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1 - 20 of 27

Washington, DC: VA Office of the Inspector General; June 28, 2022. Report No 21-03349-186.

 Cancer test communication failures can contribute to physical, emotional, and financial patient harm. This report examines missed opportunities made by multiple clinicians involved in the care of a patient with prostate cancer who then died from metastasized disease Seven recommendations are included for improving abnormal test result communication and error management at the facility.

Washington, DC: Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General. January 5, 2021. Report No. 20-01521-48.

 

This investigation examined care coordination, screening and other factors that contributed to a patient death by suicide shortly after discharge from a Veteran’s Hospital. Event reporting, disclosure and evaluation gaps were identified as process weaknesses to be addressed. 

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.

Washington, DC: Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General; September 3, 2020. Report No 19-09493-249.

Discontinuities in mental health care are a patient safety concern. This report analyzes how documentation gaps, medication reconciliation problems, and poor care coordination contributed to the suicide of a patient who presented at an emergency room, was screened there, and referred to a clinic for further care that was not completed.
Office of Health Care Quality. Baltimore, MD: Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
This annual report summarizes never events in Maryland hospitals over the previous year. From July 2019-June 2020, reported pressure ulcers increased while treatment delays and surgery-related events decreased. The authors recommend several corrective actions to build on training and policy changes to guide improvement work, including improving team communication and use of hospital data to reduce delays.

Farnborough, UK:  Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch; March 2020.

Missed or delayed diagnosis in maternal care can result in serious harm to both the mother and the child. This report analyzes a delayed diagnosis ectopic pregnancy incident and found that referral and discharge missteps contributed to the error.
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.
Nakhleh RE, Volmar KE, eds. Cham, Switzerland: Springer Nature; 2019. ISBN: 9783030184636.
Surgical specimen and laboratory process problems can affect diagnosis. This publication examines factors that contribute to errors across the surgical pathology process and reviews strategies to reduce their impact on care. Chapters discuss areas of focus to encourage process improvement and error response, such as information technology, specimen tracking, root cause analysis, and disclosure.
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.
London, UK: Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman; 2017. ISBN: 9781528601344.
Patients with mental health conditions face particular safety challenges. This report describes incidents involving patients with eating disorders who experienced harm while receiving care in National Health Service organizations. Factors that contributed to the failures included poor care coordination, premature discharge, and lack of monitoring. The report discusses gaps in the investigations of these patient deaths and outlines areas of improvement.
Washington, DC: United States Government Accountability Office; March 18, 2016. Publication GAO-16-328.
This analysis found that scheduling problems among patients seeking primary care from Veterans Affairs health systems continue to occur. The report outlines weaknesses in the data collected to measure and evaluate veterans' access to primary care and spotlights the need to develop and disseminate a comprehensive policy for Veterans Affairs schedulers to reduce risk of scheduling errors.

Fisher JD, Freeman K, Clarke A, et al. Southampton, UK: NIHR Journals Library; May 2015.

The safety of emergency medical care delivered in conjunction with ambulance services has not been studied in the United Kingdom. Analyzing evidence associated with ambulance care, this scoping review found that inconsistent use of terminology was a problem and identified specific areas that require further research to develop safer models of prehospital care, including diagnosis and treatment, equipment use, and ambulance-to-hospital handover.
Francis R. London, UK: Department of Health; February 2015.
Staff willingness to raise awareness of problems that could affect patient care is an important indicator of safety culture. This publication explores National Health Service (NHS) staff perceptions regarding raising concerns about health care safety. Barriers to speaking up were related to organizational culture, incident management, and legal protection for whistleblowers. The report also suggests measures for NHS organizations to use to help ensure that staff are comfortable raising awareness of patient safety concerns.
Daigh JD Jr. Washington, DC: VA Office of the Inspector General; December 15, 2014. Report No. 14-04705-62.
Misrepresentation of findings, either by accident or design, can result in ineffective use of resources and poor decision-making. This investigation found inconsistencies in the information reported by the Veterans Health Administration in the widely-publicized analysis discussing weaknesses in the organization that resulted in delayed care. The author calls for the assessment to be revisited to ensure conclusions and work toward improvement are verifiable to augment the safety and timeliness of care provided to veterans.
Washington, DC: VA Office of the Inspector General; August 26, 2014. Report No.14-02603-267.
A previous report by the Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of the Inspector General found that many veterans at the Phoenix VA facility endured months-long waits for primary care appointments, due in part to inappropriate manipulation of the scheduling process so that the facility could appear to meet VA quality metrics. This follow-up report examined whether these delays led to patients experiencing preventable harm and further investigated the root causes of excessive wait times and the generalizability of the problem across the VA system. The investigators concluded that no deaths or serious harm could be directly attributed to the scheduling delays; however, the report uncovered many examples of poor quality care, including delayed diagnoses of cancer, preventable readmissions, and poor care coordination. It also appears that scheduling manipulation was rife throughout the system. The report strongly attributes the "corrosive culture" of the VA and its unresponsive leadership as major factors in the system's failure to address longstanding problems with access to care. Though the VA has achieved impressive accomplishments in providing high-quality care, the scheduling scandal has caused serious damage to its reputation. A recent commentary by Dr. Kenneth Kizer (who, as Undersecretary for Health in the VA, was widely credited for reforming the VA in the 1990s) and Dr. Ashish Jha recommends several reforms the VA should implement to transform its culture and restore its standards.
London, UK: Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman; June 2014.
This investigation outlines how inadequate care contributed to the death of a child who developed sepsis while receiving treatment for the flu. Describing failures associated with telephone triage and out-of-hours service in the course of his care, the report recommends organization-wide efforts to improve safety, including providing guidelines for staff and support or families.
London, UK: Care Quality Commission; October 2009. CQC-039-500-ESP-102009. ISBN: 9781845622442.
This report analyzed how medication information is shared among UK practices and patients after a hospital stay and found that 81% of general practices thought that patient information given to them from hospitals was incomplete or inaccurate.
Reynard J, Reynolds J, Stevenson P. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press; 2009. ISBN: 9780199239931.
This book provides an introduction to key patient safety topics and includes a set of 20 case studies to demonstrate opportunities for error prevention.