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Zimolzak AJ, Singh H, Murphy DR, et al. BMJ Health Care Inform. 2022;29(1):e100565.

Patient safety algorithms developed through research must also be implemented into clinical practice. This article describes the process of translating an electronic health record-based algorithm for detecting missed follow-up of colorectal or lung cancer testing, from research into practice. All 12 test sites were able to successfully implement the trigger and identify appropriate cases.
Calder LA, Perry J, Yan JW, et al. Ann Emerg Med. 2021;77:561-574.
Prior research has found that some patients may be at risk for adverse events after discharge from the emergency department (ED). This cohort study analyzed adverse events occurring among patients discharged from the ED with cardiovascular conditions and identified several opportunities for improving safe care, such as adherence to evidence-based clinical guidelines and strengthening dual diagnosis detection.
Mahajan P, Basu T, Pai C-W, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3:e200612.
Using data from a large commercial insurance claims database, this cohort study sought to identify factors associated with potentially missed appendicitis by comparing patients with a potentially missed diagnosis versus patients diagnosed with appendicitis on the same day in the emergency department. The researchers estimated the frequency of missed appendicitis was 6% among adults and 4.4% among children. Patients presenting with abdominal pain and constipation were more likely to have a missed diagnosis of appendicitis than patients presenting with isolated abdominal pain or abdominal pain with nausea and/or vomiting. Stratified analyses based on undifferentiated symptoms found that women and patients with comorbidities were more likely to have missed appendicitis.
Williams S, Fiumara K, Kachalia A, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Saf. 2020;46:44-50.
A lack of closed-loop feedback systems has been identified as one contributor to underreporting of patient safety events. This paper describes one large academic medical center’s implementation of a Feedback to Reporter program in ambulatory care, which aimed to ensure feedback on safety reports is provided to reporting staff by managers. At baseline, 50% of staff who requested feedback ultimately received it; after three years, the rate of feedback to reporters had increased to 90%.
This Primer provides an overview of the history and current status of the patient safety field and key definitions and concepts. It links to other Patient Safety Primers that discuss the concepts in more detail.
Dinsdale E, Hannigan A, O'Connor R, et al. Fam Pract. 2019.
Clear communication between primary care physicians and the providers to whom they refer patients has important implications for achieving accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plans for patients. In this observational study, researchers included 6603 patients from 68 general medical practices in Ireland, randomly selecting 100 patients from each practice and excluding patients without complete records. They analyzed referral documentation and responses received from subspecialists as well as discharge summaries from hospitalizations over a 2-year period, compared with established national standards. Although 82% of referral letters included current medications, only 30% of response letters and discharge summaries contained medication changes and 33% had medication lists. The authors conclude that significant communication gaps exist between primary and secondary care and that further research is needed to understand how to address them. A past PSNet perspective discussed challenges associated with care transitions.
Kapoor A, Field T, Handler S, et al. JAMA Intern Med. 2019;179:1254-1261.
Transitions from hospitals to long-term care facilities are associated with safety hazards. This prospective cohort study identified adverse events in the 45 days following acute hospitalization among 555 nursing home residents, which included 762 discharges during the study period. Investigators found that adverse events occurred after approximately half of discharges. Common adverse events included falls, pressure ulcers, health care–associated infections, and adverse drug events. Most adverse events were deemed preventable or ameliorable. The authors conclude that improved communication and coordination between discharging hospitals and receiving long term-care facilities are urgently needed to address this patient safety gap. A previous WebM&M commentary discussed challenges of nursing home care that may contribute to adverse events.
Larson LA, Finley JL, Gross TL, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2019;45:74-80.
Workplace violence in the health care setting is common and poses an ongoing risk for providers and staff. The Joint Commission issued a sentinel event alert to raise awareness about the risks associated with physical and verbal violence against health care workers and suggests numerous strategies organizations can use to address the problem, including establishing reporting systems and developing quality improvement interventions. The authors describe a quality improvement initiative involving the development and iterative testing of a huddle handoff tool to optimize communication between the emergency department (ED) and an admitting unit regarding patients with the potential for violent behavior. The huddle tool led to improved perceptions of safety during the patient transfer process by both the ED nurses and the admitting medical units. An accompanying editorial highlights the importance of taking a systems approach to address workplace safety. A PSNet perspective explored how a medical center developed a process to identify, prioritize, and mitigate hazards in health care settings.

