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Klatt TE, Sachs JF, Huang C-C, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2021;47:759-767.
This article describes the implementation of a peer support program for “second victims” in a US healthcare system. Following training, peer supporters assisted at-risk colleagues, raised awareness of second victim syndrome, and recruited others for training. The effectiveness of the training was assessed using the Second Victim Experience Support Tool. The most common event supported was inability to stop the progress of a medical condition, including COVID-19.

Bean M, Masson G. Becker's Hospital Review. October 4, 2021.

Staffing shortages can impact the safety of care by enabling burnout, care omission, and staff attrition. This article discusses how the COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated an examination of how staffing challenges affect areas such as diagnosis, infection control, and organizational patient safety focus.
Preston-Suni K, Celedon MA, Cordasco KM. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2021;47:673-676.
Presenteeism among healthcare workers – continuing to work while sick – has been attributed to various cultural and system factors, such as fear of failing colleagues or patients. This commentary discusses the patient safety and ethical considerations of presenteeism during the COVID-19 pandemic

Ellis NT, Broaddus A. CNN. August 25, 2021. 

Maternal safety is an ongoing challenge worldwide. This news feature examines how the COVID pandemic has revealed disparities and implicit biases that impact the maternal care of black women. The stories shared highlight experiences of mothers with preventable pregnancy-related complications.
Dhahri AA, Refson J. BMJ Leader. 2021;5:203-205.
Hierarchy and professional silos can disrupt collaboration. This commentary describes one hospital’s approach to shifting the surgical leadership role to facilitate communication and cross-organizational influence to affect quality and safety performance.

Renault M. Stat. July 28, 2021.

Care and safety concerns for patients, families, and clinicians continue to be challenged by COVID-19. This article discusses the unintended consequences of isolation practices during the pandemic as a contributor to patient harm due to resultant family support barriers and loneliness they caused.
Andel SA, Tedone AM, Shen W, et al. J Adv Nurs. 2021;78:121-130.
During the first weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, 120 nurses were surveyed about nurse-to-patient staffing ratios, skill mix, and near misses in their hospitals. Personnel understaffing led to increased use of workarounds, and expertise understaffing led to increased cognitive failures, both of which shaped near misses. Hospital leaders should recognize both forms of understaffing when making staffing decisions, particularly during times of crisis.
Melnyk BM, Tan A, Hsieh AP, et al. Am J Crit Care. 2021;30:176-184.
This survey of 771 critical care nurses found that 40% had at least one symptom of depression and nearly half experienced some degree of anxiety. Nurses with poor physical or mental health reported making more medical errors than their healthier counterparts and nurses in supportive workplaces were more likely to have better physical and mental health. The authors suggest that improvements in an organization’s health and wellness support programs could result in fewer reported medical errors. Notably, this study was completed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic which has led to an even further decline in nurse wellness. 
Silvera GA, Wolf JA, Stanowski A, et al. Patient Exp J. 2021;8:30-39.
Research has found that families and caregivers play a key role in identifying and preventing patient safety events.  Based on a national sample of hospitals, this study explored the impact of hospital visitation restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic on patient experience and safety outcomes. Results indicate that hospitals with closed visitations experienced larger performance deficits across measures of medical staff responsiveness, fall rates, and sepsis rates.

Washington, DC: Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General. June 24, 2021. Report No. 19-09808-171.

This report examined veterans' health clinic use of telemental health to identify safety challenges inherent in this approach before the expansion of telemedine during the COVID-19 crisis. The authors note the complexities in managing emergent mental health situations in virtual consultations. Recommendations for improvement included emergency preparedness planning, specific reporting of telemental health incidents and organized access to experts.
Dickinson KL, Roberts JD, Banacos N, et al. Health Secur. 2021;19:s14-s26.
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the continued existence of structural racism and its disproportionate impact on the health of communities of color. This study examines the experiences of non-White and White communities and the negative impact of structural racism on the non-White communities. The authors call for bold action emphasizing the need for structural changes.  
Card AJ. Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2021:1-3.
While health professional burnout and stress related to the COVID-19 pandemic have been documented in previous studies, this study focuses on risk managers and patient safety professionals. More than 70% of participants qualified as burned out. Common sources of stress included social distancing, changing duties, and impacts of the virus. Knowing the sources of stress can guide programs to decrease burnout in this population.
Jones AM, Clark JS, Mohammad RA. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2021;78:818-824.
Burnout has been a focus of numerous studies since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic; however, this is the first to focus on burnout and secondary traumatic stress (STS) among health system pharmacists. Nearly two thirds (65.3%) of respondents had a moderate to high likelihood of experiencing burnout and 51% had a high probability of STS. Due to the association between burnout and decreased patient safety, it is critical that health systems address pharmacist burnout appropriately.
Kakemam E, Chegini Z, Rouhi A, et al. J Nurs Manag. 2021;29:1974-1982.
Clinician burnout, characterized by emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and decreased sense of accomplishment, can result in worse patient safety outcomes. This study explores the association of nurse burnout and self-reported occurrence of adverse events during COVID-19. Results indicate higher levels of nurse burnout were correlated with increased perception of adverse events, such as patient and family verbal abuse, medication errors, and patient and family complaints. Recommendations for decreasing burnout include access to psychosocial support and human factors approaches.
Petrone G, Brown L, Binder W, et al. Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2021;Epub Mar 26.
As COVID-19 infections surged worldwide, many states set up alternative care hospitals (ACH), or field hospitals. Prior to opening a Rhode Island ACH, four multi-disciplinary in situ simulation scenarios were run to perform system testing. This in situ simulation was successful in identifying patient safety concerns, resulting in equipment modification and protocol changes.
Panda N, Sinyard RD, Henrich N, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;17:256-263.
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented numerous challenges for the healthcare workforce, including redeploying personnel to different locations or retraining personnel for different tasks. Researchers interviewed hospital leaders from health systems in the United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Singapore and South Korea about redeployment of health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The authors discuss effective practices and lessons learned preparing for and executing workforce redeployment, as well as concerns regarding redeployed personnel
Adelman JS, Gandhi TK. J Patient Saf. 2021;17:331-333.
The full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on patient safety in the healthcare system is still unknown. New patient safety concerns have been introduced, and existing concerns have been exacerbated. The authors suggest several high reliability strategies to prevent and learn from patient safety hazards, including transparency, a culture of safety, and continuous analysis of errors.
Brown NJ, Wilson B, Szabadi S, et al. Patient Saf Surg. 2021;15:19.
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many elective surgical procedures were canceled or postponed due to limited resources (e.g., personal protective equipment, diagnostic tests, redeployment of healthcare personnel). This commentary discusses the implications of rationed non-urgent surgical care within the context of medical ethics: beneficence, non-maleficence, justice, and autonomy. The authors developed an algorithm to guide surgical teams through the decision-making process of delaying non-urgent surgical procedures, if necessary, in the future.