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Fleisher LA, Schreiber M, Cardo D, et al. N Engl J Med. 2022;386:609-611.
The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted many aspects of health care. This commentary discusses its impact on patient safety. The authors discuss how the pandemic response dismantled strategies put in place to prevent healthcare-associated infections and falls, and stressors placed on both patients and healthcare workers directed attention away from ongoing safety improvement efforts. They argue that more resilience needs to be built into the system to ensure safety efforts are sustainable in challenging times.

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.
Geerts JM, Kinnair D, Taheri P, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4:e2120295.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted many aspects of health care delivery and has placed unprecedented pressure on health care workers. This consensus statement, based on input from an international panel of individuals with expertise in health leadership, health care, and public health, outlines 10 imperatives to guide health and public leaders during the post emergency stage of the pandemic. Imperatives addressed in the framework include supporting staff well-being and psychological health, preparing for future emergencies, managing the backlog of delayed care, and the importance of sustaining learning, innovations and collaborations that arose during the pandemic.

Kritz F. Shots. National Public Radio; May 24, 2021.

Health literacy efforts address challenges related to both language and effective communication tactics. This story discussed how lack of language and information clarity reduced patient education effectiveness during the pandemic and highlights several efforts to address them including information product translation services.

A pregnant patient was admitted for scheduled Cesarean delivery, before being tested according to a universal inpatient screening protocol for SARS-CoV-2. During surgery, the patient developed a fever and required oxygen supplementation. Due to suspicion for COVID-19, a specimen obtained via nasopharyngeal swab was sent to a commercial laboratory for reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing.

Zeynep Tufekci. The Atlantic. February 26, 2021

Failures in communication have impacts on patients, teams, organizations and society. This article discusses five weaknesses in pandemic messaging that were counterproductive including use of shaming instead of empathy to engage the public, lack of detail on suggested strategies and insufficient advice to support public adoption of harm reduction activities.
Postorino M, Treglia M, Giammatteo J, et al. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020;17:8834.
Telehealth benefits, barriers, and challenges have become more apparent due to its increased use during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study evaluated 3,828 telehealth examinations (telephone, email) and found that the incidence of serious or minor adverse events was less than 0.50%.  

ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute care edition. November 19, 2020;25(23):1-6.

Safety professionals encourage learning from errors to enhance the safe use of new processes and products. This article reviews vaccine error experiences and provides insight for the implementation of the COVID vaccine to help practitioners plan and activate safe vaccination processes.
Levy N, Zucco L, Ehrlichman RJ, et al. Anesthesiology. 2020;133:985-996.
This article describes the experience of one hospital in eastern Massachusetts implementing rapid response capabilities in an innovative, hybrid acute care-intensive care unit. Health system leadership used failure modes and effect analysis, process mapping, and on-site walkthroughs to identify potential hazards and opportunities for risk mitigation, as well as in situ simulation drills to facilitate team training.
Wee LE, Fua T‐P, Chua YY, et al. Acad Emerg Med. 2020;27:379-387.
This article describes the use of a broad suspect case criteria for detecting COVID-19 in the emergency department of one large, hospital in Singapore. Both the initial official case criteria and the broadened case definition, which included patients presenting with acute respiratory disease with no alternative etiology and a history of travel or residence in a country with ongoing local transmission were used with the broadened criteria having higher sensitivity. The broader criterion may increase the numbers of suspected positive cases but can help minimize nosocomial ED transmission.
Bavel JJV, Baicker K, Boggio PS, et al. Nat Hum Behav. 2020;4:460-471.
Using a social and behavioral sciences perspective, the authors present insights for aligning behavior with recommendations from experts for managing the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact. Topics include threat perception, leadership, individual and collective interests, science communication, social context, and stress and coping.

Washington, DC: United States Government Accountability Office; May 20, 2020. Publication GAO-20-576R.   

This US Government Accountability Office (GAO) report highlights the chronic shortfalls in nursing home infection control programs. The GAO analyzed survey data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and found 82% (13,299) of nursing homes surveyed were cited in one or more years between 2013-2017 and in each individual year, 40% of nursing homes had infection control and prevention deficiencies that continued through 2018 and 2019.  While the majority of the citations did not indicate harm to nursing home residents and were rarely associated with enforcement actions, the GAO intends to examine CMS oversight of infection and control in the near future.  In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, these findings are particularly concerning.
Lai J, Ma S, Wang Y, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3:e203976.
Healthcare workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic are at risk for adverse psychological impacts. This cross-sectional survey evaluated mental health outcomes affecting healthcare workers treating patients exposed to COVID-19 in China. The 1,257 survey respondents reported symptoms of distress (72%), depression (50%), anxiety (45%) and insomnia (34%). Those engaged directly in the diagnosis, treatment and care of patients with COVID-19 were at greater risk for symptoms of depression (odds ratio [OR]=1.52; 95% CI, 1.11-2.09), anxiety (OR=1.57; 95% CI, 1.22-2.02), insomnia (OR=2.97; 95% CI, 1.92-4.60), and distress (OR=1.60; 95% CI, 1.25-2.04). The authors conclude that special interventions to promote the mental well-being of healthcare workers treating patients with COVID-19 need to be immediately implemented in order to reduce psychological burden.