Pitts SI, Yang Y, Woodroof T, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e934-e937.
CancelRx is a health information tool designed to improve communication between electronic health record (EHR) systems and pharmacy dispensing software. This study found that CancelRx implementation eliminated the sale of electronically prescribed medications after discontinuation in the EHR, compared to prior to implementation. Researchers found that CancelRx did result in the unintentional cancellation of some prescriptions and they discuss the importance of situational awareness among providers and pharmacy staff to mitigate this issue.
Handoffs from one care team to another present significant risks to the patient if essential patient information is not shared or understood by all team members. Stakeholders at this children’s hospital developed a structured tool for handoff between surgery and pediatric or neonatal intensive care units. Transfer of information and select patient outcomes improved, handoff time was unchanged, and attendance by all team members increased.
The COVID-19 pandemic increased symptoms of physician burnout, including emotional exhaustion, which can increase patient safety risks. This cross-sectional study examined emotional exhaustion among healthcare workers at two large health care systems in the United States before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Respondents reported increases in emotional exhaustion in themselves and perceived exhaustion experienced by their colleagues. The researchers found that emotional exhaustion was often clustered in work settings, highlighting the importance of organizational climate and safety culture in mitigating the effects of COVID-19 on healthcare worker well-being.
Martins MS, Lourenção DC de A, Pimentel RR da S, et al. BMJ Open. 2022;12:e060182.
In early 2020, hospitals, organizations, and expert panels released recommendations to maintain patient safety while reducing spread of COVID-19. This review summarized safety recommendations from 125 studies, reviews, and expert consensus documents. Recommendations were categorized into one of four areas: organization of health services, management of airways, sanitary and hygiene measures, and management of communication. Planning and implementing best practices based on these recommendations ensure safe care during COVID-19 and future pandemics.
Uramatsu M, Maeda H, Mishima S, et al. J Cardiothorac Surg. 2022;17:182.
Wrong-patient transfusion errors can lead to serious patient harm. This case report describes a blood transfusion error and summarizes the systems issues that emerged during the root case analysis, as well as the corrective steps implemented by the hospital to prevent future transfusion errors. A previous Spotlight Case featured a near-miss transfusion error and strategies for ensuring safe transfusion practices.
Whatley C, Schlogl J, Whalen BL, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2022;48:521-528.
Newborn falls or drops are receiving increasing attention as a patient safety issue. This article discusses a quality improvement initiative launched at one hospital aimed to decrease newborn falls through new parent education materials, a nursing risk assessment tool, and standardized reporting system. Three years after implementation, the hospital achieved one year without any newborn falls and there were no fall-related injuries over the three-year period.
Boisvert S. J Healthc Risk Manag. 2022;Epub Aug 16.
Social determinants of health (SDOH) are non-medical factors that impact a person’s health and well-being. This commentary presents ways that risk managers can improve equity and patient safety by addressing two SDOH: health literacy and discrimination. The author recommends using existing risk management tools (e.g., error reporting, data collection) to develop strategies to address the negative impacts of SDOH.
Yuan CT, Dy SM, Yuanhong Lai A, et al. Am J Med Qual. 2022;37:379-387.
Patient safety in ambulatory care settings is receiving increased attention. Based on interviews and focus groups with patients, providers, and staff at ten patient-centered medical homes, this qualitative study explored perceived facilitators and barriers to improving safety in ambulatory care. Participants identified several safety issues, including communication failures and challenges with medication reconciliation, and noted the importance of health information systems and dedicated resources to advance patient safety. Patients also emphasized the importance of engagement in developing safety solutions. A recent PSNet perspective discusses patient safety challenges in ambulatory care, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hodkinson A, Zhou, A, Johnson J, et al. BMJ. 2022;378:e070442.
Clinician burnout is a significant issue that can impact patient safety. This systematic review and meta-analysis showed physicians with burnout were significantly more dissatisfied with their jobs, were more regretful of their chosen career path, and had higher intention to leave their jobs. The association between burnout and patient satisfaction, patient safety, and professionalism is also discussed.
Rogers JE, Hilgers TR, Keebler JR, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2022;Epub Jun 23.
