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Redley B, Taylor N, Hutchinson AM. J Adv Nurs. 2022;Epub Apr 22.
Nurses play a critical role in reducing preventable harm among inpatients. This cross-sectional survey of nurses working in general medicine wards identified both enabling factors (behavioral regulation, perceived capabilities, and environmental context/resources) and barriers (intentions, perceived consequences, optimism, and professional role) to implementing comprehensive harm prevention programs for older adult inpatients.
Tham N, Fazio T, Johnson D, et al. World J Surg. 2022;46:1249-1258.
The COVID-19 pandemic led to changes in infection control and prevention measures to limit nosocomial spread. This retrospective cohort study found that escalations in infection prevention and control practices due to the COVID-19 pandemic did not affect the incidence of other hospital-acquired infections among surgical patients at one Australian hospital. The authors posit that this may be due to high compliance with existing infection prevention and control practices pre-pandemic.
Al-Ghunaim TA, Johnson J, Biyani CS, et al. Am J Surg. 2022;224:228-238.
Burnout in healthcare providers has been linked to lower patient safety and increased adverse events. This systematic review examined studies focusing on the relationship between burnout and patient safety and professionalism in surgeons. Results indicate higher rates of burnout and emotional exhaustion were associated with an increased risk of involvement in medical error. Interventions to reduce burnout and improve surgeon well-being may result in improved patient safety.
Emond YEJJM, Calsbeek H, Peters YAS, et al. Br J Anaesth. 2022;128:562-573.
A necessary part of successful implementation of new guidelines is ensuring continued adherence. Nine Dutch hospitals implemented a multifaceted program (IMPlementatie Richtlijnen Operatieve VEiligheid [IMPROVE]) to support application of surgical guidelines. Results of guideline use were mixed.
Malahias M-A, Antoniadou T, Jang SJ, et al. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2021;29:e1387-e1395.
Previous research has raised concerns about safety risks associated with overlapping surgery, defined as two procedures performed concurrently, but where critical surgical portions of each procedure occur at different times. Based on a meta-analysis of six articles, the authors of this systematic review found that rates of surgical complications readmissions were similar among overlapping and nonoverlapping surgery in patients undergoing total joint arthroscopy.
Croke L. AORN J. 2021;114:4-6.
Retained surgical items (RSI) are a never event, yet they continue to happen. This commentary summarizes recent changes to an existing guidance that defines a range of retained devices or products to coalesce with industry terminology. The author shares steps to reduce the potential for RSI retention. 
Liu LQ, Mehigan S. AORN J. 2021;114:159-170.
Surgical safety checklists (SSC) have been shown to improve outcomes, but effective implementation remains a challenge. This systematic review evaluated the effectiveness of interventions to increase compliance with the World Health Organization’s SSC for adult surgery. Interventions generally fell into one of four categories: modifying the method of SSC delivery, integrating or tailoring the tool for local context, promoting awareness and engagement, and managing organizational policy. Study findings suggest that all approaches resulted in some improvement in compliance.
Bubric KA, Biesbroek SL, Laberge JC, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2021;47:556-562.
Unintentionally retained foreign objects (RFO) following surgery is a never event. In this study, researchers observed 36 surgical procedures to quantify and describe interruptions and distractions present during surgical counting. Interruptions (e.g., the surgeon or another nurse talking to the scrub nurse) and distractions (e.g., music, background noise) were common. Several suggestions to minimize interruptions and distractions during surgical counts are made.

A 34-year-old morbidly obese man was placed under general anesthesia to treat a pilonidal abscess. Upon initial evaluation by an anesthesiologist, he was found to have a short thick neck, suggesting that endotracheal intubation might be difficult. A fellow anesthetist suggested use of video-laryngoscopy equipment, but the attending anesthesiologist rejected the suggestion. A first-year resident attempted to intubate the patient but failed.

Abraham J, Meng A, Sona C, et al. Int J Med Inform. 2021;151:104458.
Standardized handoff protocols from the operating room to the intensive care unit have improved patient safety, but clinician compliance and long-term sustainability remain poor. This study identified four phases of post-operative handoff associated with risk factors: pre-transfer preparation, transfer and set up, report preparation and delivery, and post-transfer care. The authors recommend “flexibly standardized” handoff intervention tools for safe transfer from operating room to intensive care.
Lee G, Clough OT, Walker JA, et al. Patient Safety Surg. 2021;15:11.
In an effort to continue planned and elective procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Health Service utilized alternate “clean” hospital sites which did not admit or treat patients with COVID-19. This study found that although patient concerns about undergoing elective procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic were common, the majority of these patients reported high levels of confidence and satisfaction in the precautions in place at these “clean” sites to protect their safety.

Odor PM, Bampoe S, Lucas DN, et al the Pan-London Peri-operative Audit and Research Network (PLAN), for the DREAMY Investigators Group. Anaesthesia. 2021;76(6):759-776.

Accidental patient awareness during anesthesia can result in significant patient distress and harm. This prospective cohort study, including 3,115 patients, identified high rates of accidental awareness during general anesthesia for obstetric surgery. In some patients, accidental awareness resulted in distressing experiences, paralysis, or a provisional diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder.
Althoff FC, Wachtendorf LJ, Rostin P, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2020;30:678-688.
Prior research suggests that patients undergoing surgery at night are at greater risk for intraoperative adverse events. This retrospective cohort study including over 350,000 adult patients undergoing non-cardiac surgery found that night surgery was associated with an increased risk of postoperative mortality and morbidity. The effect was mediated by potentially preventable factors, including higher blood transfusion rates and more frequent provider handovers.
Gui JL, Nemergut EC, Forkin KT. J Clin Anesth. 2020;68:110110.
Distractions and interruptions are common in health care delivery. This literature review discusses the range of operating room distractions (from common events such as “small talk” to more intense distractions such as unavailable equipment) that can affect anesthesia practice, and their likely impact on patient safety.
Sweet W, Snyder D, Raymond M. J Healthc Risk Manage. 2020.
This article describes one health system’s experience implementing an infection prevention program into risk management in an outpatient setting. Over a two-year period post-implementation, the system identified and corrected high-risk practices, increased compliance to device guidance, increased efficiency with the use of central sterile processing departments, and developed a staff competency training structure.

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
Ubaldi K. AORN J. 2019;109:435-442.
Safe medication use can be challenging in ambulatory surgery centers. This commentary reviews strategies to improve safety in this setting, including close collaboration with a pharmacist or pharmacy, assessing medication management, and providing clinician education.