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Sederstrom N, Lasege T. Hastings Cent Rep. 2022;52:s24-s29.
Racial bias and systemic racism in healthcare are increasingly seen as critical patient safety issues. This commentary discusses the relationship between medical ethics and racism in healthcare institutions, using examples such as racial biases in clinical tools and algorithms, the effect of racial bias on diagnosis and diagnostic error, and how excess disease burden can be viewed as proxy for racism.
Braun EJ, Singh S, Penlesky AC, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2022;Epub Apr 15.
Early warning systems (EWS) use patient data from the electronic health record to alert clinicians to potential patient deterioration. Twelve months after a new EWS was implemented in one hospital, nurses were interviewed to gather their perspectives on the program experience, utility, and implementation. Six themes emerged: timeliness, lack of accuracy, workflow interruptions, actionability of alerts, underappreciation of core nursing skills, and opportunity cost.
Buhlmann M, Ewens B, Rashidi A. J Adv Nurs. 2022;Epub Apr 22.
The term “second victims” describes clinicians who experience emotional or physical distress following involvement in an adverse event. Nurses and midwives were interviewed about “moving on” from the impact of a critical incident. Five main themes were identified: Initial emotional and physical response, the aftermath, long-lasting repercussions, workplace support, and moving on. Lack of organizational support exacerbated the nurses’ and midwives’ responses.
MacLeod JB, D’Souza K, Aguiar C, et al. J Cardiothorac Surg. 2022;17:69.
Post-operative complications can lead to increased length of hospital stay, cost, and resource utilization. This retrospective study compared “fast track” patients (patients extubated and transferred from ICU to a step-down unit the same day as their procedure) and patients who were not fast tracked. Results showed fast track pathways led to a reduction in ICU and overall hospital length of stay and similar post-operative outcomes.
Morsø L, Birkeland S, Walløe S, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2022;48:271-279.
Patient complaints can provide insights into safety threats and system weaknesses. This study used the healthcare complaints analysis tool (HCAT) to identify and categorize safety problems in emergency care. Most problems arose during examination/diagnosis and frequently resulted in diagnostic errors or errors of omission.
Ong N, Long JC, Weise J, et al. J Appl Res Intellect Disabil. 2022;35:675-690.
Children with intellectual disabilities can be at higher risk for patient safety events and poor-quality care. This systematic review and thematic analysis identified several themes (e.g., distress, communication, training, and education) underscoring healthcare staff experiences in providing care for pediatric patients with intellectual disabilities. The review found that healthcare staff feel they lack necessary skills to provide care for children with intellectual disabilities and have difficulties communicating effectively with both patients and their parents.
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.
Ulmer FF, Lutz AM, Müller F, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e573-e579.
Closed-loop communication is essential to effective teamwork, particularly during complex or high-intensity clinical scenarios. This study found that participation in a one-day simulation team training for pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) nurses led to significant improvements in closed-loop communication in real-life clinical situations.
Tan J, Krishnan S, Vacanti JC, et al. J Healthc Risk Manag. 2022;42:9-14.
Inpatient falls are a common patient safety event and can have serious consequences. This study used hospital safety reporting system data to characterize falls in perioperative settings. Falls represented 1% of all safety reports between 2014 and 2020 and most commonly involved falls from a bed or stretcher. The author suggests strategies to identify patients at high risk for falls, improve fall-related training for healthcare personnel, and optimize equipment design in perioperative areas to prevent falls.
Sosa T, Galligan MM, Brady PW. J Hosp Med. 2022;17:199-202.
Situation awareness supports effective teamwork and safe care delivery. This commentary highlights the role of situation awareness in watching the condition of pediatric inpatients to reduce instances of unrecognized clinical deterioration. It features rapid response models enhanced by event review, psychological safety, and patient and family partnering as mechanisms improved through situation awareness.
Lim L, Zimring CM, DuBose JR, et al. HERD. 2022;15:28-41.
