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Jewett C. Kaiser Health News. November 4, 2021.

Nosocomial infection is a primary concern due to the COVID pandemic. This news story examines instances when inpatients contracted, and sometimes died of, COVID-19 while receiving care for a different condition. It summarizes the challenges associated with collecting adequate data that completely document nosocomial spread of COVID-19 and its impact on patient outcomes.
Robinson-Lane SG, Sutton NR, Chubb H, et al. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2021;22(11):2245-2250.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare. This study used registry data to examine racial and ethnic disparities in post-discharge outcomes among patients hospitalized with COVID-19. Findings indicate that Black patients may be more vulnerable to COVID-19-related complications (e.g., higher 60-day readmission rates) and extended recovery periods (e.g., longest delays in returning to work).
Leibner ES, Baron EL, Shah RS, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;Epub Sep 28.
During the first surge of the COVID-19 pandemic, a rapid redeployment of noncritical care healthcare staff was necessary to meet the unprecedented number of patients needing critical care. A New York health system developed a multidisciplinary simulation training program to prepare the redeployed staff for new roles in the intensive care unit (ICU). The training included courses on management of a patient with acute decompensation with COVID-19, critical care basics for the non-ICU provider, and manual proning of a mechanically ventilated patient.
Hennus MP, Young JQ, Hennessy M, et al. ATS Sch. 2021;2(3):397-414.
The surge of patients during the COVID-19 pandemic forced the redeployment of non-intensive care certified staff into intensive care units (ICU). This study surveyed both intensive care (IC)-certified and non-IC-certified healthcare providers who were working in ICUs at the beginning of the pandemic. Qualitative synthesis identified five themes related to supervision; quality and safety of care; collaboration, communication, and climate; recruitment, scheduling and team composition, and; organization and facilities. The authors provide recommendations for future deployments.
Mo Y, Eyre DW, Lumley SF, et al. PLoS Med. 2021;18(10):e1003816.
Nosocomial transmission of COVID-19 is an ongoing concern given the pressures faced by hospitals and healthcare workers during the pandemic. This observational study using data from four hospitals in the United Kingdom found that patients with hospital-onset COVID-19 (compared to suspected community-acquired infections) are associated with high risk of nosocomial transmissions to other patients and healthcare workers.
Willis JS, Tyler C, Schiff GD, et al. Am J Med. 2021;134(9):1101-1103.
Telemedicine has become a more accepted care mode due to the COVID pandemic and general rural care access issues. This commentary suggests a 5-part framework for examining patient, physician, technological, clinical and health system influences on care management decisions that affect the safety of telediagnosis in primary care.

The relationship between burnout among healthcare workers and poor patient safety outcomes has been well-documented. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated burnout risk due to increased emotional exhaustion, stress, and fatigue. In response to effects of pandemic, the University of Minnesota developed the MN Resilience Program. This innovative program leverages the “Battle Buddy” system used in the US Army, and resilience principles to support the psychological and emotional well-being among healthcare workers and to connect healthcare workers to peer support.

ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute care edition. October 7, 2021;26(20):1-4.

Production pressure and low staff coverage can result in medication mistakes in community pharmacies. This article shares reported vaccine errors and factors contributing to mistaken administration of flu and COVID vaccines. Storage, staffing and collaboration strategies are shared to protect against vaccine mistakes.

Bean M, Masson G. Becker's Hospital Review. October 4, 2021.

Staffing shortages can impact the safety of care by enabling burnout, care omission, and staff attrition. This article discusses how the COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated an examination of how staffing challenges affect areas such as diagnosis, infection control, and organizational patient safety focus.
Klatt TE, Sachs JF, Huang C-C, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2021;47(12):759-767.
This article describes the implementation of a peer support program for “second victims” in a US healthcare system. Following training, peer supporters assisted at-risk colleagues, raised awareness of second victim syndrome, and recruited others for training. The effectiveness of the training was assessed using the Second Victim Experience Support Tool. The most common event supported was inability to stop the progress of a medical condition, including COVID-19.
Ellis R, Hardie JA, Summerton DJ, et al. Surg. 2021;59(7):752-756.
Many non-urgent, non-cancer surgeries were postponed or canceled during COVID-19 surges resulting in a potential loss of surgeons’ “currency”. This commentary discusses the benefits of, and barriers to, dual surgeon operating as a way to increase currency as elective surgeries are resumed.
Osei-Poku G, Szczerepa O, Potter A, et al. Patient Safety. 2021;3(3):6-17.
This mixed-methods study examined the experiences of home healthcare workers in Massachusetts during the COVID-19 pandemic. Participating home care workers noted that the lack of necessary resources (e.g., PPE, testing) and insufficient guidance specific to home care settings made their working conditions feel unsafe.
Weiner-Lastinger LM, Pattabiraman V, Konnor RY, et al. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2021;Epub Sept 13.
Using data reported to the National Healthcare Safety Network, this study identified significant increases in the incidence of healthcare-associated infections from 2019 to 2020. The authors conclude that these findings suggest a need to return to conventional infection control and prevention practices and prepare for future pandemics.
Wang X, Wilson C, Holmes K. J Gerontol Soc Work. 2021:1-17.
Nursing home residents are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 due to their age and communal living conditions. Using publicly available data for nursing homes in Florida, this study explored the association between nursing home characteristics and COVID-19 cases and deaths. Findings suggest that the likelihood of COVID-19 cases in nursing homes is related to ownership status, facility size and average occupancy rate, rather than quality (as measured by infection prevention and control deficiencies).
Pilosof NP, Barrett M, Oborn E, et al. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021;18(16):8391.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to dramatic changes in healthcare delivery. Based on semi-structured interviews and direct observations, researchers evaluated the impact of a new model of remote inpatient care using telemedicine technologies in response to the pandemic. Intensive care and internal medicine units were divided into contaminated and clean zones and an integrated control room with audio-visual technologies allowed for remote supervision, communication, and support. The authors conclude that this model can increase flexibility in staffing via remote consultations and allow staff to supervise and monitor more patients without compromising patient and staff safety.
Preston-Suni K, Celedon MA, Cordasco KM. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2021;47(10):673-676.
Presenteeism among healthcare workers – continuing to work while sick – has been attributed to various cultural and system factors, such as fear of failing colleagues or patients. This commentary discusses the patient safety and ethical considerations of presenteeism during the COVID-19 pandemic
Pring ET, Malietzis G, Kendall SWH, et al. Int J Surg. 2021;91:105987.
This literature review summarizes approaches to crisis management used by non-healthcare institutions (e.g., private businesses, large military organizations) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and how healthcare organizations – particularly the surgical community – can leverage these approaches in operational planning and crisis management.

Ellis NT, Broaddus A. CNN. August 25, 2021. 

Maternal safety is an ongoing challenge worldwide. This news feature examines how the COVID pandemic has revealed disparities and implicit biases that impact the maternal care of black women. The stories shared highlight experiences of mothers with preventable pregnancy-related complications.