This study sought to improve safe at-home pediatric medication administration through an interactive voice response intervention. Researchers found that medication dosing errors and nonadherence were common. The intervention increased medication communication but did not make parents more likely to bring medications to a physician visit as recommended. This study highlights the challenges of safe medication management for outpatients.
Roter DL, Wolff J, Wu A, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2017;26:508-512.
Effective team communication is a key component of safe care. This commentary discusses the role of patient–family partnerships in enhancing health care safety in ambulatory and home settings. The authors describe a communication intervention to improve patient and family collaboration during ambulatory care visits. Components of the approach included engaging family participation in routine visits and coaching them to ask questions.
Jackson PD, Biggins MS, Cowan L, et al. Rehabil Nurs. 2016;41:135-48.
Transitions are a complicated and vulnerable time for patients, particularly for those with complex care needs. This review examines the literature around care transitions and insights from patient and family advisory councils. The authors recommend standardizing the process for veterans with complex conditions and suggest focus on the use of real-time information exchange, documented care plans, and engaging patients and their families in transitions.
Tothy AS, Limper HM, Driscoll J, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2016;42:281-5.
This study reports on efforts to enhance communication between clinicians and patients in an urban pediatric emergency department. A rapid-change project resulted in significant improvement in patient perceptions of communication—clinicians were perceived as being more sensitive to patients' concerns and displayed better listening behaviors. Poor discharge communication in the emergency department has been linked to safety concerns in prior studies.
Coleman EA, Ground KL, Maul A. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2015;41:502-7.
Efforts to improve patient safety during care transitions have had mixed success, possibly due to failure to effectively engage family and caregivers in the transition process. This study reports on the development and validation of a novel survey instrument that measures family and caregivers' preparation and self-efficacy around supporting patients at the time of hospital discharge.
Care transitions are a vulnerable time for patients, and handoff improvement is a national patient safety priority. This commentary relates how a medical student's experience with handing off a patient to an intensive care unit touches on hierarchy and a missed opportunity for transparent and family-centered communication. A past AHRQ WebM&M perspective discusses problems with inpatient handovers and recommends strategies to enhance handoff quality.
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