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Washington, DC: VA Office of the Inspector General; June 28, 2022. Report No 21-03349-186.

 Cancer test communication failures can contribute to physical, emotional, and financial patient harm. This report examines missed opportunities made by multiple clinicians involved in the care of a patient with prostate cancer who then died from metastasized disease Seven recommendations are included for improving abnormal test result communication and error management at the facility.
Healthcare Excellence Canada
This site provides promotional materials for an annual awareness campaign on patient safety that takes place in the autumn. The 2021 observance, focusing on the importance of essential care partners, was held October 25th through 29th.

London, UK: Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman; 2021. ISBN 9781528627016. 

Lack of appropriate follow up of diagnostic imaging can result in care delays, patient harm, and death. This report summarizes an investigation of 25 imaging failures in the British National Health Service (NHS). The analysis identified communication and coordination issues resulting in lack of action and reporting of unanticipated findings to properly advance care. Recommendations to improve imaging in the NHS include use of previous analyses to enhance learning from failure.

Washington, DC: Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General. January 5, 2021. Report No. 20-01521-48.

 

This investigation examined care coordination, screening and other factors that contributed to a patient death by suicide shortly after discharge from a Veteran’s Hospital. Event reporting, disclosure and evaluation gaps were identified as process weaknesses to be addressed. 

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.

Washington, DC: Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General; September 3, 2020. Report No 19-09493-249.

Discontinuities in mental health care are a patient safety concern. This report analyzes how documentation gaps, medication reconciliation problems, and poor care coordination contributed to the suicide of a patient who presented at an emergency room, was screened there, and referred to a clinic for further care that was not completed.
Office of Health Care Quality. Baltimore, MD: Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
This annual report summarizes never events in Maryland hospitals over the previous year. From July 2019-June 2020, reported pressure ulcers increased while treatment delays and surgery-related events decreased. The authors recommend several corrective actions to build on training and policy changes to guide improvement work, including improving team communication and use of hospital data to reduce delays.
Hochman M, Bourgoin A, Saluja S, et al. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; March 2019. AHRQ Publication No. 18(19)-0055-EF.
Programs are in place to address hospital discharge process gaps that contribute to readmissions. This report summarizes research on primary care perspectives on reducing readmissions. Interventions identified include automated alerting to primary care providers when patients are hospitalized and the patient-centered medical home model.
London, UK: Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman; 2017. ISBN: 9781528601344.
Patients with mental health conditions face particular safety challenges. This report describes incidents involving patients with eating disorders who experienced harm while receiving care in National Health Service organizations. Factors that contributed to the failures included poor care coordination, premature discharge, and lack of monitoring. The report discusses gaps in the investigations of these patient deaths and outlines areas of improvement.
Boutwell A, Bourgoin A , Maxwell J, et al. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; September 2016. AHRQ Publication No. 16-0047-EF.
This toolkit provides information for hospitals to help reduce preventable readmissions among Medicaid patients. Building on hospital experience with utilizing the materials since 2014, this updated guide explains how to determine root causes for readmissions, evaluate existing interventions, develop a set of improvement strategies, and optimize care transition processes.
Washington, DC: United States Government Accountability Office; March 18, 2016. Publication GAO-16-328.
This analysis found that scheduling problems among patients seeking primary care from Veterans Affairs health systems continue to occur. The report outlines weaknesses in the data collected to measure and evaluate veterans' access to primary care and spotlights the need to develop and disseminate a comprehensive policy for Veterans Affairs schedulers to reduce risk of scheduling errors.
Francis R. London, UK: Department of Health; February 2015.
Staff willingness to raise awareness of problems that could affect patient care is an important indicator of safety culture. This publication explores National Health Service (NHS) staff perceptions regarding raising concerns about health care safety. Barriers to speaking up were related to organizational culture, incident management, and legal protection for whistleblowers. The report also suggests measures for NHS organizations to use to help ensure that staff are comfortable raising awareness of patient safety concerns.
Daigh JD Jr. Washington, DC: VA Office of the Inspector General; December 15, 2014. Report No. 14-04705-62.
Misrepresentation of findings, either by accident or design, can result in ineffective use of resources and poor decision-making. This investigation found inconsistencies in the information reported by the Veterans Health Administration in the widely-publicized analysis discussing weaknesses in the organization that resulted in delayed care. The author calls for the assessment to be revisited to ensure conclusions and work toward improvement are verifiable to augment the safety and timeliness of care provided to veterans.
Boonyasai RT, Ijagbemi OM, Pham JC, et al. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; December 2014. AHRQ Publication No. 14(15)-0067-EF.
This report analyzes the literature discussing emergency department discharge processes and highlights elements of high-quality discharges and risk factors for suboptimal discharges. The in-depth review summarizes interventions currently implemented to augment discharge procedures, care coordination, and the identification of patients more susceptible to poor discharge.
Hearing Before the Committee on Veterans' Affairs United States Senate. 113th Cong (September 9, 2014).
In this hearing Veterans Affairs leadership provide an update on the current investigation into data and scheduling manipulation in the VA system. The testimonies discuss the scope of the problem, suggest that the culture at the hospitals enabled record falsification to become normalized, and outline actions being taken to address weaknesses in processes and access to care.
Washington, DC: VA Office of the Inspector General; August 26, 2014. Report No.14-02603-267.
A previous report by the Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of the Inspector General found that many veterans at the Phoenix VA facility endured months-long waits for primary care appointments, due in part to inappropriate manipulation of the scheduling process so that the facility could appear to meet VA quality metrics. This follow-up report examined whether these delays led to patients experiencing preventable harm and further investigated the root causes of excessive wait times and the generalizability of the problem across the VA system. The investigators concluded that no deaths or serious harm could be directly attributed to the scheduling delays; however, the report uncovered many examples of poor quality care, including delayed diagnoses of cancer, preventable readmissions, and poor care coordination. It also appears that scheduling manipulation was rife throughout the system. The report strongly attributes the "corrosive culture" of the VA and its unresponsive leadership as major factors in the system's failure to address longstanding problems with access to care. Though the VA has achieved impressive accomplishments in providing high-quality care, the scheduling scandal has caused serious damage to its reputation. A recent commentary by Dr. Kenneth Kizer (who, as Undersecretary for Health in the VA, was widely credited for reforming the VA in the 1990s) and Dr. Ashish Jha recommends several reforms the VA should implement to transform its culture and restore its standards.
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; AHRQ.
This article describes an intervention that trained health coaches to use mobile technology to assess the health status of recently discharged Medicare patients, first during an in-home visit 48 hours after leaving the hospital and then with weekly phone calls over a 3-week period. The program resulted in decreased readmission rates and significant cost savings.
Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; September 2015.
The TeamSTEPPS program was developed to support effective communication and teamwork in health care. This curriculum offers training for participants to implement TeamSTEPPS in their organizations. The course includes evidence reviews, trainer guidance, measurement tools, and a pocket guide for frontline staff.
Washington, DC: Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, Federal Communications Commission. Silver Spring, MD: Food and Drug Administration. April 2014.
While implementation of health information technology (IT) is widely recommended, research has raised the concern that it may lead to unintended consequences on patient safety. This draft report explores key recommendations for ensuring the safe use of health IT, such as the establishment of a "Health IT Safety Center" to test, disseminate, and promote assessment tools. The comment submission period is now closed.