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Petrosoniak A, Fan M, Hicks CM, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2021;30:739-746.
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.
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.
Pati D, Valipoor S, Lorusso L, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;17:273-281.
Decreasing inpatient falls requires improvements in both processes of care and the care environment. This integrative review found that some elements of the built environments have not been rigorously examined and concluded that objective and actionable knowledge on physical design solutions to reduce falls is limited.  
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.

Herd P, Moynihan D. Health Affairs Health Policy Brief. October 2, 2020.

The crossover of health equity concepts to patient safety has emerged as a consideration for improvement. This policy brief examines how administrative burdens can separate patients from the care they need and calls for increased attention to the problem.  
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.

ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute care edition. September 10, 2020;25(18)

This alert discusses medication errors that have been reported to the Food and Drug Administration involving the preparation, administration, and storage of two formulations of the investigational COVID-19 treatment remdesivir. Recommendations to guide safe practice include use of standard order sets and dosing clarifications.
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.  
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.
Gallagher R, Passmore MJ, Baldwin C. Med Hypotheses. 2020;142:109727.
The authors of this article suggest that offering palliative care services earlier should be considered a patient safety issue. They highlight three cases in which patients in Canada requested medical assistance in dying (MAiD). The patients in two of the cases were never offered palliative care services, and this could be considered a medical error – had they been offered palliative care services, they may have changed their mind about MAiD, as did the patient in the third case study.
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.  
Weingart SN, Yaghi O, Barnhart L, et al. Appl Clin Inform. 2020;11.
To decrease the risk of diagnostic errors attributed to incomplete recommended diagnostic tests, this study evaluated an electronic monitoring tool alerting clinicians to incomplete imaging tests for their ambulatory patients. Compared to the control group (physicians not receiving alerts for their patients), after 90-days the intervention group had a higher rate of imaging completion (22.1% vs. 18.8%); this difference was sustained throughout the 12-month follow-up period (25.5% completion in the intervention group versus 20.9% in the control group). The authors found that this change was primarily driven by completion rates among patients referred for mammography.  To fully appreciate the implications of missed test notifications to reduce the risk of delayed diagnoses, more studies are necessary.
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.
Song Y, Hoben M, Norton PG, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3.
The authors surveyed over 4,000 care aids from 93 urban nursing homes in Western Canada to assess the association of work environment with missed and rushed essential care tasks. During their most recent shift, over half of care aids (57.4%) reported missing at least one essential care task and two-thirds (65.4%) reported rushing at least one essential care task. Work environments with better work culture and more effective leadership were associated with fewer missed or rushed care tasks.