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Stokke R, Melby L, Isaksen J, et al. BMC Health Serv Res. 2021;21:553.
This article explored the interface of technology and patients in home care. Researchers identified three work processes that contribute to patient safety: aligning people with technologies, being alert and staying calm, and coordinating activities based on people and technology. Topics for future research should include the division of labor on home care shifts, the need for new routines and education in telecare for care workers, and how decisions are made regarding home technology.
Kostopoulou O, Tracey C, Delaney BC. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2021;28:1461-1467.
In addition to being used for patient-specific clinical purposes, data within the electronic health record (EHR) may be used for other purposes including epidemiological research. Researchers in the UK developed and tested a clinical decision support system (CDSS) to evaluate changes in the types and number of observations that primary care physicians entered into the EHR during simulated patient encounters. Physicians documented more clinical observations using the CDSS compared to the standard electronic health record. The increase in documented clinical observations has the potential to improve validity of research developed from EHR data.
Zhou Y, Walter FM, Singh H, et al. Cancers (Basel). 2021;13:156.
Delays in cancer diagnosis can lead to treatment delays and patient harm. This study linking primary care and cancer registry data found that more than one-quarter of bladder and kidney cancer patients presenting with fast-tract referral features did not achieve a timely diagnosis. These findings suggest inadequate adherence to guidelines intended to help identify patients with high risk of cancer based on the presence of alarm signs and symptoms.
Keen J, Abdulwahid MA, King N, et al. BMJ Open. 2020;10:e036608.
Health information technology has the potential to improve patient safety in both inpatient and outpatient settings. This systematic review explored the effect of technology networks across health systems (e.g., linking patient records across different organizations) on care coordination and medication reconciliation for older adults living at home. The authors identified several barriers to use of such networks but did not identify robust evidence on their association with safety-related outcomes.
Avesar M, Erez A, Essakow J, et al. Diagnosis (Berl). 2021;8:358-367.
Disruptive and rude behavior can hinder teamwork and diminish patient safety. This randomized, simulation-based study including attendings, fellows, and residents explored whether rudeness during handoff affects the likelihood for challenging a diagnostic error. The authors found that rudeness may disproportionally hinder diagnostic performance among less experienced physicians.
Delvaux N, Piessens V, Burghgraeve TD, et al. Implement Sci. 2020;15:100.
Clinical decision support systems (CDSS) and computerized physician order entry (CPOE) have the potential to improve patient safety. This randomized trial evaluated the impact of integrating CDSS into CPOE among general practitioners in Belgium. The intervention improved appropriateness and decreased volume of laboratory test ordering and did not show any increases in diagnostic errors.
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.
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.
Elliott J, Williamson K. Radiography. 2020;26:248-253.
Extended work shifts for nurses and physicians have been linked to increased risk of errors. In this systematic review, the authors discuss the impact of shift work disorder on errors and safety implications for radiographers. Studies suggested a positive correlation between errors and increased mental and physical fatigue resulting from shift work or rapid shift rotation, however none of the identified studies focused specifically on radiology professionals.
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.

Durning S, Holmboe E, Graber ML, eds. Diagnosis(Berl). 2020;7(3):151-344.

Challenges to effective clinical reasoning reduce diagnostic accuracy. This special issue provides background for a new approach to clinical reasoning: situativity. The articles explore the four complementary facets of the concept -- situated cognition; distributed cognition; embodied cognition; and ecological psychology – and describes how situativity can enhance diagnosis through a holistic approach to education, assessment, and research.    
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.
Jacobs S, Hann M, Bradley F, et al. Res Soc Admin Pharm. 2020;16:895-903.
This study evaluated cross-sectional survey data from pharmacists and patients to characterize organizational factors associated with variation in safety climate, patient satisfaction and self-reported medication adherence in community pharmacies in the United Kingdom. Safety climate was associated with pharmacy ownership, organizational culture, working hours, and employment of accuracy checkers. Skill mix and continuity of care also influenced safety culture and quality.
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.
Härkänen M, Vehviläinen‐Julkunen K, Murrells T, et al. Journal of Nursing Scholarship. 2019;52.
This retrospective study used descriptive statistics, manual analysis, and text mining of medication-related incident reports and staffing (N = 72,390) in England and Wales. The text mining was conducted with SAS Text Minor tool.  Effective trigger terms included “short staffing”, “workload”, and “extremely busy”.  The authors concluded that inadequate staffing, workload, and working in haste may increase the risk for errors.  The key importance of this article is the use of an automated system to analyze incident reports.

Lau F, Bartle-Clar JA, Bliss G, et al, eds. Stud Health Technol Inform. 2019;257:1-539. ISBN: 9781614999508.

Information technology is prevalent in health care and is associated with both optimized processes and unintended consequences. This publication is a compilation of papers from an international conference that explored the potential of health information technology and the research needed to achieve success. Topics covered include usability, implementation, interoperability, and policy.