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Cox C, Fritz Z. BMJ. 2022;377:e066720.

As more patients are gaining access to their electronic health records, including clinician notes, the language clinicians use can shape how patients feel about their health and healthcare provider. This commentary describes how some words and phrases routinely used in provider notes, such as “deny” or “non-compliant”, may inadvertently build distrust with the patient. The authors recommend medical students and providers reconsider their language to establish more trusting relationships with their patients.
Brady KJS, Barlam TF, Trockel MT, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2022;48:287-297.
Inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics to treat viral illnesses is an ongoing patient safety threat. This study examined the association between clinician depression, anxiety, and burnout and inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics for acute respiratory tract infections (RTIs) in outpatient care. Depression and anxiety, but not burnout, were associated with increased adjusted odds of inappropriate prescribing for RTIs.

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.

Jagsi R, Griffith KA, Vicini F, et al for the Michigan Radiation Oncology Quality Consortium. JAMA OncolEpub 2022 Apr 21. 

Concordance of patient-reported symptoms and provider-documented symptoms is necessary for appropriate patient care and has clinical implications for research. This study compared patient-reported symptoms (pain, pruritus, edema, and fatigue) following radiotherapy for breast cancer with provider assessments. Underrecognition of at least one symptom occurred in more than 50% of patients. Underrecognition was more common in Black patients and those seen by male physicians. The authors suggest that interventions to improve communication between providers and patients may not only improve outcomes but also reduce racial disparities.
Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority. Harrisburg, PA: Patient Safety Authority; April 2022.
This report summarizes patient safety improvement work in the state of Pennsylvania and reviews the 2021 activities of the Patient Safety Authority, including the Agency's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, video programs, liaison efforts, publication programs, and the launch of a new learning management system.
Patel SJ, Ipsaro A, Brady PW. Hosp Pediatr. 2022;Epub Feb 28.
Diagnostic uncertainty can arise in complex clinical scenarios. This qualitative study explored how physicians in pediatric emergency and inpatient settings mitigate diagnostic uncertainty. Participants discussed common mitigation strategies, such as employing a “diagnostic pause.” The authors also noted outstanding gaps regarding communicating diagnostic uncertainty to families.
Lohmeyer Q, Schiess C, Wendel Garcia PD, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2022;Epub Mar 8.
Tall Man lettering (TML) is a recommended strategy to reduce look-alike or sound-alike medication errors. This simulation study used eye tracking to investigate how of ‘tall man lettering’ impacts medication administration tasks. The researchers found that TML of prelabeled syringes led to a significant decrease in misidentified syringes and improved visual attention.
Tee QX, Nambiar M, Stuckey S. J Med Imaging Radiat Oncol. 2022;66:202-207.
Diagnostic errors in radiology can result in treatment delays and contribute to patient harm. This article provides an overview of the common cognitive biases encountered in diagnostic radiology that can contribute to diagnostic error, and strategies to avoid these biases, such as the use of a cognitive bias mitigation strategy checklist, peer feedback, promoting a just culture, and technology approaches including artificial intelligence (AI).
Furlan L, Francesco PD, Costantino G, et al. J Intern Med. 2022;291:397-407.
Overtreatment and overuse can have unanticipated consequences, ranging from patient anxiety while awaiting test results to medical complications. The authors identify several factors that can contribute to patient overtreatment (fear of uncertainty, cognitive bias, applying low-quality evidence, and overfocusing on diagnosis). Interventions to overcome these issues include educating clinicians that uncertainty is a part of medicine and shifting to a focus on patient-centered management rather than focusing on identifying a diagnosis.

Errors in medication management and administration are major threats to patient safety. This piece explores issues with opioid and nursing-sensitive medication safety as well as medication safety in older adults. Future research directions in medication safety are also discussed.

A psychologically safe environment for healthcare teams is desirable for optimal team performance, team member well-being, and favorable patient safety outcomes. This piece explores facilitators of and barriers to psychological safety across healthcare settings. Future research directions examining psychological safety in healthcare are discussed.

Garb HN. Psyche. March 22, 2022.

A wide array of biases can affect clinical judgement and contribute to diagnostic error. This article discusses the impact of implicit biases, test inaccuracy, and data weaknesses in diagnosis of mental health conditions in both children and adults. The author provides recommendations for clinicians and researchers to reduce the impact of bias on diagnosis.
Wyner D, Wyner F, Brumbaugh D, et al. Pediatrics. 2021;148:e2021053091.
The dismissal of parental concerns is a known contributor to medical errors in children. This story illustrates how poor communication, lack of respect, and anchoring bias  contributed to failure in the care of a boy. The authors share actions being taken by the hospital involved in the tragedy to partner with the family to improve diagnosis practices throughout their organization.

A 65-year-old woman with a history of 50 pack-years of cigarette smoking presented to her primary care physician (PCP), concerned about lower left back pain; she was advised to apply ice and take ibuprofen. She returned to her PCP a few months later reporting persistent pain. A lumbar spine radiograph showed mild degenerative disc disease and the patient was prescribed hydrocodone/acetaminophen in addition to ibuprofen. In the following months, she was seen by video twice for progressive, more severe pain that limited her ability to walk.

A 69-year-old man with End-Stage Kidney Disease (ESKD) secondary to diabetes mellitus and hypertension, who had been on dialysis since 2014, underwent deceased donor kidney transplant. The case demonstrates the complex nature of management of allograft dysfunction due to vascular complications in a patient with deceased donor kidney transplant in the early post-transplant period.

RA-UK, the Faculty of Pain Medicine, RCoA Simulation and NHS Improvement

Standardization is a common strategy for preventing practice deviations that can contribute to harm. This tool outlines a three-step process for minimizing the occurrence of wrong-side peripheral nerve blocks that involves preparing for the procedure, stopping to perform a two-person site confirmation, and then administering the block.
Horsham, PA: Institute for Safe Medication Practices; 2022.
This updated report outlines 19 consensus-based best practices to ensure safe medication administration, such as diluted solutions of vincristine in minibags and standardized metrics for patient weight. The set of recommended practices has been reviewed and updated every two years since it was first developed in 2014 to include actions related to eliminating the prescribing of fentanyl patches for acute pain and use of information about medication safety risks from other organizations to motivate improvement efforts. The 2022 update includes new practices that are associated with oxytocin, barcode verification in vaccine administration, and high-alert medications. 

This case involves a 2-year-old girl with acute myelogenous leukemia and thrombocytopenia (platelet count 26,000 per microliter) who underwent implantation of a central venous catheter with a subcutaneous port. The anesthetist asked the surgeon to order a platelet transfusion to increase the child’s platelet count to above 50,000 per microliter. In the post-anesthesia care unit, the patient’s arterial blood pressure started fluctuating and she developed cardiac arrest.