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2017;209(5):965-1008;w333-w334.

Radiologists play a critical role in safe diagnostic imaging and communication of test results. Articles in this special issue explore clinical and system factors that can contribute to potential failure in radiology practice. Topics covered include the need for improvements in documentation and the radiologist's role in reducing delay, uncertainty, and miscommunication.
Scott AM, Li J, Oyewole-Eletu S, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2017;43.
Fragmented care transitions may lead to adverse events due to poor provider communication, disjointed continuation of care, and incomplete patient follow-up. In this study, site visits were conducted at 22 healthcare organization across the United State to determine facilitators and barriers to implementing transitional care services. Identified facilitators included collaborating within and beyond the organization, tailoring care to patients and caregivers, and generating buy-in among staff. Barriers included poor integration of transitional care services, unmet patient or caregiver needs, underutilized services, and lack of physician buy-in. Results suggest how institutions may wish to prioritize strategies to facility effective care transitions.
Riley W, Begun JW, Meredith L, et al. Health Serv Res. 2016;51:2431-2452.
Prior research has shown that reducing preventable perinatal harm leads to a decrease in malpractice claims. In this prospective study involving the perinatal units across 14 hospitals from 12 states and accounting for almost 350,000 deliveries, researchers found that successful implementation of 3 standard care processes resulted in a 14% decrease in harm in perinatal care from the baseline period.
Farmer B. Emerg Med (N Y). 2016;48.
Emergency departments are high-risk environments due to the urgency of care needs and complexity of communication. This commentary explores challenges associated with medication administration, handoffs, discharge processes, and electronic health records in emergency medicine and recommends strategies to reduce risks.
Scott J, Heavey E, Waring J, et al. BMJ Open. 2016;6:e011222.
Patients may provide a valuable perspective with regard to safety efforts. In this qualitative study, researchers developed and validated a survey for patients to provide feedback on safety issues about care transfers between different institutions. The authors suggest that further research is necessary to determine the usability of the survey and how best to use the patient feedback obtained.
Nguyen OK, Makam AN, Clark C, et al. J Gen Intern Med. 2017;32:42-48.
Identifying patients at high risk of readmission following hospital discharge is a patient safety priority. This observational cohort study found that patients with abnormal vital signs—temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, and oxygen saturation—upon hospital discharge were more likely to be readmitted to the hospital or die within 30 days compared to patients without vital sign abnormalities. Patients with multiple abnormal vital signs were at highest risk for readmission. The authors suggest vital signs should be used to assess safety for hospital discharge. These findings underscore the importance of conducting and attending to the physical exam, as Dr. Abraham Verghese discussed in a PSNet interview.
Puvaneswaralingam S, Ross D. BMJ Qual Improv Rep. 2016;5.
Boarding patients as they transfer between wards can compromise patient safety. This commentary reviews how an otolaryngology ward implemented a simple cognitive aid to improve patient record review, information sharing, and team communication. The authors report the results of the project and how they intend to use plan-do-study-act cycles to refine the process.
Lee S-H, Phan PH, Dorman T, et al. BMC Health Serv Res. 2016;16:254.
Timely and accurate handoff communication is a critical aspect of patient safety. This survey of hospital staff found that positive perceptions of handoff practices were associated with safety culture, as measured by the AHRQ Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture. The authors suggest focusing on improving handoffs as a strategy to enhance safety culture.
Small A, Gist D, Souza D, et al. J Nurs Care Qual. 2016;31:304-9.
Change management has been described as a critical strategy to ensure safety improvements are sustained. This commentary discusses how one hospital applied a well-known change model to implement a new bedside handoff process and reports positive reactions from nurses and patients one month after the intervention.