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Webster KLW, Keebler JR, Lazzara EH, et al. Jt Comm Qual Patient Saf. 2022;48:343-353.
Effective handoff communication is a key indicator of safe patient care. These authors outline a new model for handoff communication, integrating three theoretical frameworks addressing relevant inputs (i.e., individual organizational, environmental factors), mediators (e.g., communication, leadership), outcomes (e.g., patient, provider, teamwork, and organizational outcomes), and adaptation loops.
Bourne RS, Jennings JK, Panagioti M, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2022;31:609-622.
Patients transferring from the intensive care unit (ICU) to the hospital ward may experience medication errors. This systematic review examined medication-related interventions on the impact of medication errors in ICU patients transferring to the hospital ward. Seventeen studies were included with five identified intervention components. Multi-component studies based on staff education and guidelines were effective at achieving almost four times more deprescribing on inappropriate medications by the time of discharge. Recommendations for improving transfers are included.
Holmes J, Chipman M, Barbour T, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2022;48:12-24.
Air medical transport carries unique patient safety risks. In this study, researchers used simulation training and healthcare failure mode and effect analysis (HFMEA) to identify latent safety threats related to patient transport via helicopter. This approach identified 31 latent safety threats (18 were deemed critical) related to care coordination, facilities, equipment, and devices.

The Patient Safe-D(ischarge) program used standardized tools to educate patients about their discharge needs, test understanding of those needs, and improve medication reconciliation at admission and discharge. A quasi-randomized controlled trial of the program found that it significantly increased patients' understanding and knowledge of their diagnoses, treatment, and required follow-up care.

Massa S, Wu J, Wang C, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2021;47:242-249.
The objective of this mixed methods study was to characterize training, practices, and preferences in interprofessional handoffs from the operating room to the intensive care unit (OR-to-ICU). Anesthesia residents, registered nurses, and advanced practice providers indicated that they had not received enough preparation for OR-to-ICU handoffs in their clinical education or on-the-job training. Clinicians from all professions noted a high value of interprofessional education in OR-to-ICU handoffs, especially during early degree programs would be beneficial.

A 65-year-old man with metastatic cancer and past medical history of schizophrenia, developmental delay, and COPD was admitted to the hospital with a spinal fracture. He experienced postoperative complications and continued to require intermittent oxygen and BIPAP in the intensive care unit (ICU) to maintain oxygenation. Upon consultation with the palliative care team about goals of care, the patient with telephonic support of his long time caregiver, expressed his wish to go home and the palliative care team, discharge planner, and social services coordinated plans for transfer home. Altho

de Bienassis K, Llena-Nozal A, Klazinga N for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Paris, France: OECD Publishing; 2020. OECD Health Working Papers, No. 121.

Adverse events in long term care facilities are acerbated due to staffing, training and financial challenges. This report examined the costs of avoidable problems in long term care and suggests prevention strategies that center on workforce skill development and safety culture improvement.

Levett-Jones T, ed. Clin Sim Nurs. 2020;44(1):1-78; 2020;45(1):1-60.

Simulation is a recognized technique to educate and plan to improve care processes and safety. This pair of special issues highlights the use of simulation in nursing and its value in work such as communication enhancement, minority population care, and patient deterioration.   

The Support and Services at Home (SASH®) program provides onsite assistance to help senior citizens (and other Medicare beneficiaries) remain in their homes as they age. Using evidence-based practices, a multidisciplinary, onsite team conducts an initial health assessment, creates an individualized care plan based on each participant’s self-identified goals, provides onsite nursing and care coordination with local partners, and schedules community activities to support health and wellness.

