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ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute care edition. October 7, 2021;26(20):1-4.

Production pressure and low staff coverage can result in medication mistakes in community pharmacies. This article shares reported vaccine errors and factors contributing to mistaken administration of flu and COVID vaccines. Storage, staffing and collaboration strategies are shared to protect against vaccine mistakes.
Fatemi Y, Coffin SE. Diagnosis (Berl). 2021;8:525-531.
Using case studies, this commentary describes how availability bias, diagnostic momentum, and premature closure resulted in delayed diagnosis for three pediatric patients first diagnosed with COVID-19. The authors highlight cognitive and systems factors that influenced this diagnostic error.
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.

Patel J, Otto E, Taylor JS, et al. Dermatol Online J. 2021;27(3).

In an update to their 2010 article, this review’s authors summarized the patient safety literature in dermatology from 2009 to 2020. In addition to topics covered in the 2010 article, this article also includes diagnostic errors related to telemedicine, laser safety, scope of practice, and infections such as COVID-19. The authors recommend further studies, and reports are needed to reduce errors and improve patient safety.
Li Q, Hu P, Kang H, et al. J Nutr Health Aging. 2020;25:492-500.
Missed and delayed diagnosis are a known cause of preventable adverse events. In this cohort of 107 patients with severe or critical COVID-19 in Wuhan, China, 45% developed acute kidney injury (AKI). However, nearly half of those patients (46%) were not diagnosed during their stay in the hospital. Patients with undiagnosed AKI experienced greater hospital mortality than those without AKI or diagnosed AKI. Involvement of intensive care kidney specialists is recommended to increase diagnostic awareness.

A pregnant patient was admitted for scheduled Cesarean delivery, before being tested according to a universal inpatient screening protocol for SARS-CoV-2. During surgery, the patient developed a fever and required oxygen supplementation. Due to suspicion for COVID-19, a specimen obtained via nasopharyngeal swab was sent to a commercial laboratory for reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing.

Cattaneo D, Pasina L, Maggioni AP, et al. Drugs Aging. 2021;38:341-346.
Older adults are at increased risk of hospitalization due to COVID-19 infections. This study examined the potential severe drug-drug interactions (DDI) among hospitalized older adults taking two or more medications at admission and discharge. There was a significant increase in prescription of proton pump inhibitors and heparins from admission to discharge. Clinical decision support systems should be used to assess potential DDI with particular attention paid to the risk of bleeding complications linked to heparin-based DDIs.

Issue Brief. Washington DC: Pew Charitable Trust; March 2021.

Antibiotic overuse is a contributor to nosocomial infection. This report discusses problems associated with antibiotic prescribing during the first 6 months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Systemic problems arising from the situation include disparities associated with antibiotic administration and unneeded receipt of medications by some patients.
Mulchan SS, Wakefield EO, Santos M. J Ped Psychol. 2021;46:138-143.
Implicit and explicit bias can reduce the effectiveness and safety of care. Based on a review of the literature, the authors conclude that the strain placed on provider resources, staff, and supplies by the COVID-19 pandemic may exacerbate implicit bias among pediatric providers. The authors discuss implicit bias at the individual, organizational, educational, and research levels, provide specific calls to action for pediatric healthcare providers, and discuss the role of pediatric psychologists in supporting other providers.

Bookwalter CM. US Pharmacist. 2021;46(2):25-28. 

 

COVID-19 has increased uncertainties in sectors across health care. This article discusses a variety of supply-chain factors that impact medication availability. The author suggests roles for pharmacists in antibiotic stewardship and policy implementation to manage shortages safely.
Chaudhry H, Nadeem S, Mundi R. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2021;479:47-56.
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically increased the use of telehealth across various medical specialties.This systematic review did not identify any differences in patient or surgeon satisfaction or patient-reported outcomes with telehealth for orthopedic care delivery as compared to in-person visits.However, the authors note that the included studies did not adequately capture or report safety endpoints, such as complications or missed diagnoses.
Muhrer JC. Nurs Pract. 2021;46:44-49.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to wide-ranging changes to health care delivery, some of which may negatively impact patient outcomes.The authors use a syndemic perspective to discuss existing challenges interfering with diagnosis (structural, socioeconomic, patient-related, and provider-related), how the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated those challenges, and strategies related to nurse practitioners and community health workers to improve diagnosis.  

AHA Team Training.
 

The COVID-19 crisis requires cooperation and coordination of organizations and providers to address the persistent challenges presented by the pandemic. This on-demand video collection reinforces core TeamSTEPPS; methods that enhance clinician teamwork and communication skills to manage care safety during times of crisis. 

ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute Care Edition. January 14, 2021;26(1);1-5. 
 

Learning from error rests on transparency efforts buttressed by frontline reports. This article examined reports of COVID-19 vaccine errors to highlight common risks that are likely to be present in a variety of settings and share recommendations to minimize their negative impact, including storage methods and vaccination staff education. 
Ebm C, Carfagna F, Edwards S, et al. J Crit Care. 2020;62:138-144.
Prescribing medications for indications that are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is common but poses a risk for medication errors. The authors of this study used simulation modeling to explore the influence of physician personal preference on off-label medication use during the COVID-19 pandemic.  
Kozasa EH, Lacerda SS, Polissici MA, et al. Front Psych. 2020;11:570786.
Situational awareness during critical incidents is a key component of teamwork. This study found that a mutual care training can increase situational awareness for healthcare workers and consequently improve mental health and well-being before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

March 2020--January 2021.

Medication safety is improved through the sharing of frontline improvement experiences and concerns. These articles share recommendations to reduce risks associated with distinct areas of the medication use process. The topics discuss areas that require specific attention during the COVID-19 pandemic such as the use of smart pumps and automated dispensing cabinets.
Butler CR, Wong SPY, Wightman AG, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3:e2027315.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to wide-ranging changes to health care delivery. This qualitative study with clinicians in the United States identified three emerging themes describing clinicians’ experience providing care in settings of resource limitations - planning for crisis capacity, adapting to resource limitations, and unprecedented barriers to care delivery. 
Purnell S, Zheng F. Surg Clin North Am. 2020;101:109-119.
COVID-19 restrictions and patient concerns have expanded access to telemedicine worldwide. This review examines the use of telemedicine in surgical services. The authors found it to be a safe care modality for low-risk patients receiving low-risk procedures. They found that telemedicine in surgical services evidence base is expanding and its value is built on local, real-time approaches that involve services designed to consider patient needs and comfort.