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Chicago, IL: Harpo Productions, Smithsonian Channel: May 2022.

The COVID-19 pandemic revealed the impact of racial disparities and inequities on patient safety for patients of color. This film shares stories of families whose care was unsafe. The cases discussed highlight how missed and dismissed COVID symptoms and inattention to patient and family concerns due to bias reduces patient safety.
Enumah SJ, Resnick AS, Chang DC. PLOS ONE. 2022;17:e0266696.
While quality and patient safety initiatives are implemented to improve patient outcomes, they also typically include a financial cost which must be balanced with expected outcomes. This study compared hospitals’ financial performance (i.e., financial margin and risk of financial distress) and outcomes (i.e., 30-day readmission rates, patient safety indicator-90 (PSI-90)) using data from the American Hospital Association and Hospital Compare. Hospitals in the best quintiles of readmission rates and PSI-90 scores had higher operating margins compared to the lowest rated hospitals.

London UK: Patient Safety Learning: 2022.

Unsafe care affects a wide range of individuals and organizations physically, emotionally, and financially. This report examines large system failures in the UK National Health Service to suggest actions that support learning and improvement. The publication highlights how public investigations, government reports, legal actions, and patient complaints can provide information to support the systems approach required to arrive at safe care.

Arnetz JE. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2022;48(4):241-245.

Patient violence toward health care workers is a common, yet underreported, influence on care safety. This commentary summarizes policies in place to address patient violence and highlights Joint Commission standards developed to reduce the potential for violence in care environments. Improved reporting, organizational engagement, and safety culture development are among the strategies recommended.

Doty MM, Horstman C, Shah A et al. Issue Brief. New York, NY: Commonwealth Fund: April 2022.

Bias in any form degrades the safety and effectiveness of communication and care. This report summarizes data documenting the impact of racial and ethnic discrimination on older adult patients. It provides recommendations that include increasing content in medical school curriculum to raise awareness of biased medical care and tailoring communication needs to ethnic communities as steps toward reducing discrimination.
Lin MP, Vargas-Torres C, Shin-Kim J, et al. Am J Emerg Med. 2022;53:135-139.
Drug shortages can result in patient harm, such as dosing errors from a medication substitution. In this study, 28 of the 30 most frequently used medications in the emergency department experienced shortages between 2006 and 2019. The most common reasons for shortages were manufacturing delays and increased demand. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated pre-existing drug shortages.
Wojcieszak D. J Patient Saf Risk Manag. 2022;27:15-20.
Open disclosure and apology for errors is recommended in healthcare. In this study, 38 state medical boards responded to a survey regarding disclosure and apology practices after medical errors. Findings suggest that state medical boards have generally favorable views toward clinicians who disclose errors and apologize, and that these actions would not make the clinician a target for disciplinary action; respondents had less favorable views towards legislative initiatives regarding apologies and disclosure.

London UK: Crown Copyright; March 30, 2022. ISBN: 9781528632294.

Maternal and baby harm in healthcare is a sentinel event manifested by systemic failure. This report serves as the final conclusions of an investigation into 250 cases at a National Health System (NHS) trust. The authors share overarching system improvement suggestions and high-priority recommendations to initiate NHS maternity care improvement.
Brunelli L, Cristofori V, Battistella C, et al. Int J Integr Care. 2022;22:19.
Accreditation programs are intended to improve patient safety and quality of care. Researchers in Italy aimed to develop and validate an accreditation tool for home care. The tool, validated by 21 experts, is divided into six domains: 1) Organization and governance; 2) Patient safety and risk management; 3) Professionals’ knowledge, skills, and competencies; 4) Information and communication; 5) Care integration, and 6) Improvement and innovation.
Muchiri S, Azadeh-Fard N, Pakdil F. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:237-244.
The Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP), implemented by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), imposes a financial penalty on hospitals with higher than average readmission rates for certain conditions. Six years of readmission rates for four conditions included in the HRRP (acute myocardial infarction, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure, and pneumonia) and two conditions not included (septicemia and mood disorders) were analyzed to assess the impact of the HRRP. The researchers conclude the HRRP reduced readmission rates for the four targeted conditions, but reductions were not consistent across all categories of patients.

Loller T. Associated PressMarch 30, 2022.

Reporting medical errors, learning from them, and improving systems is a cornerstone of improving patient safety. A just culture centers on moving from blaming individuals for medical errors towards a systems-based approach to learning what went on, in order to prevent similar errors in the future. The recent conviction of a nurse involved in the death of a patient has raised concerns that clinicians may not disclose medical errors out of fear of criminal prosecution and conviction.
McGinty EE, Bicket MC, Seewald NJ, et al. Ann Intern Med. 2022;175:617-627.
Prior research has found that unsafe opioid prescribing practices are common. This retrospective study explored the association between state opioid prescribing laws and trends in opioid and nonopioid pain treatment among commercially insured adults in the United States. Findings suggest that these laws were not associated with statistically significant changes in prescribing outcomes, but the authors note that some of these estimates were imprecise and may not be generalizable to non-commercially insured populations.

Washington, DC: VA Office of Inspector General; March 17, 2022.

Electronic health record (EHR) implementation failures cause major disruptions to care delivery that can result in inefficiencies, misinformation, and unsafe care. This three-part investigation examines the impact of the new United States Veterans Affairs EHR system problems on medication management, care coordination, and problem reporting and resolution at one facility.

Blythe A. NC Health News. March 10, 2022

Patient harm in dentistry is receiving increased attention and scrutiny. This story covers a medication incident and the lack of safety support that contributed to the death of a patient receiving oral surgery. It discusses the response of the patient’s family and their work to change regulations for dental sedation.

Occupational Safety and Health AdministrationMarch 2, 2022.

The impact of nursing home inspections to ensure the quality and safety of the service environment is lacking. Weaknesses in the process became more explicit as poor long-term care infection control was determined to be a contributor to the early spread of COVID amongst nursing home residents. This announcement outlines a targeted inspection initiative to assess whether organizations previously sited have made progress toward improving workforce safety.

Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization and International Labour Organization; 2022. ISBN 9789240040779.

Workforce well-being emerged as a key component of patient safety during the COVID-19 crisis. This report supplies international perspectives for informing the establishment of national regulations and organization-based programs to strengthen efforts aiming to develop health industry workforce health and safety strategies.
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.