Abdelhadi N, Drach‐Zahavy A, Srulovici E. J Adv Nurs. 2020;76:2161-2170.
This qualitative study conducted focus groups with 28 registered nurses working in different hospital settings to explore perspectives regarding decision-making and personal or contextual attributes leading to missed nursing care.  Three themes emerged based on the analysis: missed nursing care can result due to scarce resources or nurses’ agency, differences in thinking based on routine or novel situations, and situational factors triggering fluctuations in their awareness (such as difficult patients or the presence of family). The authors suggest that organizational training programs should encourage nurses to identify barriers and facilitators of missed nursing care and approaches to overcome these factors.
Diaz MCG, Dawson K. Am J Med Qual. 2020;35:474-478.
Communication and shared mental models are key elements to effective teamwork. This study explored whether simulation-based closed-loop communication training would improve staff perceptions of communication ability and decrease medical errors. Increases in perception of closed-loop communication ability were sustained one-month after training. A retrospective chart review of all emergency severity index (ESI) level 1 patients (n=9) seen in the 4-months pre- and post-training showed a reduction in medical errors (89% to 56%, respectively).
Haydar B, Baetzel A, Elliott A, et al. Anesth Analg. 2020;131:1135-1145.
This systematic review was undertaken to provide clear enumeration of adverse events that have occurred during intrahospital transport of critically ill children, risk factors for those events, and guidance for event prevention to clinicians who may not be fully aware of the risks of transport. The recommendations for reducing adverse events frequently given in the 40 articles that met the inclusion criteria (reflecting 4104 children transported) included: use of checklists and improved double-checks (of, e.g., equipment before transport).
Manges K, Groves PS, Farag A, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2020;29:499-508.
Teamwork Shared Mental Models (SMM) reflect the teams’ understanding of its members’ roles and interactions. This mixed-methods study examined teamwork-SMMs during discharge and described the differences of discharge teams with higher versus lower teamwork-SMMs. Teams with better teamwork-SMMs during discharge were more likely to report similar understanding of the patient’s situation, open communication and exchange of information, and team cohesion and resulted in more effective care delivery. Poor team-SMMs were characterized by divergent opinions regarding patient care plans, delays or gaps in communication, and team members operating independently and in isolation from their team.
A 62-year-old man with a history of malnutrition-related encephalopathy was admitted for possible aspiration pneumonia complicated by empyema and coagulopathy. During the hospitalization, he was uncooperative and exhibited signs of delirium. For a variety of reasons, he spent two weeks in the hospital with minimal oral intake and without receiving most of his oral medications, putting him at risk for complications and adverse outcomes.
Havaei F, MacPhee M, Dahinten S. J Adv Nurs. 2019;75:2144-2155.
This study looked at the impact of two different models of delivering care by nurses, team versus total care, on quality of care and adverse events. The authors found that the team nursing model reported higher frequency of adverse events when there were licensed practical nurses on the team.
Lewis KA, Ricks TN, Rowin A, et al. Worldviews Evid Based Nurs. 2019;16:389-396.
Simulation is an active learning methodology being used in hospitals to improve patient care.  Results of this systematic review that focused on acute care nurse simulation training and patient safety outcomes indicate that simulation training can be effective for improving patient safety outcomes in this context; the authors note, however, that additional high–quality research is needed to support this field.
Given BA. Semin Oncol Nurs. 2019;35:374-379.
Cancer patients often rely on family members or paid caregivers to assist with care maintenance at home, such as taking medications and mobility support. This review highlights common safety gaps in home cancer care. The authors suggest that nurses can help assess caregiver knowledge and provide education to address safety issues.
Following surgery under general anesthesia, a boy was extubated and brought to postanesthesia care unit (PACU). Due to the patient's age and length of the surgery, the PACU anesthesiologist ordered continuous pulse-oximetry monitoring for 24 hours. Deemed stable to leave the PACU, the boy was transported to the regular floor. When the nurse went to place the patient on pulse oximetry, she realized he was markedly hypoxic. She administered oxygen by face mask, but he became bradycardic and hypotensive and a code blue was called.
Link T. AORN J. 2018;108:165-177.
Although team development has received increased attention in health care, miscommunications that affect patient safety continue to occur. This commentary reviews factors that contribute to poor communication behaviors among perioperative nurses and summarizes guidance on how to improve team communication, such as use of standardized checklists and briefings.