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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.
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.
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.
Beed M, Hussain S, Woodier N, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e652-e657.
Critical incident reporting is an important method to detect patient safety hazards and improve care. A research team in one large UK tertiary hospital reviewed cardiac arrest calls and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) events reported to the hospital incident reporting system; ten thematic areas for potential improvement were identified (e.g., failure to rescue, staffing concerns, equipment/drug concerns). Organizations could replicate this longitudinal process to improve high-risk patient safety event outcomes.
Acorda DE, Bracken J, Abela K, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2022;48:196-204.
Rapid response (RR) systems are used to improve clinical outcomes and prevent transfer to ICU of patients demonstrating signs of rapid deterioration. To evaluate its RR system, one hospital’s pediatric department reviewed all REACT (Rapid Escalation After Critical Transfer) events (i.e., cardiopulmonary arrest and/or ventilation and/or hemodynamic support) which occurred within 24 hours of the RR. These reviews identified opportunities for systemwide improvements. 
Olsen SL, Søreide E, Hansen BS. J Patient Saf. 2022;Epub Apr 4.
Rapid response systems (RRS) are widely used to identify signs of rapid deterioration among hospitalized patients.  Using in situ simulation, researchers identified obstacles to effective RRS execution, including inconsistent education and documentation, lack of interpersonal trust, and low psychological safety.
Sujan M, Bilbro N, Ross A, et al. Appl Ergon. 2022;98:103608.
Failure to rescue refers to delayed or missed recognition of a potentially fatal complication that results in a patient’s death. This single-center study sought to more effectively manage deteriorating patients after emergency surgery and reduce failure to rescue rates. Researchers used the functional resonance analysis method (FRAM) to develop recommendations for strengthening organizational resilience. Recommendations included improving team communication, organizational learning, and relationships.
Ang D, Nieto K, Sutherland M, et al. Am Surg. 2022;88:587-596.
Patient safety indicators (PSI) are measures that focus on quality of care and potentially preventable adverse events. This study estimated odds of preventable mortality of older adults with traumatic injuries and identified the PSIs that are associated with the highest level of preventable mortality.  Strategies to reduce preventable mortality in older adults are presented (e.g. utilization of national guidelines, minimization of central venous catheter use, addressing polypharmacy).
McHale S, Marufu TC, Manning JC, et al. Nurs Crit Care. 2021;Epub Oct 20.
Failure to identify and prevent clinical deterioration can reflect the quality and effectiveness of care. This study used routinely collected emergency event data to identify failure to rescue events at one tertiary children’s hospital. Over a nine-year period, 520 emergency events were identified; 25% were cardiac arrest events and 60% occurred among patients who had been admitted for more than 48 hours. Over the nine-year period, failure to rescue events decreased from 23.6% to 2.5%.
Bernstein SL, Kelechi TJ, Catchpole K, et al. Worldviews Evid Based Nurs. 2021;18:352-360.
Failure to rescue, the delayed or missed recognition of a potentially fatal complication that results in the patient’s death, is particularly tragic in obstetric care. Using the Systems Engineering Initiative for Patient Safety (SEIPS) framework, the authors describe the work system, process, and outcomes related to failure to rescue, and develop intervention theories.

A seven-year-old girl with esophageal stenosis underwent upper endoscopy with esophageal dilation under general anesthesia. During the procedure, she was fully monitored with a continuous arterial oxygen saturation probe, heart rate monitors, two-lead electrocardiography, continuous capnography, and non-invasive arterial blood pressure measurements.

Fischer CP, Bilimoria KY, Ghaferi AA. JAMA. 2021;326:179-180.
Rapid response teams (RRTs) are intended to quickly identify clinical deterioration and prevent intensive care unit transfer, cardiac arrest, or death. This article summarizes the evidence included in the AHRQ Making Healthcare Safer III report about the use of RRTs to decrease failure to rescue. Although utilization is widespread, the authors conclude that definitive evidence that RRTs are associated with reduced rates of failure to rescue is inconclusive. The authors note that evidence does support that RRTs are associated with reduced secondary outcomes, such as ICU transfer rate and cardiac arrest.
Bacon CT, McCoy TP, Henshaw DS. J Nurs Adm. 2021;51(1) :12-18.
Lack of communication and interpersonal dynamics can contribute to failure to rescue. This study surveyed 262 surgical staff about perceived safety climate, but the authors did not find an association between organizational safety culture and failure to rescue or inpatient mortality.  
Stevens JP. UpToDate. September 18, 2020.
Although rapid response programs have been advocated as promising patient safety strategies, the evidence regarding their benefits is mixed. This review provides an overview of rapid response systems, including key components and goals of the intervention. Further research is needed to provide justification on their use for adult patients.
Burke JR, Downey C, Almoudaris AM. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e140-e155.
This systematic review identified three critical points that can contribute to “failure to rescue” among inpatients with serious complications – (1) failure to recognize the complications; (2) failure to relay information regarding the complications to the care team, and; (3) failure to react in a timely and appropriate manner to the patient’s deterioration. Effective tools and interventions which can be implemented during each timepoint are discussed, including increased nurse staffing, rapid response teams, checklists, and early warning score systems.

Holmes A, Long A, Wyant B, et al. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; March 2020. AHRQ Publication No. 20-0029-EF.

This newly issued follow up to the seminal AHRQ Making Health Care Safer report (first published in 2001 and updated in 2013 critically examines the evidence supporting 47 separate patient safety practices chosen for the high-impact harms they address. It includes diagnostic errors, failure to rescue, sepsis, infections due to multi-drug resistant organisms, adverse drug events and nursing-sensitive conditions. The report discusses the evidence on cross-cutting safety practices, including safety culture, teamwork and team training, clinical decision support, patient and family engagement, cultural competency, staff education and training, and monitoring, audit and feedback. The report provides recommendations for clinicians and decision-makers on effective patient safety practices.
Koers L, van Haperen M, Meijer CGF, et al. JAMA Surg. 2019;155:e194704.
Failure to rescue is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality and is often associated with human error. In this innovative study, the authors posit that the use of cognitive aids, which are prompts that can help practitioners’ complete evidence-based tasks (e.g. symptom-specific checklists, flowcharts, and clinical guidelines), could improve timely recognition and effective management of complications in a surgical population. The study randomized surgeons and nurses to manage deteriorating patients in simulated scenarios with or without the use of cognitive aids. Use of cognitive aids significantly reduced omitted critical management steps and failure to adhere to best practices.  
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.
Chiu RG. AMA J Ethics. 2019;21:E553-558.
Although disclosure of medical error to patients is difficult, it is an ethical responsibility. This article discusses situations involving patients who are incapacitated and unrepresented but have no surrogate present to assist in communication and care coordination. Despite this challenge, the author argues that the clinician and organization still have the responsibility to document what happened, communicate what is known, and rectify the mistake.
Palmer J. Patient Saf Qual Healthc. May/June 2019.
Organizations must learn from adverse events to prevent similar incidents. Reporting on lessons to be learned from the cascade of failures connected with the preventable death of a patient during an acute asthma attack at the door of a hospital emergency department, this magazine article outlines the importance of effective signage, appropriate security staff placement, and acceptance of the responsibility for failure.