Social distancing policies implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic challenged healthcare system leaders and providers to balance infection prevention strategies and providing collaborative, team-based patient care. In this article, four primary care clinics made changes to the clinic design, operational protocols, and usage of spaces. Negative impacts of these changes, such as fewer opportunities for collaboration, communication, and coordination, were observed.
Davidson C, Denning S, Thorp K, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2022;Epub Apri 15.
People of color experience disproportionately higher rates of maternal morbidity and mortality. As part of a larger quality improvement and patient safety initiative to reduce severe maternal morbidity from hemorrhage (SMM-H), this hospital analyzed administrative data stratified by race and ethnicity, and noted a disparity between White and Black patients. Review of this data was integrated with the overall improvement bundle. Post-implementation results show that SMM-H rates for Black patients decreased.
Díez R, Cadenas R, Susperregui J, et al. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022;19:4313.
Older adults living in nursing homes are at increased risk of polypharmacy and its associated adverse outcomes, such as drug-drug interactions. The medication records of 222 older adult residents of one Spanish nursing home were screened for potential drug-drug adverse events. Nearly all included residents were taking at least one potentially inappropriate medication, and drug-drug interactions were common.
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.
Kuske S, Willmeroth T, Schneider J, et al. BMJ Open Qual. 2022;11:e001741.
Comprehensive implementation of reporting and learning systems (RLS, also known as incident reporting systems) is important for its successful use as a patient safety improvement tool. This study aimed to develop a set of “implementation patient safety indicator(s) sets” to monitor the extent to which an RLS has been implemented in hospitals. Implementation outcomes include acceptability, adoption, appropriateness, implementation costs, feasibility, fidelity, penetration, and sustainability. Study participants rated acceptability and sustainability as most relevant to successful implementation.
Meyer AND, Scott TMT, Singh H. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5:e228568.
Delayed communication of abnormal test results can contribute to diagnostic and treatment delays, patient harm, and malpractice claims. The Department of Veterans Affairs specifies abnormal test results be communicated to the patient within seven days if treatment is required, and within 14 days if no treatment is required. In the first full year of the program, 71% of abnormal test results and 80% of normal test results were communicated to the patient within the specified timeframes. Performance varied by facility and type of test.
Montgomery A, Lainidi O. Front Psychiatry. 2022;13:818393.
Difficulty speaking up about patient safety concerns and unprofessional behavior indicates a safety culture deficiency. This article discusses the relationship between silence, burnout, and quality of care, emphasizing how silence evolves during medical education and continues into clinical training, eventually impacting healthcare professional burnout, patient safety and quality of care.
Riblet NB, Gottlieb DJ, Watts BV, et al. J Nerv Ment Dis. 2022;210:227-230.
Unplanned discharges (also referred to as leaving against medical advice) can lead to adverse patient outcomes. This study compared unplanned discharges across Veterans Health Affairs (VHA) acute inpatient and residential mental health treatment settings over a ten-year period and found that unplanned discharges are significantly higher in mental health settings. The authors recommend that unplanned discharges be measured to assess patient safety in mental health.
Gilbert GL, Kerridge I. BMC Health Serv Res. 2022;22:504.
Hospital transmission of COVID-19 has necessitated review of organization infection prevention and control (IPC) policies and practices. This study, conducted before the pandemic, compared IPC attitudes and practices of nurses and physicians, and how these differences affect interpersonal relationships. Both professions described unflattering and stereotypical behaviors of the other (i.e., doctors are unaware or disdainful of IPC; “bossy” nurses).  Many IPC policies implemented during the pandemic, such as encouraging all healthcare workers to speak up about infection prevention breaches, were accepted by both professions, and the authors recommend seizing on this interprofessional unity to continue adherence to all IPC policies.
Wailling J, Kooijman A, Hughes J, et al. Health Expect. 2022;25:1192-1199.
Harm resulting from patient safety incidents can be compounded if investigating responses ignore the human relationships involved. This article describes how compounded harm arises, and it recommends the use of a restorative practices. A restorative approach focuses on (1) who has been hurt and their needs, and who is responsible for addressing those needs, (2) how harms and relationships can be repaired, and avenues to prevent the incident from reoccurring.