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Wiig S, Haraldseid-Driftland C, Tvete Zachrisen R, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;17(8):e1707-e1718.  

Families and next of kin are important partners in patient safety. In two Norwegian counties, next of kin who had lost a family member due to an adverse event participated in in-person meetings with inspectors as part of the regulatory investigation. This study explored the experiences and perspectives of the next of kin (Part 1) and regulatory inspectors (Part 2) involved in this new approach to next-of-kin involvement in regulatory investigations. Despite being an emotionally challenging process, next of kin viewed participation in the regulatory investigation as a positive experience and believed that their contributions improved the investigation process.
Anand TV, Wallace BK, Chase HS. BMC Geriatr. 2021;21(1):648.
Older adults, particularly those taking more than one medication, are at increased risk of adverse drug events (ADE). In this study of 6,545 older adult patients who were prescribed at least 3 medications, multidrug interactions (MDI) were identified in 1.3% of medication lists. Psychotropic medications were the most commonly involved medication class; the most common serious ADE were serotonin syndrome, seizures, prolonged QT interval, and bleeding.
Brown B, Bermingham S, Vermeulen M, et al. BMJ Open Qual. 2021;10(4):e001593.
Despite evidence of the benefits of the World Health Organization’s surgical safety checklist, implementation and sustainability are inconsistent in many hospitals. Using five cycles of Plan-Do-Study-Act, a hospital in Adelaide, South Australia was able to increase use of the checklist from 3.5% to 63%. Staff reported that they felt the new checklist process improved patient safety and was easily incorporated into their workflow.
Draus C, Mianecki TB, Musgrove H, et al. J Nurs Care Qual. 2021;Epub Nov 15.
“Second victims” are healthcare providers who experience negative feelings in their personal or professional lives after being involved in unanticipated adverse patient events. One hundred and fifty-nine nurses at one American hospital reported being a second victim and experiencing psychological and/or physical distress following the incident.
Gibson BA, McKinnon E, Bentley RC, et al. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2021;Epub Oct 21.
A shared understanding of terminology is critical to providing appropriate treatment and care. This study assessed pathologist and clinician agreement of commonly-used phrases used to describe diagnostic uncertainty in surgical pathology reports. Phrases with the strongest agreement in meaning were “diagnostic of” and “consistent with”. “Suspicious for” and “compatible with” had the weakest agreement. Standardized diagnostic terms may improve communication.
Haque H, Alrowily A, Jalal Z, et al. Int J Clin Pharm. 2021;43(6):1693-1704.
While direct oral anticoagulants (DOAC) are considered safer than warfarin, DOAC-related medication errors still occur. This study assesses the frequency, type, and potential causality of DOAC-related medication errors and the nature of clinical pharmacist intervention. Active, rather than latent, failures contributed to most errors.
Kemp T, Butler‐Henderson K, Allen P, et al. Health Info Libr J. 2021;38(4):248-258.
This review focused on the impact of the Health Information Management (HIM) profession on patient safety as it relates to health information documentation. Key themes identified were data quality, information governance, corporate governance, skills, and knowledge required for HIM professionals.
McGaughey J, Fergusson DA, Van Bogaert P, et al. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2021;2021(11).
Rapid response systems (RRS) and early warning systems (EWS) are designed to detect patient deterioration and prevent cardiac arrest, transfer to the intensive care unit, or death. This review updates the authors’ review published in 2007. Eleven studies representing patients in 282 hospitals were reviewed to determine the effect of RRS or EWS on patient outcomes.
Schefft M, Noda A, Godbout E. Curr Treat Options Pediatr. 2021;7(3):138-151.
Overuse of medical care represents a significant patient safety challenge. This review discusses the impacts of healthcare overuse and unnecessary care on patient safety, including contributions to avoidable adverse events, increasing risks for healthcare-acquired infections, and adverse psychological outcomes.
Stahl K, Groene O. PLoS ONE. 2021;16(12):e0259252.
Patient safety in ambulatory care is an emerging focus of measurement and improvement efforts. This cross-sectional study including patients from 22 ambulatory care practices in Germany found that nearly 3% of respondents had experienced a patient safety event during the last 12 months. The authors discuss how different approaches to voluntary reporting can influence measurement of patient experience.

