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Forrester JD, Maggio PM, Tennakoon L. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e477-e479.
Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) result in poorer patient outcomes and increased costs. The 2016 national data set of five common HAIs (surgical site infections, catheter- and line-associated bloodstream infections, catheter-associate urinary tract infections, ventilator-associated pneumonia, and Clostridioides difficile) was analyzed to create an estimated national cost. Clostridioides difficile was the most frequently reported; Clostridioides difficile and surgical site infections accounted for 79% of costs.
Zheng MY, Lui H, Patino G, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e401-e406.
California law requires adverse events that led to serious injury or death because of hospital noncompliance to be reported to the state licensing agency. These events are referred to as “immediate jeopardy.” Using publicly available data, this study analyzed all immediate jeopardy cases between 2007 and 2017. Of the 385 immediate jeopardy cases, 36.6% led to patient death, and the most common category was surgical.
Steffany M. J Healthc Risk Manag. 2022;41:31-38.
Concerns have been raised regarding the need to assess the competencies of aging physicians. This article discusses how different entities (e.g., health systems, states, and professional medical organizations) are addressing this issue through competency-based assessments, peer review, and credentialing requirements.
Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
In this annual publication, AHRQ reviews the results of the National Healthcare Quality Report and National Healthcare Disparities Report. The 2021 report highlights that a wide range of quality measures have shown improvement in quality, access, and cost.
Fan B, Pardo J, Yu-Moe CW, et al. Ann Surg Oncol. 2021;28:8109-8115.
While prior research has described malpractice cases related to breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, this study sought to identify errors specifically related to breast cancer surgical procedures. Plastic surgeons were the most commonly named provider type (64%), error in surgical treatment was the most common allegation (87%), and infection, cosmetic injury, emotional trauma, foreign body, and nosocomial infection were the top 5 injury descriptions.
Douglas RN, Stephens LS, Posner KL, et al. Br J Anaesth. 2021;127:470-478.
Effective communication among providers helps ensure patient safety. Through analysis of perioperative malpractice claims using the Anesthesia Closed Claims Project database, researchers found that communication failures contributed to 43% of total claims, with the majority between the anesthesiologist/anesthesia team and the surgeon/surgery team. Methods to improve perioperative communication are discussed.
Synan LT, Eid MA, Lamb CR, et al. Surgery. 2021;170:764-768.
This study compared unsolicited hospital reviews posted online by patients with Hospital Compare patient satisfaction and postsurgical safety indicators. While there was variation in consumer ratings between platforms, unstructured consumer reviews were generally correlated with Hospital Compare patient satisfaction scores; consumer platforms were not consistently correlated with postsurgical patient safety indicators.
Cohen AJ, Lui H, Zheng M, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4:e217058.
While rare, surgical never events can have tragic consequences for patients including permanent harm and death. This study analyzed 142 surgical never events reported to the California Department of Public Health. Retained foreign objects were the most commonly reported never event (66.2%), followed by wrong site or wrong patient (15.5%), and surgical burns (7.7%). Recommended strategies to reduce and prevent never events include proper use of intraoperative checklists.

Safety in Numbers: Hospital Performance on Leapfrog’s Surgical Volume Standard Based on Results of the 2019 Leapfrog Hospital Survey. Washington DC; 2020.

Surgical volume standards are a metric used to assess the needed experience in performing distinct types of procedures. This report analyzed data from over 2,100 hospitals and found approximately half to be deficient in fully adhering to the standards while implementing mechanisms to minimize unnecessary surgeries
Kremer MJ, Hirsch M, Geisz-Everson M, et al. AANA J. 2019;87.
This thematic analysis identified 123 events comprising malpractice claims in the closed claims database of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) Foundation that the investigators determined could have been prevented by the Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist involved. Among the factors identified as being associated with preventable events were communication failures, violations of the AANA Standards for Nurse Anesthesia Practice, and errors in judgment.
Feeley D, Torres T. Healthcare Executive. 2020;35:58-61.
A variety of biases can reduce the effectiveness and safety of care. This commentary focuses on racial bias and highlights its deleterious impact on maternity care and maternal safety. The authors suggest tactics to improve listening, implicit bias acknowledgement and data standardization as strategies to counteract the trend.
Farnborough, UK; Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch; December 18, 2019.
Maternal care during and after childbirth is at risk for never events including retained foreign objects. This analysis of a sentinel event involving a retained surgical tampon after childbirth discusses communication, fatigue, and process factors that contributed to the incident. The report suggests improved handoffs as one improvement strategy.
de Lima A, Osman BM, Shapiro FE. Curr Opin Anaesthesiol. 2019;32.
Office-based anesthesia (OBA) is being performed more commonly internationally. This narrative literature review updates the evidence related to the safety of OBA and makes recommendations for safe practices including; medical directors to be responsible for evidence-based policies, OBA safety and patient checklists emergency procedures, physical setting requirements, pharmacological management, preoperative procedures, airway management and others. The authors identify that lack of consistent regulations and incomplete protocol standardization is problematic.
Safe primary care – prescribing; Safe acute care – surgical complications and health care-associated infections, Safe acute care – obstetric trauma. Chapters In: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Health at a Glance 2019: OECD Indicators, OECD Publishing, Paris: 2019.
This report documents the overall state of health care, based on an international analysis of population health and health system performance data, with specific chapters on patient safety in surgery, obstetrics and prescribing in primary care. The results identify areas for improvement while outlining areas of concern.
Washington, DC: Office of the Inspector General; September 2019. Report No. OEI-01-15-00400.
Ambulatory surgery centers (ASC) play an increasing role in complex surgical care, but methods to assure patients are safe in these environments are unreliable. This report found that Medicare surveys to assess ASC quality and safety concerns were not done or the results identifying problems were often unheeded. The lack of review and follow-up exposed patients to health-care associated infections, lack of medication oversight and poor pre-operative assessment. 
Shah NA, Jue J, Mackey TK. Ann Surg. 2020;271:431-433.
Collecting real-time audio, video, and system data enables identification of process vulnerabilities. This commentary discusses the current state of black box approaches to collect surgical procedure data in situ and highlights challenges to its effective use and implementation to improve surgical safety.
Potential deterioration of an aging surgeon's technical abilities is an emerging patient safety concern. This magazine article discusses how implementing policies and activities to assess the ability of surgeons to practice safely after a certain age can prevent risks.

Gabler E. New York Times. May 31, 2019.

Pediatric cardiac surgery is highly technical and risky. This newspaper article reports on a poorly performing pediatric cardiac surgery program, concerns raised by staff, and insufficient response from organizational leadership. Lack of data transparency, insufficient resources, and limited program capabilities to support a complex program contributed to poor outcomes for pediatric patients.