Järvinen TLN, Rickert J, Lee MJ. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2013-2022.
This quarterly commentary explores a wide range of subjects associated with patient safety, such as the impact of disruptive behavior on teams, the value of apologies, and safety challenges due to COVID-19. Older materials are available online for free.
Ball JE, Bruyneel L, Aiken LH, et al. Int J Nurs Stud. 2018;78:10-15.
Missed nursing care may result from inadequate nurse staffing and explain the relationship between nurse-to-patient ratios and patient outcomes. Research has shown that higher nurse staffing levels are associated with lower inpatient mortality and that reduced staffing increases the risk for postoperative complications. In this study, investigators examined data from more than 400,000 surgical patients from 300 hospitals in 9 countries as well as survey responses from 26,516 nurses. They found a significant association between nurse staffing and missed nursing care with 30-day risk-adjusted postoperative mortality. The authors conclude that measuring missed nursing care may help identify patients at greater risk for adverse outcomes earlier in their course. A past WebM&M commentary highlighted important issues associated with nurse staffing ratios.
Sixth Report of Session 2008–09. House of Commons Health Committee. London, England: The Stationery Office; July 3, 2009. Publication HC 151-I.
This government report analyzes the National Health Service's efforts to enhance patient safety and recommends improving certain areas, such as adopting technology, analyzing failure, and ensuring both practitioner education and adequate staffing.
Cao CGL, Weinger MB, Slagle J, et al. Hum Factors. 2008;50:276-90.
This study discovered that task performance and mood were different on the night shift compared to daytime hours, a finding the authors attributed to fatigue. They advocate for restructuring of resident schedules to optimize rest in the setting of existing work hour restrictions.
This study used a mathematical simulation model to estimate the risk of adverse events due to unavailability of an anesthesiologist to attend to urgent problems. The risk of system failure was significantly higher when one anesthesiologist was required to cover more than two operating rooms and was also increased when multiple lengthy operations took place simultaneously. An Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) WebM&M commentary discusses a devastating error that occurred when no anesthesiologist was available for an urgent cesarean section.
On the day of a patient's scheduled electroconvulsive therapy, the clinic anesthesiologist called in sick. Unprepared for such an absence, the staff asked the very busy OR anesthesiologist to fill in on the case. Because the wrong drug was administered, the patient did not wake up as quickly as expected.
Several days after a patient’s surgery, preliminary wound cultures grew Staphylococcus aureus. Although the final sensitivity profile for the cultures showed resistance to the antibiotic that the patient was receiving, the care team was not notified and the patient died of sepsis.
Barbara A. Blakeney, MS, RN, is President of the 150,000-member American Nurses Association (ANA). A nurse practitioner and expert in public health practice, policy, and primary care, Ms. Blakeney is on leave from the Boston Public Health Commission, where she has been director of health care services for the homeless. She is the recipient of numerous awards and has been named to Modern Healthcare Magazine's list of the 100 most influential people in health care for the past 3 years.
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