Rosenthal CM, Parker DM, Thompson LA. JAMA Pediatr. 2022;176:119-120.
The care of child abuse victims is affected by resource, racial and infrastructure challenges. This commentary describes how the systemic weaknesses catalyzed by poor data collection approaches contribute to misdiagnosis and suggests that successes be mined to minimize the proliferation of continued disparities in this patient population.
Zestcott CA, Spece L, McDermott D, et al. J Racial Ethn Health Disparities. 2021;8:230-236.
Implicit bias can contribute to poor decision-making and lead to poor patient outcomes. This qualitative study found that many healthcare providers have negative implicit attitudes about American Indians, such as implicitly stereotyping American Indians as noncompliant patients. The effect of these implicit attitudes and stereotypes was moderated by self-reported cultural competency and implicit bias training.
Olson APJ, Linzer M, Schiff GD. J Gen Intern Care. 2021;36:1404-1406.
Challenges to identifying and measuring diagnostic errors, particularly in the era of COVID-19, persist. The authors of this perspective proposed a new framework of diagnostic process safety to measure the quality and safety of diagnostic processes. The framework focuses on three measurable components – do not miss diagnoses, red flags, and diagnostic pitfalls. This framework can provide a structured approach for designing and testing specific measures of diagnostic process safety.
Structural racism affects both population and individual health. This article proposes four key areas in which the medical and public health communities can contribute in order to change policy and social norms: documenting the impact of racism on health; improving the collection and availability of race and ethnicity data; turning the lens to themselves; and, acknowledging that structural racism has been challenged by mass social movements.
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically affected the psychological and emotional well-being of health care workers. This article summarizes the COVID-19-related psychological effects on healthcare workers and the detrimental impact on team effectiveness. The authors recommended actions to mitigate the effects of stress on team performance and patient outcomes and discuss how teams can recover and learn from the current crisis to prepare for future challenges.
Mangrum R, Stewart MD, Gifford DR, et al. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2020;21:1587-1591.e2.
Building upon earlier work, the authors engaged a technical expert panel to reach consensus on a definition for omissions of care in nursing homes. The article details the terms and concepts included in (and excluded from) the proposed definition, provides examples of omissions of care, intended uses (e.g., to guide quality improvement activities or training and education), and describes the implications of the definition for clinical practice, policy, and research.
Griffith PB, Doherty C, Smeltzer SC, et al. J Am Assoc Nurse Pract. 2020;33:862-871.
Cognitive debiasing can help reduce cognitive bias and improve clinical decision-making. This scoping review characterized cognitive debiasing strategies used by student health care providers (primarily medical students and residents) to reduce cognitive error. Structured reflection and education initiatives demonstrated the greatest improvements in diagnostic accuracy.
Brommelsiek M, Said T, Gray M, et al. Am J Surg. 2021;221:980-986.
Silence in the operating room (OR) can have implications on surgical team function and patient safety. Through interviews with interprofessional surgical team members, the authors explored the influence of silence on team action in the OR and found that silence in the surgical environment – whether due to team cohesion or individual defiance – has implications for team functions.
Pelaccia T, Messman AM, Kline JA. Patient Edu Couns. 2020;103:1650-1656.
The hectic and complex environment of emergency care can reduce diagnostic safety. This article discusses clinical reasoning and decision-making strategies used by emergency medicine physicians, contributing factors to diagnostic errors occurring in emergency medicine (e.g., overconfidence, cognitive stress, anchoring bias), and strategies to reduce the risk of error. A previous WebM&M commentary discussed an incident involving diagnostic delay in the emergency department.
This study explored the benefits of reflection on diagnostic errors among internal medicine physicians in Switzerland, and found that diagnostic accuracy increased significantly between the initial diagnosis and the final diagnosis reached after reflection, regardless of the type of reflection used.
Oliveira J. e Silva L, Vidor MV, Zarpellon de Araújo V, et al. Mayo Clin Proc. 2020;95:1842-1844.
This article discusses the threat that the “flexibilization” of science has played during the COVID-19 pandemic, defined as the loosening of methodological standards leading to low-quality studies, and resulting in unreliable data and anecdotal evidence.
Gupta A, Quinn M, Saint S, et al. Diagnosis (Berl). 2021;8:167-175.
This article describes the use of a case-based simulation to explore how physicians reason, create differential diagnoses, and ultimately achieve a correct diagnosis. Participating physicians who achieved the correct diagnosis (herpes zoster) utilized systems-based or anatomic approaches, rather than focuses on life-threatening diagnoses alone, and employed debiasing strategies.
Drey N, Gould D, Purssell E, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2020;29:756-763.
This thematic analysis explored variations in the impact of hand hygiene interventions to prevent healthcare-associated infections. The analysis identified several directions for future research, including exploring ways to avoid the Hawthorne effect, embed the interventions into wider patient safety initiatives, and develop systematic approaches to implementation.
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’).
Russo S, Berg K, Davis J, et al. J Med Educ Curric Dev. 2020;7:238212052092899.
This study involving a survey of incoming interns found that nearly all medical interns believe that inadequate physical examination can lead to adverse events and that 45% have witnessed an adverse event due to inadequate examination. The authors propose a five-pronged intervention for improving physical examination training.
Unprofessional behavior can hinder patient safety and create a disruptive work environment. Encompassing both qualitative and quantitative literature, this systematic review explored predictors and triggers of incivility in medical teams (defined as disrespectful behaviors but whose intent to harm is ambiguous). The review identified a wide range of triggers of incivility. Studies generally found that incivility occurs mainly within professional disciplines rather than across disciplines (e.g., physician to nurse) and surgery was the most commonly cited uncivil specialty. Situational and cultural triggers for incivility included excessive workload, communication issues, patient safety concerns, lack or support, and poor leadership.
Arnetz JE, Neufcourt L, Sudan S, et al. J Nurs Care Qual. 2020;35:206-212.
Based on survey responses from nurses at one large US hospital, this study examined the association between nurse-reported bullying and nurse-sensitive patient outcomes (patient falls, central-line-associated blood stream infections, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, hospital-acquired pressure ulcers, and ventilator-associated events). The researchers found that nurse-reported bullying was significantly associated with the incidence of central-line-associated blood stream infections. Addressing nurse bullying at work may reduce certain adverse events.
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.
Fortman E, Hettinger AZ, Howe JL, et al. J Am Med Inform Asso. 2020.
Physicians from different health systems using two computerized provider order entry (CPOE) systems participated in simulated patient scenarios using eye movement recordings to determine whether the physician looked at patient-identifying information when placing orders. The rate of patient identification overall was 62%, but the rate varied by CPOE system. An expert panel identified three potential reasons for this variation – visual clutter and information density, the number of charts open at any given time, and the importance placed on patient identification verification by institutions.
Giardina TD, Royse KE, Khanna A, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2020;46:282-290.
This study analyzed self-reported adverse events captured on a national online questionnaire to determine the association between patient-reported contributory factors and patient-reported physical, emotional or financial harm. Contributory factors identified in the analysis focused on issues with health care personnel communication, fatigue, or response (e.g., doctor was slow to arrive, nurse was slow to respond to call button). These patient-reported contributory factors increased the likelihood of reporting any type of harm.
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