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Schroers G, Ross JG, Moriarty H. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2021;47:38-53.
Medication errors are a common source of patient harm. This systematic review synthesizing qualitative evidence concluded that nurses’ perceived causes of medication administration errors are multifactorial, interconnected, and stem from systems issues. Perceived causes included lack of medication knowledge, fatigue, complacency, heavy workloads, and interruptions.
Leviatan I, Oberman B, Zimlichman E, et al. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2021;28:1074-1080.
Human factors, such as cognitive load, are main contributors to prescribing errors. This study assessed the relationship between medication prescribing errors and a physician’s workload, successive work shifts, and prescribing experience. The researchers reviewed presumed medication errors flagged by a computerized decision support system (CDSS) in acute care settings (excluding intensive care units) and found that longer hours and less experience in prescribing specific medications increased the risk of prescribing errors.
Watterson TL, Look KA, Steege LM, et al. Res Social Adm Pharm. 2021;17:1282-1287.
Fatigue has been linked to safety-related outcomes among many types of healthcare providers and settings. Using exploratory factor analysis, this study found physical and mental fatigue were the primary drivers of occupational fatigue in pharmacists. To increase safety, organizational interventions should strive to prevent burnout among pharmacists .
Westbrook JI, Raban MZ, Walter SR, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2018;27:655-663.
This direct observation study of emergency physicians found that interruptions, multitasking, and poor sleep were associated with making more medication prescribing errors. These results add to the evidence that clinical environments prone to interruptions may pose a safety risk.
Minnesota Hospital Association; MHA.
This Web site provides access to materials for patient safety improvement efforts in Minnesota, including initiatives to reduce adverse drug events and hospital collaboratives to implement best practices.
Ardenne M, Reitnauer PG. Arzneimittel-Forschung. 1975;25:1369-79.
This special issue includes articles exploring systems-oriented safety improvement in surgical care.
Bagian JP. Human Factors and Ergonomics in Manufacturing & Service Industries. 2011;22.
Articles in this special issue detail how human factors and ergonomics concepts can contribute to patient safety efforts through improving design, training, and equipment usability.

Brice JH, Patterson PD, eds. Prehosp Emerg Care. 2012;16:1-108.  

This special issue contains articles exploring safety improvement efforts in emergency medical services.
Olds DM, Clarke SP. J Safety Res. 2010;41:153-62.
A considerable amount of attention has been paid to the issue of physician work hours and patient safety, thanks in part to regulations limiting duty hours for resident physicians. Fatigue has also been demonstrated to be a risk factor for errors among nurses, particularly when nurses work overtime or extended duration shifts. In this analysis, the authors found that among nurses, working voluntary overtime or working more than 40 hours per week were strongly correlated with an increase in self-reported errors, particularly needlestick injuries and medication errors. While legislative efforts have focused on restricting mandatory overtime for nurses, these results raise concern that the widespread practice of taking voluntary overtime shifts could negatively affect patient safety.
Sixth Report of Session 2008–09. House of Commons Health Committee. London, England: The Stationery Office; July 3, 2009. Publication HC 151-I.
This government report analyzes the National Health Service's efforts to enhance patient safety and recommends improving certain areas, such as adopting technology, analyzing failure, and ensuring both practitioner education and adequate staffing.
American Hospital Association; AHA Quality Center.
This section of the AHA Quality Center Web site links to a collection of materials on improving patient safety and preventing medical errors.
Intern J Health Care Qual Assur. 2007;20(7):555-632.
This special issue includes articles by authors from Australia, Israel, France, Iran, and Belgium that explore ideas such as building a culture of safety, replacing medical equipment, and measuring safety improvements.
Following surgery, a woman on a patient-controlled analgesia pump is found to be lethargic and incoherent, with a low respiratory rate. The nurse contacted the attending physician, who dismisses the patient's symptoms and chastises the nurse for the late call.
Bagnara S; Tartaglia R; Wears RL; Perry SJ; Salas E; Rosen MA; King H; Carayon P; Alvarado CJ; Hundt AS; Healey AN; Vincent CA; Falzon P; Mollo V; Friesdorf W; Buss B; Marsolek I; Barach P; Bellandi T; Albolino S; Tomassini CR.
This special issue contains articles focusing on ergonomic research areas that intersect with patient safety, such as team management, work design, and safety culture.