Uttaro E, Zhao F, Schweighardt A. Int J Pharm Compd. 2021;25(5):364-371. 

Medication administration, particularly when it involves drug formulation manipulation, is a complex process. This study analyzed the products included on the Institute for Safe Medication Practices’ (ISMP) ‘Do Not Crush List’ and found that many presented no risk or low risk for crushing. The authors provide recommendations for clinicians to aid in clinical decision-making regarding crushing, such as suitable personal protective equipment and prompt administration.
Weber L, Schulze I, Jaehde U. Res Social Adm Pharm. 2021;Epub Nov 18.
Chemotherapy administration errors can result in serious patient harm. Using failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA), researchers identified potential failures related to the medication process for intravenous chemotherapy. Common failures included incorrect patient information, non-standardized chemotherapy protocols, and problems related to supportive therapy.
Yansane A, Tokede O, Walji MF, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;17(8):e1050-e1056.
Clinician burnout is a known threat to patient safety. This survey of a national sample of dentists found that approximately 1 in 10 respondents reported high levels of burnout and 50% of respondents reported a perceived dental error in the last 6 months. Efforts to minimize burnout among dentists may help improve patient safety.

Glicksman E. Washington Post. December 11, 2021.

A successful patient/physician relationship enables care that is specific for the individual, their unique concerns, and distinct lifestyles. This article discusses patient choice in physicians as a strategy to reduce the impact of implicit ethnic bias, while arguing that fundamental change will occur only by reducing racism through system change.

Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; November 2021. AHRQ Pub. No. 22-0005.

This analysis of reports submitted by Patient Safety Organizations during the early months of the COVID pandemic found that patients testing positive for COVID-19 or being investigated for carrying the virus was the most frequently reported patient safety concern (26.6%). In addition, patients and staff being exposed to individuals who had tested positive for COVID-19 was identified as a patient safety issue in 18.2% of the records analyzed.

Patient Safety Movement Foundation. January 25, 2022, 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM (eastern).

Successful patient safety improvements engage individuals across the continuum of care and administrative processes, including patients as advocates for change. This webinar will highlight the role of the patient in influencing legislation designed to affect systems of care to ensure safe practice.
Bryant BE, Jordan A, Clark US. JAMA Psych. 2021;Epub Dec 8.
Research and medical practice are negatively affected by systemic and implicit bias. This commentary discusses this phenomenon in the mental health sector and suggests a role for researchers to reduce the inappropriate use of race in psychiatric practice while limiting its detrimental impact on care nationwide.

Gebeloff R, Thomas K, Silver-Greenberg J. New York TimesDecember 9, 2021.

Nursing homes harbor numerous challenges to patient safety and they should be transparently reported and acted upon to ensure improvement. This news investigation discusses a gap in the reporting and inspection of nursing home incidents that undermines the ability of the US nursing home rating system to inform consumer long term care facility choice.
Shen L, Levie A, Singh H, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2021;Epub Oct 29.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing challenges associated with diagnostic error. This study used natural language processing to identify and categorize diagnostic errors occurring during the pandemic. The study compared a review of all patient safety reports explicitly mentioning COVID-19, and using natural language processing, identified additional safety reports involving COVID-19 diagnostic errors and delays. This innovative approach may be useful for organizations wanting to identify emerging risks, including safety concerns related to COVID-19.
Centola D, Guilbeault D, Sarkar U, et al. Nature Commun. 2021;12(1):6585.
Race and gender bias in healthcare remains a public health problem. Study participants were assigned to a control (i.e., independent reflection) or intervention (i.e., “egalitarian” information exchange network) group and asked to provide diagnostic and treatment recommendations for standardized patients (a white man or a black woman). Participants in the intervention group were more likely to recommend appropriate care and showed no bias in final recommendations. The authors note that these findings indicate that clinician network interventions might be useful in healthcare settings to reduce disparities in patient treatment.