Fitzgerald KM, Banerjee TR, Starmer AJ, et al. Pediatr Qual Saf. 2022;7:e539.
I-PASS is a structured handoff tool designed to improve communication between teams at change-of-shift or between care settings. This children’s hospital implemented an I-PASS program to improve communication between attending physicians and safety culture. One year after the program was introduced, all observed handoffs included all five elements of I-PASS and the duration of handoff did not change. Additionally, the “handoff and transition score” on the Agency for Healthcare Quality (AHRQ) Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture improved.
Root cause analysis is a commonly used tool to identify systems-related factors that contributed to an adverse event. This study assessed a system-based approach, (i.e., collaborative case reviews (CCR) co-led by radiology and an institutional patient safety program) to identify contributing factors and explore the strength of recommended actions in the radiology department at a large academic medical center. Stronger action items, such as standardization of processes, were implemented in 41% of events, and radiology had higher completion rates than other hospital departments.
Lyndon A, Simpson KR, Spetz J, et al. Appl Nurs Res. 2022;63:151516.
Missed nursing care appears to be associated with higher rates of adverse events. More than 3,600 registered nurses (RNs) were surveyed about missed care during labor and birth in the United States. Three aspects of nursing care were reported missing by respondents: thorough review of prenatal records, missed timely documentation of maternal-fetal assessments, and failure to monitor input and output.
Longhini J, Papastavrou E, Efstathiou G, et al. J Nurs Manag. 2021;29:572-583.
This international qualitative study explored strategies employed by nurse managers and directors to prevent missed nursing care. Most strategies, including staffing ratios, communication, and empowering nurse leaders, required complex interventions at the system level, indicating missed nursing care is not merely a nursing issue. Nurse managers play a key role in implementing strategies at the nursing and hospital level.
Dutra CK dos R, Guirardello E de B. J Adv Nurs. 2021;77:2398-2406.
This cross-sectional study describes the relationship between nurse work environment and missed nursing care, safety culture, and job satisfaction. Nurses who perceived a positive work environment reported reduced reasons for missed nursing care, an improved safety culture, and increased job satisfaction. Reasons for missed care were primarily related to lack of leadership support and resources. Nurse managers can increase perception of a positive work environment by providing additional support and adequate human and material resources.
Bergerød IJ, Braut GS, Wiig S. J Patient Saf. 2020;16:e205-e210.
Based on qualitative data from healthcare professionals and managers at two Norwegian hospitals, this study examined how next-of-kin in cancer care play a role in organizational resilience. Findings show that next-of-kin complement healthcare professionals in the four “potentials” considered essential for resilient performance: potential to respond, potential to monitor, potential to learn, and potential to anticipate.
The author defines ‘work debate spaces’ as organizational spaces that serve as a vehicle for organizational learning, practice changes, and performance improvement. This article discusses the role of formal and informal ‘work debate spaces’ in establishing a culture of safety in critical care settings. Examples of formal and informal spaces include mortality and morbidity (M&M) meetings (formal) and handoffs between shifts (informal).
Hendy J, Tucker DA. J Bus Ethics. 2020;2021;172:691–706.
Using the events at the United Kingdom’s Mid Staffordshire Trust hospital as a case study, the authors discuss the impact of ‘collective denial’ on organizational processes and safety culture. The authors suggest that safeguards allowing for self-reflection and correction be implemented early in the safety reporting process, and that employees be granted power to speak up about safety concerns.
Vijayakumar S, Duggar WN, Packianathan S, et al. Front Oncol. 2019;9:302.
Huddles are increasingly being used to improve safety in hospitals. This commentary describes how one hospital implemented structured multidisciplinary prospective peer review of radiation oncology patient treatment plans to help prevent harm and reduce errors. The authors discuss safety culture and minimizing clinical hierarchy as drivers of success.
Desai S, Fiumara K, Kachalia A. J Patient Saf. 2021;17:e84-e90.
Outpatient safety is gaining recognition as a focus of research and improvement efforts. This project report describes an ambulatory safety program at an academic health system that targeted reporting, safety culture measurement, medication safety, and test result management. Repeated tracking over a 5-year period revealed that failure to request feedback played a role in the modest incident and concern reporting captured by the program. Decentralizing reporting response responsibilities throughout the system significantly increased feedback activity.
Hessels AJ, Paliwal M, Weaver SH, et al. J Nurs Care Qual. 2019;34:287-294.
This cross-sectional study examined associations between safety culture, missed nursing care, and adverse events. Investigators found significant associations between worse ratings of safety culture and more reports of missed nursing care. They recommend enhancing safety culture to reduce missed nursing care and improve safety.
Wolfe HA, Mack EH. Transl Pediatr. 2018;7:267-274.
Pediatric critical care patients are at greater risk for harm. This review examines how a culture of safety affects pediatric critical care delivery and highlights collaboratives as effective mechanisms to develop and test improvement strategies. The authors discuss the development of bundles to reduce hospital-acquired infections and standardize handoffs as promising safety improvement practices.
Campbell D, Dontje K. Journal of emergency nursing: JEN : official publication of the Emergency Department Nurses Association. 2019;45:149-154.
Handoffs in the emergency department are vulnerable to error. This commentary describes an improvement initiative that focused on structuring nurse shift change using situation, background, assessment, recommendation (SBAR) communication methods. Although safety culture scores improved, the authors note that resistance to change was a key barrier to implementation.
Communication errors in health care are a persistent challenge to patient safety. This commentary advocates for studying behavioral, cognitive, linguistic, environmental, and technological factors to help understand barriers to effective information exchange in health care. The authors suggest that approaches targeting each set of barriers be developed and embedded into learning activities to generate lasting improvements.
Emergency departments are high-risk environments due to the urgency of care needs and complexity of communication. This commentary explores challenges associated with medication administration, handoffs, discharge processes, and electronic health records in emergency medicine and recommends strategies to reduce risks.
Sheth S, McCarthy E, Kipps AK, et al. PEDIATRICS. 2016;137.
The I-PASS signout tool has become a widely used method of patient handoffs when transferring care from the primary clinician to a covering clinician. This study used the I-PASS framework to develop and implement a standardized signout process for transferring patients from the pediatric cardiac intensive care unit to the general ward. The new process significantly improved clinician workflow and perceived safety culture relating to handoffs.
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.
Pannick S, Beveridge I, Wachter RM, et al. Eur J Intern Med. 2014;25:874-87.
This narrative review of safety efforts on general hospital wards found that most interventions encompass one or more of five areas: staffing levels, interprofessional collaboration, standardization of care such as use of checklists, rapid response to clinical deterioration, and safety culture. The authors advocate for increasing the evidence base in all of these areas, as gaps in implementation and sustainment are prevalent.
Cunningham FC, Ranmuthugala G, Plumb J, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2012;21:239-49.
Establishing a culture of safety is an essential component of improving safety within an organization. Analysis of programs that have successfully stimulated innovation to tackle safety issues, such as the Keystone ICU project or Kaiser Permanente, have found that a critical aspect of their success has been understanding the dynamics of how groups of professionals work together. This review explores how social network analysis—a method of examining relationships in complex systems, and how these relationships influence dissemination of knowledge and innovation—has been utilized to develop health professional networks for improving quality and safety. With the growing recognition of the role of context in determining the success of patient safety efforts, social network analysis provides an important tool for developing organizational approaches to improving safety.
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