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Richie CD, Castle JT, Davis GA, et al. Angiology. 2022;73:712-715.
Hospital-acquired venous thromboembolism (VTE) continues to be a significant source of preventable patient harm. This study retrospectively examined patients admitted with VTE and found that only 15% received correct risk stratification and appropriate management and treatment. The case review found that patients were commonly incorrectly stratified, received incorrect pharmaceutical treatment, or inadequate application of mechanical prophylaxis (e.g., intermittent compression).
Rogers JE, Hilgers TR, Keebler JR, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2022;Epub Jun 23.
Patient safety investigations hinge on the expertise and experiences of the investigator. This commentary discusses the ways in which cognitive biases can impact patient safety investigations and identifies potential mitigation strategies to improve decision-making processes.
Lin JS, Olutoye OO, Samora JB. J Pediatr Surg. 2022;Epub Jul 6.
Clinicians involved in adverse events may experience feelings of guilt, shame, and inadequacy; this is referred to as “second victim” phenomenon. In this study of pediatric surgeons and surgical trainees, 84% experienced a poor patient outcome. Responses to the adverse event varied by level of experience (e.g., resident, attending), gender, and age.
Passwater M, Huggins YM, Delvo Favre ED, et al. Am J Clin Pathol. 2022;158:212-215.
Wrong blood in tube (WBIT) errors are rare but can lead to complications. One hospital implemented a quality improvement project to reduce WBIT errors with electronic patient identification, manual independent dual verification, and staff education. WBIT errors were significantly reduced and sustained over six years.

Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2018-2022.

Otolaryngology-head and neck surgery is vulnerable to wrong site errors and other challenges present in surgical care. This series of articles highlights key areas of importance for the specialty as they work to enhance patient safety. The latest 2022 installment covers psychological safety.
Wylie JA, Kong L, Barth RJ. Ann Surg. 2022;276:e192-e198.
“Opioid never event” (ONE) is a proposed classification to describe dependence or overdose among opioid-naïve patients prescribed opioids at hospital discharge. Based on a retrospective review of medical records of patients at one academic medical center, researchers estimated that the ONE affected approximately 2 per 1,000 opioid-naïve surgical patients and persistent opioid use 90 to 360 days after surgery was present in 45% of patients with ONEs.
Keller C. Health Aff (Millwood). 2022;41:1353-1356.
Communication failures due to hierarchy and silos create opportunities for adverse medication and treatment events. This narrative essay discusses gaps in care coordination that contributed to anticoagulant medication errors. The author outlines areas for improvement such as assignment of accountability for error and commitment to the learning health system as avenues for improvement.
Austin JM, Bane A, Gooder V, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:526-530.
Use of bar code medication administration (BCMA) technology in hospitals has been shown to decrease medication errors at the time of administration. In 2016, the Leapfrog Group implemented a standard for BCMA use as part of its hospital survey. This article describes the development, testing, and subsequent refinement of the BCMA standard.
Harris CK, Chen Y, Yarsky B, et al. Acad Pathol. 2022;9:100049.
Physicians, including resident physicians, report safety events at lower rates than nurses and other staff. This study analyzed adverse event and near miss reporting by residents in one American hospital. Although pathology residents accounted for more than 5% of residents in the hospital, they only accounted for 0.5% of all reports.
Gillespie A, Reader TW. Risk Anal. 2022;Epub Aug 9.
Patients are uniquely situated to identify safety risks that may be missed or not reported by healthcare providers. This study used automated language analysis to analyze more than 140,000 reports submitted by patients and families to an online reporting system in the UK. Despite limitations, online patient feedback can serve as an additional source of potential safety risks.
Wawersik D, Palaganas J. J Healthc Manag. 2022;67:283-301.
Organizational cultures encouraging psychological safety can increase safe healthcare practices such as error reporting. This narrative review identified several organizational factors that promote psychological safety and error reporting (e.g., leadership support, nonpunitive and fair blame cultures, and continuous improvement processes) as well as organizational factors that serve as barriers to reporting (e.g., blame culture, poor communication, burnout, leadership resistance to change).
Müller BS, Lüttel D, Schütze D, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:444-448.
Effective patient safety improvement efforts address safety threats at the individual, interpersonal, and organizational levels. This study characterizes safety measures described in incident reports from German outpatient care settings. Of the 243 preventative measures identified across 160 reports, 83% of preventative measures were classified by the research team as “weak,” meaning that they focus on influencing human behavior rather than on treating underlying problems (e.g., alerts, trainings, double checks).
Taylor DJ, Goodwin D. J Med Ethics. 2022;Epub Jul 8.
Normalization of deviance describes a situation where individuals, teams or organizations accept a lower standard of performance until that lower standard becomes the “norm” and can threaten patient safety. This article describes five serious medical errors in obstetrics and highlights how normalization of deviance contributed to each event.
Barclay ME. JAMA Health Forum. 2022;3:e221006.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) provides individual and composite quality and safety ratings (i.e., star ratings) for hospitals and other healthcare facilities on its Care Compare website. This study evaluated three alternative methods for rating facilities and compared them to the CMS star ratings. Hospitals were frequently assigned a different star rating using the alternate methods, typically between adjacent star categories.
Plunkett A, Plunkett E. Paediatr Anaesth. 2022;Epub Jun 18.
Safety-I focuses on identifying factors that contribute to incidents or errors. Safety-II seeks to understand and learn from the many cases where things go right, including ordinary events, and emphasizes adjustments and adaptations to achieve safe outcomes. This commentary describes Safety-II and complementary positive strategies of patient safety, such as exnovation, appreciative inquiry, learning from excellence, and positive deviance.
Kaplan HJ, Spiera ZC, Feldman DL, et al. J Am Coll Surg. 2022;235:494-499.
Unintentionally retained surgical items (RSI) can have a devastating impact on patient health and safety. One method to reduce the incidence of RSI is radiofrequency (RF) detection. Nearly one million operations in New York state were analyzed for the rate of RSI before and after the use of RF was required and simultaneous TeamSTEPPS training was provided. The incidence of RF-detectable items was significantly reduced, but the rate of non-RF-detectable items was not.
Chen Z, Gleason LJ, Sanghavi P. Med Care. 2022;60:775-783.
All nursing homes certified by the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS) are required to submit select patient safety data which is used to calculate quality ratings. This study compared seven years of self-reported pressure ulcer data with claims-based data for pressure ulcer-related hospital admissions. Similar to earlier research on self-reported falls data, correlations between the self-reported and claims-based data was poor. The authors suggest alternate methods of data collection may provide the public with more accurate patient safety information.
Hurley VB, Boxley C, Sloss EA, et al. J Patient Saf Risk Manag. 2022;27:181-187.
Research has shown wide variation in error reporting by profession, with nurses reporting substantially more often than physicians. This study explored not only report rates by profession, but also across departments and event types. Results indicate physicians and technicians are more likely to report errors from across departmental boundaries , while nurses and physicians report a wider variety of error types.