Haydar B, Baetzel A, Stewart M, et al. Anesth Analg. 2020;131:245-254.
Children undergoing intrahospital transport are at risk for adverse events. This study used perioperative adverse event data reported to a patient safety organization to identify pediatric anesthesia transport-associated adverse events. A small proportion (5%) of pediatric anesthesia adverse events were associated with transport, but the majority of events were deemed preventable and one-third resulted in patient harm. Cardiac arrest and respiratory events occurred most frequently and largely affected very young children (<6 month). A previous WebM&M discussed a perioperative respiratory event in a pediatric patient during intrahospital transport.
Smeulers M, Lucas C, Vermeulen H. Cochrane Database of Syst Rev. 2014;6:CD009979.
Incomplete handoffs and poor communication regarding key clinical information may lead to adverse events or missed or delayed diagnoses. This systematic review sought to determine effective interventions to enhance nursing handoffs. Although several studies have examined handoff techniques that nurses used, there is no evidence to indicate whether verbal handoffs, chart-based handoffs, or handoffs including patients or family are associated with improved patient outcomes, echoing a prior systematic review. The authors recommend that nursing handoffs be structured, include face-to-face communication, involve patients, and utilize health information technology. They also call for studies to compare different approaches in order to achieve an evidence-based best practice. A past AHRQ WebM&M commentary describes the consequences of an incomplete nursing handoff.
Li SYW, Magrabi F, Coiera E. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2012;19:6-12.
Interruptions pose a significant safety hazard for health care providers performing complex tasks, such as signout or medication administration. However, as prior research has pointed out, many interruptions are necessary for clinical care, making it difficult for safety professionals to develop approaches to limiting the harmful effects of interruptions. Reviewing the literature on interruptions from the psychology and informatics fields, this study identifies several key variables that influence the relationship between interruption of a task and patient harm. The authors provide several recommendations, based on human factors engineering principles, to mitigate the effect of interruptions on patient care. A case of an interruption leading to a medication error is discussed in this AHRQ WebM&M commentary.
Bittle MJ, Charache P, Wassilchalk DM. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2007;33:25-33.
In response to multiple incidents of registration-associated patient misidentification (eg, assigning a new patient an existing patient's medical record number), an interdisciplinary team used plan-do-study-act methodology to investigate the root cause of such errors and formulate solutions. Several system problems were identified, ranging from inadequate training of registrars to the lack of a true master list of patients' medical record numbers. The authors describe the iterative process used to identify and address sources of error at several points within the patient registration process.
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