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Redley B, Douglas T, Hoon L, et al. J Adv Nurs. 2022;Epub Jul 7.
Frontline care providers such as nurses play an important role in reducing preventable harm. This study used qualitative methods (direct observation and participatory workshops) to explore nurses’ experiences implementing harm prevention practices when admitting an older adult to the hospital. Researchers identified barriers (e.g., lack of resources, information gaps) and enablers (e.g., teamwork, reminders) to harm prevention during the admission process.
Redley B, Taylor N, Hutchinson AM. J Adv Nurs. 2022;Epub Apr 22.
Nurses play a critical role in reducing preventable harm among inpatients. This cross-sectional survey of nurses working in general medicine wards identified both enabling factors (behavioral regulation, perceived capabilities, and environmental context/resources) and barriers (intentions, perceived consequences, optimism, and professional role) to implementing comprehensive harm prevention programs for older adult inpatients.
Hada A, Coyer F. Nurs Health Sci. 2021;23:337-351.
Safe patient handover from one nursing shift to the next requires complete and accurate communication between nurses. This review aimed to identify which nursing handover interventions result in improved patient outcomes (i.e., patient falls, pressure injuries, medication administration errors). Interventions differed across the included studies, but results indicate that moving the handover to the bedside and using a structured approach, such as Situation, Background, Assessment, Recommendation (SBAR) improved patient outcomes.
McHugh MD, Aiken LH, Sloane DM, et al. The Lancet. 2021;397:1905-1913.
While research shows that better nurse staffing ratios are associated with improved patient outcomes, policies setting minimum nurse-to-patient ratios in hospitals are rarely implemented. In 2016, select Queensland (Australia) hospitals implemented minimum nurse staffing ratios. Compared to hospitals that did not implement minimum nurse staffing ratios, length of stay, mortality, and readmission rates were significantly lower in intervention hospitals, providing evidence, once again, that minimum staffing ratios can improve patient outcomes. 
Wood C, Chaboyer W, Carr P. Int J Nurs Stud. 2019;94:166-178.
Early detection of patient deterioration remains an elusive patient safety target. This scoping review examined how nurses employ early warning scoring systems that prompt them to call rapid response teams. Investigators identified 23 studies for inclusion. Barriers to effective identification and treatment of patient deterioration included difficulty implementing early warning score systems, overreliance on numeric risk scores, and inconsistent activation of rapid response teams based on early warning score results. They recommend that nurses follow scoring algorithms that calculate risk for deterioration while supplementing risk scoring with their clinical judgment from the bedside. A WebM&M commentary highlighted how early recognition of patient deterioration requires not only medical expertise but also collaboration and communication among providers.
Braaf S, Riley R, Manias E. J Clin Nurs. 2015;24:1874-1884.
This qualitative study of communication among providers in perioperative care revealed a reliance on written documentation, which was often difficult to find or missing key information, rather than verbal signout. This finding underscores the importance of structured, verbal handoffs to ensure adequate provider communication.
Lee H, Cumin D, Devcich DA, et al. J Adv Nurs. 2015;71:160-8.
This educational experiment randomized nurses to view varying versions of handoff videos. In the recorded handovers, information was transferred either as a simple statement, as spoken information that conveyed concern, as a simple statement with a written summary, or verbally with expressions of concern and a written summary. Researchers found that these factors (expressing concern or referring to a written summary) did not affect information retention, suggesting that other approaches, including standardized communication, may be more useful to improve handoffs.
Jones D, Baldwin I, McIntyre T, et al. Qual Saf Health Care. 2006;15:427-32.
Medical emergency teams (METs, also known as rapid response teams) are being widely implemented in U.S. hospitals. Although their effectiveness in preventing adverse patient outcomes is uncertain, a major proposed benefit of such teams is to provide support for nursing staff. This study, conducted at an Australian hospital with a long-standing MET, surveyed ward nurses to determine if they understood the appropriate reasons to call the MET and evaluate if they felt the MET improved patient safety. Nearly all nurses felt the team helped provide more effective care for patients and helped educate nurses in caring for acutely ill patients. Nurses did not feel that they would be criticized for calling the MET. Despite the presence of objective criteria (eg, vital sign abnormalities) for calling the MET, most nurses preferred to use their clinical judgment to decide when to summon the team.