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1 - 20 of 28

Chicago, IL: American Medical Association; February 2022. 

Insurance policies can have consequences that reduce the safety of medical care. This latest version of the study surveyed 1000 physicians in 2021 to find that prior authorization requirements contributed to patient harm or potentially preventable hospitalization 34 percent of the time. 

Rosen M, Ali KJ, Buckley BO, et al. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; June 2021. AHRQ Publication No. 20(21)-0040-5-EF.

The mindset on diagnostic error improvement has gone from a focus on individual skills to that of system factors. This issue brief highlights the influence health system executives have on amending the care environment to facilitate the most effective environment for diagnostic accuracy. This is part of a publication series examining diagnostic improvement across health care.

Famolaro T, Hare R, Thornton S, et al. Surveys on Patient Safety CultureTM (SOPSTM). Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; March 2020. AHRQ Publication No. 20-0034.

A vibrant culture of safety is critical to achieving high reliability in health care. Ambulatory practices with weaker safety cultures can experience problems in teamwork, diagnosis, and staff turnover. The AHRQ Medical Office Survey on Patient Safety Culture was designed to evaluate safety culture in outpatient clinics. The 2020 comparative database report assessed 10 safety culture domains in 1,475 medical offices. Respondents reported effective patient follow-up practices and scored well on equitable care delivery. Many practices cited time pressure and workload as persistent challenges to safety hazards. Although the practices surveyed are not nationally representative, they do provide a comparative safety culture snapshot for industry assessment. A past WebM&M commentary discussed safety hazards associated with productivity pressures in health care.
Nadkarni A, Levy-Carrick NC, Kroll DS, et al. National Academy of Medicine; 2021.
Communication within teams is central to safe care delivery, crisis management, and staff well-being. This report shares the experience of one hospital that used technology to enhance information-sharing as a strategy to reduce clinician burnout in times of uncertainty and crisis.

Washington DC; United States Government Accountability Office; November 26, 2020. Publication GAO-21-7SP.

Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to enhance the safety and reliability of clinical and administrative functions. This US Government Accountability Office report outlines barriers impacting the widespread use of AI, such as privacy concerns and lack of development transparency. Collaboration and oversight are areas of policy focus highlighted to address these challenges.

Boston, MA: Institute for Healthcare Improvement: September 2020.  

This National Action Plan developed by the National Steering Committee for Patient Safety – a group of 27 national organizations convened by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement – provides direction for health care leaders and organizations to implement and adapt effective tactics and supportive actions to establish the recommendations laid out in the plan. Its areas of focus include culture, leadership, and governance, patient and family engagement, workforce safety and learning systems.  

Chicago, IL; Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine: August 2020. 

Patients and families provide unique insights for leaders working to improve diagnosis. This report highlights how organizations can best implement patient advisory council programs to spark learning, enhance feedback, and support a safety culture that enhances the impact of those efforts. 

Chicago, IL; Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine: August 2020.   

Patient and Family Advisory Councils (PFACs) are an established strategy that provides structure to a health care organization’s patient and family engagement efforts. This report shares insights and tools to establish a PFAC and engage them in diagnostic error reduction.      

Washington, DC: United States Government Accountability Office; March 2020. Publication GAO-20-248.

Maternal harm is a sentinel event precipitated by a confluence of factors. This report highlights US government and state-level efforts to reduce maternal mortality. Efforts funded through the programs include maternal morbidity review committees and safety bundle use initiatives.
Cousins D, Accidents A against M.; 2020.
Health care organizations can learn from internal and external incidents to identify potential patient safety risks and incorporate care process improvements. This report suggests that England’s National Health Service has yet to build accountability and reliability into its response to practice alerts. The authors share 4 primary concerns and recommendations to address the alert compliance gaps that focus on clarity on action expected, transparency, communication and monitoring.

James G. House Commons Report 31. Department of Health and Social Care. London, England: Crown Copyright; 2020. ISBN 9781528617284.

Sharing information from large-scale failure investigations provides insights on latent factors that contribute to patient harm. This analysis discusses a criminal case involving one surgeon in the National Health Service. The examination uncovered problems perpetuated by culture, lack of respect for patient concerns, poor complaint follow-up and organizational blindness. The report summarizes recommendations to reduce similar situations through improving patient communication, organizational accountability and complaints management.
Cullen A. Uitgeverij van Brug: The Hague, The Netherlands; 2019. ISBN: 9789065232236.
Patient stories offer important insights regarding the impact medical errors have on patients and their families. This book shares the author's experience with medical error and spotlights how lack of transparency in European health care can contribute to avoidable process failures that result in patient harm.
Washington, DC: United States Government Accountability Office; July 2018. Publication GAO-18-137.
Both organizational and individual accountability are required to ensure safe care. This analysis of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) responses to whistle-blower concerns and reports of staff misconduct found that the VA has procedures for investigating these allegations but determined that the process was unreliable. The report outlines recommendations for improvement including ensuring whistle-blowers are treated fairly and assigning responsibilities across the hierarchy to ensure incidents receive the appropriate attention.
United States Government Accountability Office; GAO.
Ineffectively prescribed opioids contribute to opioid misuse and overdose among patients. This report analyzed activities at five Veterans Health Administration facilities and found inconsistent application of opioid safety strategies in the system. System-level recommendations to enhance practice include cross-system tracking efforts with defined goals and establishing a pain management leadership role at each facility.
United States Government Accountability Office; GAO.
Adverse event reporting is an important step toward failure reduction. However, weaknesses in feedback, follow-up, and action resulting from incident reports diminish their impact on safety. This publication analyzed reporting activity and action in the Defense Health Agency. The resulting recommendations suggest the need to improve tracking of incident reports and for clarifying reporting requirements.
Famolaro T, Yount N, Hare R, et al. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; April 2018. AHRQ Publication No. 18-0030-EF.
A vibrant culture of safety is critical to achieving high reliability in health care. Organizations with stronger safety culture boast lower in-hospital mortality and fewer surgical site infections. The AHRQ Medical Office Survey on Patient Safety Culture was designed to evaluate safety culture in outpatient clinics. The 2018 comparative database report assessed 10 safety culture domains in nearly 2500 ambulatory care practices. Respondents reported high rates of teamwork and strong systems for patient follow-up. Many practices identified productivity pressures and work pace as safety hazards. Although the practices surveyed are not nationally representative, they do allow leaders and scientists to compare safety culture across practices and time. A past WebM&M commentary examined safety hazards associated with productivity pressures in health care.
Oakbrook Terrace; IL: Joint Commission; 2017.
The Joint Commission annual report provides performance data for United States hospitals across a range of accountability measures and highlights changes associated with quality measurement. In 2016, hospital performance on accountability measures remained strong. Although the composite accountability score decreased slightly, this result is thought to be due to the fact that measures were retired that had high performance in the past. In 2016, 59.6% of hospitals achieved overall composite performance of greater than 95%. The report also describes the Pioneers in Quality program, which was designed to facilitate hospital reporting of electronic clinical quality measures. In 2016, 470 hospitals reported electronic clinical quality measure data compared to only 34 in 2015. In a PSNet interview, the president and chief executive officer of The Joint Commission discusses high reliability in health care.
Washington, DC: United States Government Accountability Office; November 2017. Publication GAO-18-63.
Tracking concerns related to individual clinician performance has the potential to uncover opportunities for clinician skill and system safety enhancements. This report highlights weaknesses in the peer reporting processes of Veterans Affairs medical centers and offers recommendations to improve the quality and timeliness of reporting to ensure safety of patients in the VA system.