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Healthcare Excellence Canada
This site provides promotional materials for an annual awareness campaign on patient safety that takes place in the autumn. The 2022 observance will be held October 24th through 28th.
Ann D. Gaffey, RN, MSN, CPHRM, DFASHRM is the President of Healthcare Risk and Safety Strategies, LLC. Bruce Spurlock, MD is the President and CEO of Cynosure Health. We spoke with them about their role in the development of the Making Healthcare Safer III Report and what new information they think audiences will find particularly useful and interesting.
This Primer provides an overview of the history and current status of the patient safety field and key definitions and concepts. It links to other Patient Safety Primers that discuss the concepts in more detail.
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.

GMS J Med Educ. 2019;36:Doc11-Doc22.

Patient safety has been described as an unmet need in physician training. This special issue covers areas of focus for a patient safety curriculum drawn from experience in the German medical education system. Topics covered include human error, blame, and responsibility. Articles also review the epidemiology of common problems such as medication safety, organizational contributors to failure, and diagnostic error.
Farmer B. Emerg Med (N Y). 2016;48.
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.

J Health Serv Res Policy. 2015;20(suppl 1):S1-S60.

Articles in this special supplement explore research commissioned by National Institute for Health Research in the United Kingdom to address four patient safety research gaps: how organizational culture and context influence evaluations of interventions, organizational boundaries that affect handovers and other aspects of care, the role of the patient in safety improvement, and the economic costs and benefits of safety interventions.

Brice JH, Patterson PD, eds. Prehosp Emerg Care. 2012;16:1-108.  

This special issue contains articles exploring safety improvement efforts in emergency medical services.

Baker GR, ed. Healthc Q. 2010;13(Spec No):1-136.  

This is the fifth in a series of special issues devoted to exploring Canadian patient safety organizational and strategic improvement efforts. The articles highlight work related to topics including critical occurrence review, hand hygiene compliance, and effective handoffs.
At two different hospitals, patients were instructed to continue home medications, even though their medication lists had errors that could have led to significant adverse consequences.
Barber ND, Alldred DP, Raynor DK, et al. Qual Saf Health Care. 2009;18:341-346.
This study found a remarkably high incidence of medication errors—nearly two errors per patient—in skilled nursing facilities. Interviews with staff revealed several underlying factors: polypharmacy, overworked staff, poor communication between nursing home staff and physicians, lack of a culture of safety, and lack of reliable systems for medication ordering and administration. Recognition of the high potential for medication errors in nursing facilities has led to the development of toolkits for improving medication safety. A serious medication administration error at a nursing facility is discussed in this AHRQ WebM&M case commentary.
Reynard J, Reynolds J, Stevenson P. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press; 2009. ISBN: 9780199239931.
This book provides an introduction to key patient safety topics and includes a set of 20 case studies to demonstrate opportunities for error prevention.
Werner RM, McNutt RA. JAMA. 2009;301.
The Leapfrog Group has been a major driver of patient safety efforts—more than 1000 hospitals have committed to implementing its recommendations for computerized provider order entry, intensivist coverage for critically ill patients, evidence-based referral for certain diagnoses, and implementation of the National Quality Forum's (NQF) Safe Practices. A prior study found that hospitals that had implemented at least one Leapfrog practice tended to provide higher quality of care for specific diagnoses. However, in this study, adoption of the NQF safe practices did not correlate with reduced inpatient mortality. The authors note that many hospitals could score highly on the Leapfrog Hospital Survey but not fully implement or consistently follow safety recommendations, as the survey only measures a hospital's self-reported implementation of safety practices.
Oakbrook Terrace, IL: The Joint Commission; November 2008.
The quality of care delivered at US hospitals continues to improve, according to data gathered by the Joint Commission from nearly 1,500 institutions. Hospitals improved their provision of evidence-based care for patients with heart attacks, congestive heart failure, and pneumonia, and also improved at prevention of health care–associated infections in surgical patients. As in the 2007 report, adherence to the National Patient Safety Goals was more mixed. Although performance improved in some areas (including medication reconciliation and eliminating "do not use" abbreviations), many hospitals do not systematically perform time outs prior to procedures, or have reliable mechanisms for communicating critical test results.
The Healthcare Commission. London, UK: The Stationary Office; 2008.
This report shares findings from a 5-year analysis of the state of health care in the United Kingdom. It reveals that while awareness of patient safety has improved since the first report in the series, the UK health system needs to be more consistent in its application of patient-centeredness concepts to fully promote quality.
Intern J Health Care Qual Assur. 2007;20(7):555-632.
This special issue includes articles by authors from Australia, Israel, France, Iran, and Belgium that explore ideas such as building a culture of safety, replacing medical equipment, and measuring safety improvements.
Following surgery, a woman on a patient-controlled analgesia pump is found to be lethargic and incoherent, with a low respiratory rate. The nurse contacted the attending physician, who dismisses the patient's symptoms and chastises the nurse for the late call.
Bagnara S; Tartaglia R; Wears RL; Perry SJ; Salas E; Rosen MA; King H; Carayon P; Alvarado CJ; Hundt AS; Healey AN; Vincent CA; Falzon P; Mollo V; Friesdorf W; Buss B; Marsolek I; Barach P; Bellandi T; Albolino S; Tomassini CR.
This special issue contains articles focusing on ergonomic research areas that intersect with patient safety, such as team management, work design, and safety culture.