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Keebler JR, Salas E, Rosen MA, et al. eds. Hum Factors. 2022;64(1):5-258.

Human factors concepts are central to improvement in high-risk industries and efforts are emerging to enfold them into health care organizations to improve safety. This special issue explores themes that underscore successful application of human factors practices into healthcare: culture change toward high reliability, team improvement, technology integration, and measures development.
Fitzsimons J. Int J Qual Health Care. 2021;33:mzaa051.
This article discusses the importance of leveraging quality improvement and patient safety science in acute and emergency situations. Methods and tools such as rapid learning cycles, huddles, team-based approaches, and debriefing and their applications to the COVID-19 pandemic are discussed.
Parush A, Wacht O, Gomes R, et al. J Med Internet Res. 2020;22:e19947.
This study surveyed healthcare professionals in Israel and Portugal to identify key human factors that influence the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) when caring for patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. Respondents attributed difficulties in wearing PPE to discomfort, challenges in hearing and seeing, and doffing. Analyses also found an association between PPE discomfort and situational awareness, but this association reflected difficulties in communication (e.g., hearing and understanding speech).
This Primer provides an overview of the history and current status of the patient safety field and key definitions and concepts. It links to other Patient Safety Primers that discuss the concepts in more detail.
Katz MJ, Gurses AP. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2019;40:95-99.
Health care–associated infections are a persistent challenge in all care environments. This commentary explores conditions in long-term care settings that enable infections to spread. The authors recommend applying a human factors engineering model in these settings to reduce risks of infections.
Schulte F; Lucas E; Mahr J.
Sepsis is a serious condition that can be fatal if it is not promptly diagnosed and treated. This news article reports on systemic factors in nursing homes such as poor staffing and communication with families that contribute to unmanaged pressure ulcers and sepsis that result in hospital admissions and death. A WebM&M commentary discussed a case involving a patient who had a pressure ulcer and sepsis in long-term care.
van Welie S, Wijma L, Beerden T, et al. BMJ Open. 2016;6:e012286.
Not all pill-form medications can be safely crushed to administer to patients who have difficulty swallowing. In this before and after intervention study in a nursing home, adding warning symbols and educating staff about crushing medications led to a decrease in pill-crushing errors. The authors conclude that education and warnings enhanced this aspect of medication safety.
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Health Care Innovations Exchange. May 18, 2016.
This issue highlights innovations that can be applied in a variety of health care environments to prevent hospital-acquired conditions. The resources include the Chartbook on Patient Safety and checklist, decision support, and screening programs.
Interrupted during a telephone handoff, an ED physician, despite limited information, must treat a patient in respiratory arrest. The patient is stabilized and transferred to the ICU with a presumed diagnosis of aspiration pneumonia and septic shock. Later, ICU physicians obtain further history that leads to the correct diagnosis: pulmonary embolism.
Gerber A, Kohaupt I, Lauterbach KW, et al. Am J Geriatr Pharmacother. 2008;6:212-9.
Pill organizers are commonly used to help ensure medication adherence and avoid errors for patients taking multiple medications. However, this study found that the repackaging necessary to stock pill organizers was in itself a source of error.
An elderly man receiving feedings through a percutaneous enterostomy tube was prescribed intravenous total parenteral nutrition (TPN). A licensed practical nurse (LPN) mistakenly connected the TPN to the patient's enterostomy tube. His daughter (a retired nurse) asked her about it, and the RN on duty confirmed the error. The LPN disconnected the mistakenly placed (and now contaminated) line, but then prepared to attach it to the intravenous catheter. Luckily, both the patient's daughter and the RN were present and stopped her.
St Louis, Missouri; Facilities Guidelines Institute; 2018.
These updated guidelines include design changes, such as the adoption of private rooms to reduce medical error, interruptions, and hospital-acquired infections. The 2018 edition was developed as a 3-volume set covering hospitals, outpatient facilities, and residential health, care, and support facilities. Each provides information on design elements that enhance safety. The material also includes risk assessments to identify space concerns that could lead to unsafe conditions.
Bypassing the safeguards of an automated dispensing machine in a skilled nursing facility, a nurse administers medications from a portable medication cart. A non-diabetic patient receives insulin by mistake, which requires his admission to intensive care and delays his chemotherapy for cancer.
Thinking that the patient's glycemic control had spontaneously improved (and not realizing that the patient was continuing to receive long-acting insulin injections), a physician discontinues daily glucose checks and insulin sliding scale orders. Four days later, the patient is found unresponsive and hypoglycemic.