The PSNet Collection: All Content
Search All Content
This case describes an older adult patient with generalized abdominal pain who was eventually diagnosed with inoperable bowel necrosis. Although she appeared well and had stable vital signs, triage was delayed due to emergency department (ED) crowding, which is usually a result of hospital crowding. She was under-triaged and waited three hours before any diagnostic studies or interventions commenced. Once she was placed on a hallway gurney laboratory and imaging studies proceeded hastily.
Farnborough, UK: Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch; August 2023.
Concern over patient safety issues associated with inadequate tracking of test results has grown over the last decade, as it can lead to delays in the recognition of abnormal test results and the absence of a tracking system to ensure short-term patient follow-up.1,2 Missed abnormal tests and the lack of necessary clinical follow-up can lead to a late diagnosis.
A 55-year-old man presented in hypotensive shock, presumably due to bacterial pneumonia superimposed on COPD. The nurse placed an arterial line appropriately in the patient’s radial artery for hemodynamic monitoring, but this line was inadvertently used to infuse an antibiotic. The patient experienced acute arterial thrombosis with resulting hand ischemia but responded to rapid thrombolytic and anticoagulant therapy.
Santhosh L, Cornell E, Rojas JC, et al. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; June 2023. AHRQ Publication No. 23-0040-1-EF.
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. 2023.
A 63-year-old man presented from a skilled nursing facility (SNF) with shortness of breath and was treated for mild heart failure exacerbation. An echocardiogram was performed but results were pending on discharge, with anticipation that the patient’s primary care provider would follow up the results. Two weeks later, the patient was readmitted from the SNF and was found to have endocarditis and infected pacemaker wires.
Seeking a sustainable process to enhance their hospitals’ response to sepsis, a multidisciplinary team at WellSpan Health oversaw the development and implementation of a system that uses customized electronic health record (EHR) alert settings and a team of remote nurses to help frontline staff identify and respond to patients showing signs of sepsis. When the remote nurses, or Central Alerts Team (CAT), receive an alert, they assess the patient’s information and collaborate with the clinical care team to recommend a response.
Farnborough, UK: Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch; April 2023.