med Inform. 2020;8:e18599.
This systematic review explored how artificial intelligence (AI) based on machine learning algorithms and natural language processing is used to address and report patient safety outcomes. The review suggests that AI-enabled decision support systems can improve error detection, patient stratification, and drug management, but that additional evidence is needed to understand how well AI can predict safety outcomes.  
Wood LJ, Wiegmann DA. Int J Qual Health Care. 2020;32:438-444.
This article discusses the action hierarchy, which is a tool for generating corrective actions to improve safety and focuses on those recommendations relying less on human factors and more on systems change. The authors propose a multifaceted definition of ‘systems change’ and a rubric for determining the extent to which a corrective action addresses ‘systems change’ (‘systems change hierarchy’).
Lyman B, Biddulph ME, Hopper VG, et al. J Nurs Manag. 2020;28:1241-1249.
This study used semi-structured interviews with nurses to explore their experiences with organizational learning. Thematic analyses revealed that organizational learning was more effective when closely aligned with the Organisational Learning in Hospitals model and suggests that health system leadership and nurse managers play a central role in organizational learning.
Fraczkowski D, Matson J, Lopez KD. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2020;27:1149-1165.
The authors reviewed studies using qualitative and quantitative methods to describe nursing workarounds related to the electronic health record (EHR) in direct care activities. Workarounds generally fit into three categories – omission of process steps, steps performed out of sequence, and unauthorized process steps. Probable causes for workarounds were identified, including organizational- (e.g., knowledge deficits, non-formulary orders), environmental-, patient- (e.g., barcode/ID not accessible), task- (e.g., insufficient time), and usability-related factors (e.g., multiple screens to complete an action). Despite nurses being the largest workforce using EHRs, there is limited research focused on the needs of nurses in EHR design.
Härkänen M, Turunen H, Vehviläinen-Julkunen K. J Patient Saf. 2020;16.
This study compared medication errors detected using incident reports, the Global Trigger Tool method, and direct observations of patient records. Incident reports and the Global Trigger Tool more commonly identified medication errors likely to cause harm. Omission errors were commonly identified by all three methods, but identification of other errors varied. For example, incident reports most commonly identified wrong dose and wrong time errors. The contributing factors also varied by method, but in general, communication issues and human factors were the most common contributors.
Browne J, Braden CJ. Am J Crit Care. 2020;29:182-191.
This study explored the relationship between nursing workload and turbulence, or unexpected work complexities and activities. Using responses from a survey of members of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, the authors identified several types of turbulence, such as changes in acuity, interruptions, distractions, lack of training, and administrative demands. They found that turbulence was strongly correlated with patient safety risk whereas workload had the weakest association. Acknowledging the difference between nursing workload and turbulence can enhance our ability to target resources in nursing care and improve patient outcomes.  
Plint AC, Stang A, Newton AS, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2021;30:216-227.
This article describes emergency department (ED)-related adverse events in pediatric patients presenting to the ED at a pediatric hospital in Canada over a one-year period.  Among 1,319 patients at 3-months follow-up, 33 patients (2.5%) reported an adverse event related to their ED care.  The majority of these events (88%) were preventable. Most of the events involved diagnostic (45.5%) or management issues (51.5%) and resulted in symptoms lasting more than one day (72.7%).
Sanson G, Marino C, Valenti A, et al. Heart & Lung. 2020;49:407-414.
Prospective observational study examined whether nursing complexity level predicts adverse event risk among patients transferred from the ICU to the discharge ward. In this 13-bed ICU, researchers found that various factors including level of acuity and nursing complexity predated risk of adverse events (AEs); patients who exceeded a predetermined complexity threshold were at 3-times greater risk of AEs.
Isbell LM, Boudreaux ED, Chimowitz H, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2020;29:815–825.
Research has suggested that health care providers’ emotions may impact patient safety. These authors conducted 86 semi-structured interviews with emergency department (ED) nurses and physicians to better understand their emotional triggers, beliefs about emotional influences on patient safety, and emotional management strategies. Patients often triggered both positive and negative emotions; hospital- or systems-level factors primarily triggered negative emotions. Providers were aware that negative emotions can adversely impact clinical decision-making and place patients at risk; future research should explore whether emotional regulation strategies can mitigate these safety risks.
Becker RE. J Patient Saf. 2020;16.
This commentary explores two scientific cultures in modern medicine. A ‘traditional culture’ leaves error control up to individuals and groups of healthcare practitioners; the author describes how this culture leads to an overconfidence among practitioners about personal abilities to reduce errors. In contrast, a ‘modern scientific culture’ considers errors as inevitable and pervasive throughout medicine and beyond individuals or groups to control. The author describes the competing priorities of these cultures, and suggests that error control efforts in medicine will be more successful if there is a paradigm shift towards a more ‘modern’ attitude.
Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; December 6, 2019. PA-20-068.
Communication during patient transitions carries the potential for mistakes that can result in patient harm. This program (funding) announcement will support the testing of interventions to improve communication and coordination during care transitions within and between a variety of care environments. Applicants are encouraged to incorporate a care transitions model such as Project RED into their research design. Applications are reviewed three times per year- February 5, June 5, and October 5, through 2022