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Gupta K, Szymonifka J, Rivadeneira NA, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2022;Epub May 28.
Analysis of closed malpractice claims can be used to identify potential safety hazards in a variety of clinical settings. This analysis of closed emergency department malpractice claims indicates that diagnostic errors dominate, and clinical judgment and documentation categories continue to be associated with a higher likelihood of payout. Subcategories and contributing factors are also discussed.

Farnborough, UK: Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch; June 2022.

Handoffs between prehospital emergency medical services (EMS) providers and hospital emergency departments (EDs) can be suboptimal, which increases patient harm potential. This interim report examines National Health Service discharge delays. It suggests a systemic approach is needed to address flow and capacity factors that contribute to ineffective and unsafe interfacility discharge and transfer.

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.
McHugh MD, Aiken LH, Sloane DM, et al. The Lancet. 2021;397:1905-1913.
While research shows that better nurse staffing ratios are associated with improved patient outcomes, policies setting minimum nurse-to-patient ratios in hospitals are rarely implemented. In 2016, select Queensland (Australia) hospitals implemented minimum nurse staffing ratios. Compared to hospitals that did not implement minimum nurse staffing ratios, length of stay, mortality, and readmission rates were significantly lower in intervention hospitals, providing evidence, once again, that minimum staffing ratios can improve patient outcomes. 

Kirkup B. London, England: Crown Copyright; 2020. ISBN 9781528622714.

Missed diagnosis of a dangerous condition in utero, treatment errors, lack of response to concerns raised, and inadequate clinician expertise were among the contributing factors identified in this analysis of the death of a special needs infant at home. The 12 recommendations stemming from the investigation include improvements in disclosure support, clinician communication across facilities, and assignment of accountability when false and misleading statements are made during investigations.
Waldman A, Kaplan J. ProPublica. 2020.
Hospitals have been deeply challenged to provide effective care during the COVID crisis. This article discusses how rationing and ineffective protection for families and patients may have contributed to preventable death and the spread of the virus in families due to unnecessary referrals of patients to home care and hospice.

Office of the Inspector General. Washington, DC: Department of Veterans Affairs; July 28, 2020. Report Number 19-07507-214.

Patient suicide is a never event. This report analyzes the death of a veteran after presenting at an emergency room with suicidal ideation. The analysis found lack of both suicide prevention policy adherence and appropriate assessment, as well as a lack concern for the patient’s condition contributed to the failure.   
Hafner K. New York Times. 2020;May 25.
The uncertainties surrounding coronavirus transmission and treatment are causing patients with known conditions to forgo needed medical care. This article outlines how COVID-19 fear and anxiety are primary contributing factors in patient decisions to delay transplants and other necessary treatments.

Alesse L, Dukakis A, Tatum S, Mosk M. ABC News. March 20, 2020.

Delays in elective surgery and other procedures have the potential to lessen safe patient care. This news story describes the decision-making dilemma for physicians to limit patient access to care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their concern is that the delays have the potential to result in diagnostic and treatment service deviations that could result in harm.

Linnane R, Diedrich J. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. February 25, 2020.

Delays in emergency room (ER) triage and assessment contribute to wide range of failures that degrade patient safety. This news story highlights the findings of a government report highlighting overcrowding and production pressures as factors resulting in the death of a patient waiting for care who initially presented at the ER with symptoms of heart attack.
Farnborough, UK; Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch; December 18, 2019.
Maternal care during and after childbirth is at risk for never events including retained foreign objects. This analysis of a sentinel event involving a retained surgical tampon after childbirth discusses communication, fatigue, and process factors that contributed to the incident. The report suggests improved handoffs as one improvement strategy.
Sasso L, Bagnasco A, Aleo G, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2017;26:929-932.
Multiple factors in the hospital environment influence the incidence of missed nursing care. This commentary describes strategies to address these errors of omission, including changing mental models to recognize the financial benefit of increasing staffing levels to improve patient safety.
Arbaje AI, Werner NE, Kasda EM, et al. J Patient Saf. 2020;16:52-57.
Patients are at risk for adverse events after they transition from hospital to home. This study used review of malpractice claims and stakeholder focus groups to inform planning tools for postdischarge care transitions. Pilot testing of the tools demonstrated acceptability and feasibility for patients and providers. These results suggest that malpractice data can inform safety improvement approaches.
Washington, DC: United States Government Accountability Office; January 5, 2016. Publication GAO-16-158.
The Veterans Health Administration faces various challenges to providing safe care, including poor continuity during transitions to different locations which can result in inappropriate discontinuation of medications that patients require. This government report discuses efforts to reduce gaps in medication access and suggests developing clear policies to prevent patient harm in this population.
LaFraniere S. New York Times. April 19, 2015.
Reporting on a case involving an overlooked test result that contributed to the death of a patient in the military medical system, this newspaper article highlights how insufficient transparency can prevent patients and their families from learning about what happened during their care and hinder opportunities to recognize processes in need of improvement.
Gubar S.
This newspaper article describes how surgical complications, health care–associated infections, and ineffective patient–provider communication contributed to a patient's experience with harm and suggests that transparency around the incident and preoperative patient briefings could have improved the situation.