Li Q, Hu P, Kang H, et al. J Nutr Health Aging. 2020;25:492-500.
Missed and delayed diagnosis are a known cause of preventable adverse events. In this cohort of 107 patients with severe or critical COVID-19 in Wuhan, China, 45% developed acute kidney injury (AKI). However, nearly half of those patients (46%) were not diagnosed during their stay in the hospital. Patients with undiagnosed AKI experienced greater hospital mortality than those without AKI or diagnosed AKI. Involvement of intensive care kidney specialists is recommended to increase diagnostic awareness.
Following catheter-guided thrombolysis for a large saddle pulmonary embolism, a man was monitored in the intensive care unit. The catheters were removed the next day, and the patient was sent from the interventional radiology suite to the postanesthesia care unit, after which he was transferred to a telemetry bed on the stepdown unit. No explicit plan for anticoagulation was discussed with the accepting medical team. Shortly after the nurse found the patient lethargic, tachycardic, and hypoxic, the patient lost his pulse and a code was called.
Kitto S, Marshall SD, McMillan SE, et al. J Interprof Care. 2015;29:340-6.
Clinical staff often fail to call rapid response teams to evaluate deteriorating patients, even when objective criteria for calling the team are met. This qualitative study of physicians and nurses at an Australian hospital found that an impaired culture of safety can result in failure to use the rapid response team when appropriate and can also lead to using the team as a workaround to compensate for poor interdisciplinary communication.
Stauffer BD, Fullerton C, Fleming N, et al. Arch Intern Med. 2011;171:1238-43.
This study found that adoption of a nurse-led transitional care program produced a 48% reduction in readmission rates for elderly patients with heart failure. Interestingly, the outcomes achieved generated only marginal cost savings, suggesting the need for payment reform to better align incentives.
Patients should improve, not worsen, after hospital admission, and therefore safety interventions such as rapid response teams (RRTs) have been developed specifically to detect and manage unexpected clinical deterioration. This retrospective review of 152 unplanned transfers to the intensive care unit (ICU) at a teaching hospital found that only 15% of unplanned transfers could have been prevented by different management after admission. The most common reason for unplanned ICU transfer was incorrect triage (i.e., the patient should have been admitted directly to the ICU from the emergency department). This study challenges the utility of RRTs in preventing adverse clinical outcomes, and instead identifies the emergency department–inpatient handover as a possible area of focus for quality improvement interventions.
Galhotra S, Devita MA, Dew MA, et al. Qual Saf Health Care. 2010;19:e38.
This review of rapid response system calls to an inpatient hemodialysis unit found that many events occurred before or after the dialysis session itself, implying that patient transportation to and from dialysis requires additional monitoring and safety measures.
This monthly selection of medication error reports describes a case of misidentifying home medications for a hospitalized patient, how character space limitations in medication administration records may cause medication errors, and fatal misuse of a fentanyl patch on a child.
This monthly selection includes reports of a near miss when using a medication-reconciliation form as an order sheet, epidural tubing mistakenly utilized for an intravenous medication, a topical medication given orally, and problems with monitoring temperatures of medication refrigerators.
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