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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.
Marziliano A, Burns E, Chauhan L, et al. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2022;77:e124-e132.
Many COVID-19 patients present with atypical symptoms, such as delirium, smell and taste dysfunction, or cardiovascular features. Based on inpatient electronic health record data between March 1 and April 20 of 2020, this cohort study examined the frequency of atypical presentation of COVID-19 among older adults. Analyses suggest that atypical presentation was often characterized by functional decline or altered mental status.
Krancevich NM, Belfer JJ, Draper HM, et al. Ann Pharmacother. 2022;56:52-59.
Prescribing opioids to opioid-naïve patients after hospital discharge may lead to chronic use. This study evaluated long-term opioid use among patients admitted directly to the ICU and who received intravenous opioids. While long-term opioid use was more common among patients who received an opioid prescription at discharge, the authors did not find a significant relationship between ICU opioid prescribing in opioid-naïve patients and long-term opioid use. The authors suggest future research focus on transitions from hospital to home or other post-acute sites to reduce inappropriate opioid use.
Horberg MA, Nassery N, Rubenstein KB, et al. Diagnosis (Berl). 2021;8:479-488.
Missed or delayed diagnosis of sepsis can lead to serious patient harm. This study used a Symptom-Disease Pair Analysis of Diagnostic Error (SPADE) “look-forward” analysis to measure potential misdiagnosis of sepsis in patients discharged from the emergency department (ED) with treat-and-release fluid and electrolyte disorders (FED) or altered mental status (AMS). FED and AMS were associated with a spike in sepsis hospitalizations in the 7-day period following the ED visit. The authors suggest SPADE could be used to compare sepsis diagnostic performance across institutions and regions; develop interventions for targeted subgroups; and update early warning systems for sepsis diagnosis.
Han D, Khadka A, McConnell M, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3:e2024589.
Unexpected death or serious disability of a newborn is considered a never event. A cross-sectional analysis including over 5 million births between 2011 and 2017 in the United States found unexpected newborn death was associated with a significant increase in use of procedures to avert or mitigate fetal distress and newborn complications (e.g., cesarean delivery, antibiotic use for suspected sepsis). These findings could reflect increased caution among clinicals or indicate more proactive attempts to identify and address potential complications.  
Maloney LM, Alptunaer T, Coleman G, et al. J Emerg Med. 2020;59:872-883.
Naloxone administration in inpatient and outpatient settings is used to mitigate the effects of opioid overdose. This study, conducted at one academic medical center, found that an increasing number prehospital naloxone doses for suspected opioid overdose was significantly associated with an increased likelihood of adverse events (AEs) in the emergency department (ED).
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.
Berry D, Wakefield E, Street M, et al. J Adv Nurs. 2020;76:2235-2252.
Isolation for infection prevention and control is beneficial but may result in unintended consequences for patients (e.g., less attention, suboptimal documentation and communication, higher risk of preventable adverse events). This systematic review did not identify any evidence suggesting that adult patients in isolation precautions for infection control are more likely to experience clinical deterioration or hospital-acquired complications compared to non-insolated patients.
Duhn L, Godfrey C, Medves J. Health Expect. 2020;23:979-991.
This scoping review characterized the evidence base on patients’ attitudes and behaviors concerning their engagement in ensuring the safety of their care. The review found increasing interest in patient and family engagement in safety and identified several research gaps, such as a need to better understand patients’ attitudes across the continuum of care, the role of family members, and engagement in primary care safety practices.
Minhaj FS, Rappaport SH, Foster J, et al. J Patient Saf. 2020;17:e1585-e1588.
Opioids are known to be high-risk medications, and their misuse is an increasingly recognized patient safety problem. This retrospective case-control study of inpatients being administered at least one opioid dose sought to identify risk factors predisposing inpatients to opioid-related adverse drug events (ADEs) requiring the use of naloxone. Patients 65 years of age or older, female, receiving orthopedic surgery, certain comorbid conditions, or receiving patient-controlled analgesia were more likely to require naloxone.
Wiig S, Hibbert PD, Braithwaite J. Int J Qual Health Care. 2020;32.
The authors discuss how involving families in the investigations of fatal adverse events can improve the investigations by broadening perspectives and providing new information, but can also present challenges due to emotions, trust, and potential conflicts in perspectives between providers and families.
Lampert A, Haefeli WE, Seidling HM. J Patient Saf. 2020;16.
Through focus groups with patients, family caregivers and nurses, this study explored experiences with medication administration and perceived needs for assistance. Patients and caregivers were generally unaware of errors and primarily attributed administration problems to dosage form (eg, lack of confidence in using syringes). Participants identified lack of training or education about proper administration as contributing to administration errors.
Alexander M, Jupp J, Chazan G, et al. J Oncol Pharm Pract. 2020;26:1225-1229.
From the perspective of both developed and developing nations, the authors of this commentary discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted access to and delivery of cancer treatment and how the global pharmacy community is responding, including changing and expanding scopes of practice.
Weingart SN, Nelson J, Koethe B, et al. Cancer Med. 2020.
Using a cohort of adults diagnosed with breast, colorectal, lung or prostate cancer, this study examined the relationship between oncology-specific triggers and mortality. It found that patients with at least one trigger had a higher risk of death than patients without a trigger; this association was strongest for nonmetastatic prostate cancer and nonmetastatic colorectal cancer. Triggers most commonly associated with increased odds of mortality were bacteremia, blood transfusion, hypoxemia and nephrology consultation. These findings support the validity of cancer-specific trigger tool but additional research is needed to replicate these findings.
Sodré Alves BMC, de Andrade TNG, Cerqueira Santos S, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;17:e1-e9.
This systematic review analyzed five studies discussing adverse events due to medical errors involving high-alert medications. The authors estimated the pooled prevalence at 16.3%, but the included studies reported a wide variation in prevalence (from 3.8% to 100%). The studies also reported a wide range in error severity – up to 19.2% were considered moderate, up to 15.4% were considered serious, and up to 1.9% were considered lethal. The most common medication administration errors involved insulin, potassium chloride, and epoprostenol.
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.
Mamede S, de Carvalho-Filho MA, de Faria RMD, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2020;29:550-559.
There is uncertainty about the effectiveness of cognitive debiasing in reducing bias that can contribute to diagnostic error. Instead of focusing on the process of reasoning, this study examined whether an intervention directed at refining knowledge of a cluster of related disease can ‘immunize’ physicians against bias. Ninety-one internal medicine residents in Brazil were randomized to one of two sets of vignettes (reflecting diseases associated with either chronic diarrhea or jaundice) and compared/contrasted alternative diagnoses. After residents encountered one case of a disease, non-immunized residents twice as likely to give that incorrect diagnosis to a different (but similar) disease, resulting in a 40% decrease in diagnostic accuracy between immunized and non-immunized physicians.
Erickson SR, Kamdar N, Wu C-H. Am J Intellect Dev Disabil. 2019;125:37-48.
Prior research has found that children with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD) may experience poor quality care and are at risk for adverse events, but less is known about risk among adults with IDD. Using data from a nationally representative database, the authors compared hospitalizations due to adverse medication events among adults with IDD compared with the general adult population and found that adults with IDD were at a significantly greater risk of having a hospital admission due to an adverse event (odds ratio, 1.28).