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This primer provides a broad overview of three widely used tools for investigating and responding to patient safety events and near misses. Tools covered in this primer are incident reporting systems, Root Cause Analysis (RCA), and Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA). These tools have been used in high-risk industries and occupations such as aviation, manufacturing, nuclear power, and the military and have been adapted for use in enhancing patient safety in healthcare settings over the past two decades.

Residents living in nursing homes or residential care facilities use common dining and activity spaces and may share rooms, which increases the risk for transmission of COVID-19 infection. This document describes key patient safety challenges facing older adults living in these settings, who are particularly vulnerable to the effects of the virus, and identifies federal guidelines and resources related to COVID-19 prevention and mitigation in long-term care. As of April 13, 2020, the Associated
Debriefing is an important strategy for learning about and making improvements in individual, team, and system performance. It is one of the central learning tools in simulation training and is also recommended after significant clinical events.
Nurses play a critical role in patient safety through their constant presence at the patient's bedside. However, staffing issues and suboptimal working conditions can impede a nurse’s ability to detect and prevent adverse events.

An essential aspect of preventing medical errors and improving patient safety is using data effectively to understand, track and communicate performance on patient safety metrics. This primer provides an overview of visual tools – histograms, scatter plots, run charts and control charts – hospitals and health systems can leverage to track patient safety data.

Medication administration errors are a persistent patient safety problem. Increasing the safety of medication administration requires a multifaceted, system-level approach that spans all areas of health care delivery, such as primary, specialty, inpatient, and community-based care.
This primer describes stressors relevant to the healthcare response to the COVID-19 pandemic from the perspective of care deliverers and the significant personal toll the pandemic is taking on individuals who work in the healthcare system. This primer highlights foundational patient safety strategies – signage, workflow review and redesign, checklists and simulations – whose implementation is more important than ever for keeping patients and healthcare providers safe in the age of COVID-19.
Burnout among health care professionals is highly prevalent. Current work focuses on understanding burnout and clinician well-being as system-level concerns that can influence safety, quality, and organizational performance.
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.
Most safety improvement efforts justifiably emphasize system performance. A clinician's individual skill level is an important component of the care delivery system that can influence patient safety—both independently and in conjunction with other system components. Emerging evidence examines assessment, monitoring, and improvement of clinicians' competence as a means of addressing this unique component and ensuring patient safety.
Failure to rescue is both a concept and a measure of hospital quality and safety. The concept captures the idea that systems should be able to rapidly identify and treat complications when they occur, while the measure has been defined as the inability to prevent death after a complication develops.
Falls are a common source of patient harm in hospitals, and are considered a never event when they result in serious injury. Fall prevention requires a coordinated, multidisciplinary approach that entails individualized risk assessment and preventive interventions.
A large and growing number of Americans require care in skilled nursing facilities, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, or long-term acute care hospitals, often after an acute hospitalization. Data indicates that more than 20% of patients in these settings experience an adverse event during their stay.
Measuring patient safety is a complex and evolving field, and achieving accurate and reliable measurement strategies remains a challenge for the safety field.
Though hospital boards have traditionally had relatively little oversight over quality and safety performance, emerging data indicates that board engagement is correlated with improved safety, and specific management strategies can be used to enhance an organization's quality and safety performance.