Patient safety investigations hinge on the expertise and experiences of the investigator. This commentary discusses the ways in which cognitive biases can impact patient safety investigations and identifies potential mitigation strategies to improve decision-making processes.
Clinicians involved in adverse events may experience feelings of guilt, shame, and inadequacy; this is referred to as “second victim” phenomenon. In this study of pediatric surgeons and surgical trainees, 84% experienced a poor patient outcome. Responses to the adverse event varied by level of experience (e.g., resident, attending), gender, and age.
Passwater M, Huggins YM, Delvo Favre ED, et al. Am J Clin Pathol. 2022;158:212-215.
Wrong blood in tube (WBIT) errors are rare but can lead to complications. One hospital implemented a quality improvement project to reduce WBIT errors with electronic patient identification, manual independent dual verification, and staff education. WBIT errors were significantly reduced and sustained over six years.
Bagnasco A, Rossi S, Dasso N, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e903-e911.
Care left undone (also called missed care, unfinished care, and implicitly rationed care) is associated with lower perception of safety culture and increased adverse events. In this study, more than 2,200 pediatric nurses were asked about care tasks left undone in their most recent shift and a variety of environmental factors (e.g., perception of their work environment, risk of burnout). The most frequently omitted task was comfort/talk with patients, and the least frequently omitted task was pain management.
Suneja M, Beekmann SE, Dhaliwal G, et al. Diagnosis (Berl). 2022;9:332-339.
Delayed diagnosis of infectious diseases can lead to serious patient harm. This survey of over 500 infectious disease clinicians revealed that diagnostic delay often involved diagnoses of infective endocarditis and epidural abscesses. Respondents identified several factors contributing to diagnostic delays including usual clinical presentations and the timing of infectious disease consultations.
Stenquist DS, Yeung CM, Szapary HJ, et al. J Am Acad Orthop Surg Glob Res Rev. 2022;6:e22.00079.
The I-PASS structured handoff tool has been widely implemented to improve communication during handoffs and patient transfers. In this study, researchers modified the I-PASS tool for use in orthopedic surgery and assessed the impact on adverse clinical outcomes. After 18 months, there was sustained adherence to the tool and the quality of handoffs improved, but no notable changes in clinical outcomes were identified.
Keller C. Health Aff (Millwood). 2022;41:1353-1356.
Communication failures due to hierarchy and silos create opportunities for adverse medication and treatment events. This narrative essay discusses gaps in care coordination that contributed to anticoagulant medication errors. The author outlines areas for improvement such as assignment of accountability for error and commitment to the learning health system as avenues for improvement.
Austin JM, Bane A, Gooder V, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:526-530.
Use of bar code medication administration (BCMA) technology in hospitals has been shown to decrease medication errors at the time of administration. In 2016, the Leapfrog Group implemented a standard for BCMA use as part of its hospital survey. This article describes the development, testing, and subsequent refinement of the BCMA standard.
Luri M, Gastaminza G, Idoate A, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:630-636.
Clinical decision support systems can alert prescribers to potential interactions between the drug being ordered and other drugs or drug allergies. Earlier studies have shown high rates of overrides of drug allergy alerts. This study analyzed allergic adverse drug events that occurred because of overridden drug allergy alerts (ODAA). Less than 10% of ODAA were inappropriate and resulted in only mild adverse events.
Wahl K, Stenmarker M, Ros A. BMC Health Serv Res. 2022;22:1101.
Patient safety huddles generally use a Safety-I approach to learn from errors and increase team awareness about safety threats. This mixed-methods study found that patient safety huddles including a focus on learning from what works well (Safety-II) may be beneficial to healthcare organizations, particularly if they can purposely focus on learning from both negative and positive experiences.
Adair KC, Heath A, Frye MA, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:513-520.
Psychological safety (PS) is integral to ensuring healthcare workers feel comfortable asking questions and raising patient safety concerns. A novel PS assessment was administered to over 10,000 healthcare workers and support staff in one academic health system. The scale showed a significant correlation with safety culture, especially among those exposed to institutional PS programs (i.e., Safety WalkRounds and Positive Leadership WalkRounds).
Please select your preferred way to submit a case. Note that even if you have an account, you can still choose to submit a case as a guest. And if you do choose to submit as a logged-in user, your name will not be publicly associated with the case. Learn more information here.