Fear of criminal liability may inhibit clinicians from reporting medical errors, thereby reducing opportunities for learning. This commentary discusses recent legal actions brought against clinicians, including Tennessee nurse RaDonda Vaught, and the negative impact such actions may have on the longstanding disclosure movement.
Montgomery A, Lainidi O, Johnson J, et al. Health Care Manage Rev. 2022;Epub Jun 16.
When faced with a patient safety concern, staff need to decide whether to speak up or remain silent. Leaders play a crucial role in addressing contextual factors behind employees’ decisions to remain silent. This article offers support for leaders to create a culture of psychological safety and encourage speaking up behaviors.
Strong safety culture is a crucial pillar of patient safety improvement efforts. Based on data from the Medical Office Survey on Patient Safety Culture, this study found that staff in pediatric primary care settings had generally positive perceptions about safety culture. Researchers identified differences in perceptions based on staff role, such as between administration/management staff and direct care staff.
Appelbaum NP, Santen SA, Perera RA, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:370-375.
Residents and trainees frequently report experiencing bullying and disrespectful behaviors in the workplace. This study explored the relationship between resident psychological safety, perceived organizational support, and humiliation. Results indicate resident perception of increased organizational support (e.g., help is available when they have a problem) reduces the negative impact of humiliation on their psychological safety.
Liu L, Chien AT, Singer SJ. Health Care Manage Rev. 2022;Epub Apr 30.
Work conditions can impact clinician satisfaction and the quality and safety of the care they provide. This study sought to identify the combination of systems features (team dynamics, provider-perceived safety culture, patient care coordination) that positively impact work satisfaction in primary care practices. Results showed a strong culture of safety combined with more effective team dynamics were sufficient to lead to improved work satisfaction.
Workplace violence in healthcare settings can jeopardize the safety of both patients and healthcare workers. This study found that over half of healthcare workers at one large academic medical center in the United States reported witnessing or experiencing workplace violence. Witnessing or experiencing workplace violence was most common in psychiatric settings and in the emergency department.
Tee QX, Nambiar M, Stuckey S. J Med Imaging Radiat Oncol. 2022;66:202-207.
Diagnostic errors in radiology can result in treatment delays and contribute to patient harm. This article provides an overview of the common cognitive biases encountered in diagnostic radiology that can contribute to diagnostic error, and strategies to avoid these biases, such as the use of a cognitive bias mitigation strategy checklist, peer feedback, promoting a just culture, and technology approaches including artificial intelligence (AI).
Gilmartin HM, Hess E, Mueller C, et al. Health Serv Res. 2022;57:385-391.
Ideal clinical learning environments (CLE) support employee engagement, satisfaction, and a culture of safety. The Learning Environment and High Reliability Practices Survey (LEHR) was used to determine the association between ideal CLE and job satisfaction, burnout, intent to leave, and staff turnover. Learning environments with higher average LEHR scores were associated with higher employee engagement, retention, and safety climate scores.
Moore QT, Walker DA, Frush DP, et al. Radiol Technol. 2022;93(3):255-267.
Improving patient safety related to radiation delivery is an ongoing priority. This study explores the interpersonal and institutional factors which influence the overall perception of radiation safety culture among U.S. radiologic technologists.
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.
Dawson R, Saulnier T, Campbell A, et al. Hosp Pediatr. 2022;12:407-417.
Voluntary error reporting remains underutilized in many clinical settings despite its importance for organizational learning and improved patient safety. This pediatric health system implemented a new safety event management system (SEMS) aimed at increased usability, de-centralized event follow-up, and closed-loop communication. The new SEMS resulted in more event reporting and less staff time spent on each report.
Cribb A, O'Hara JK, Waring J. BMJ Qual Saf. 2022;31:327-330.
Patient safety advocates recommend a shift from a blame culture to a just culture. This commentary describes three types of justice that exist in healthcare - retributive, no blame or qualified blame, and restorative. The authors invite debate around the concept of just culture and its role in the “real world”.
Adamson L, Beldham‐Collins R, Sykes J, et al. J Med Radiat Sci. 2022;69:208-217.
Reporting of near misses and adverse events can provide a foundation for learning from error. This quality improvement project surveyed radiation oncology staff in two local health districts to assess understanding and use of incident learning systems, barriers to reporting or needs for process change, and perception of departmental safety culture. System processes (e.g., takes too long) were identified as barriers to reporting more frequently than safety culture (e.g., fear of negative action towards self or others).
Bell SK, Bourgeois FC, DesRoches CM, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2022;31:526-540.
Engaging patients and families in their own care can improve outcomes, safety, and satisfaction. This study brought patients, families, clinicians and experts together to identify patient-reported diagnostic process-related breakdowns. The group identified 7 categories, 40 subcategories, 19 contributing factors and 11 patient-reported impacts. Breakdowns were identified in each step of the diagnostic process.
Klatt TE, Sachs JF, Huang C-C, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2021;47:759-767.
This article describes the implementation of a peer support program for “second victims” in a US healthcare system. Following training, peer supporters assisted at-risk colleagues, raised awareness of second victim syndrome, and recruited others for training. The effectiveness of the training was assessed using the Second Victim Experience Support Tool. The most common event supported was inability to stop the progress of a medical condition, including COVID-19.
Speaking up about concerns is essential to improving safety, but prior research has found that many healthcare workers do not feel comfortable speaking up. In this study, staff members from a disability healthcare organization in Australia responded to a questionnaire regarding organizational identification and culture of safety. Findings highlight the importance of organizational identification and management commitment to safety and psychological safety in promoting speaking up behaviors.
Stovall M, Hansen L. Worldviews Evid Based Nurs. 2021;18:264-272.
Clinicians who are involved in a patient safety incident often experience significant emotional consequences. This study found that nurses involved in an patient safety incident resulting in patient death were more likely to change jobs, consider leaving the profession, and have suicidal ideation, compared to nurses involved in incidents that did not result in patient harm.
Clabaugh M, Beal JL, Illingworth Plake KS. J Am Pharm Assoc (2003). 2021;61:761-771.
Patient safety concerns in community pharmacies have been documented in the media. This study sought to examine the association of working conditions and patient safety. Results indicate that while all participants reported negative company climate and workflow, those in chain pharmacies reported significantly more fear of speaking up about patient safety issues than those in independent, big box, or grocery pharmacies.
Carrillo I, Mira JJ, Guilabert M, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;17:e529-e533.
While prior research has shown patients want disclosure of adverse events, healthcare providers may still be hesitant to disclose and apologize. Factors that influence providers’ willingness to disclose errors and apologize include organizational support, experience in communicating errors, and expectations surrounding patient response. A culture of safety and a clear legal framework may increase providers’ willingness to disclose errors and apologize.
Please select your preferred way to submit a case. Note that even if you have an account, you can still choose to submit a case as a guest. And if you do choose to submit as a logged-in user, your name will not be publicly associated with the case. Learn more information here.