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Cedillo G, George MC, Deshpande R, et al. Addict Sci Clin Pract. 2022;17:28.
In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued an opioid prescribing guideline intended to reverse the increasing death rate from opioid overdoses. This study describes the development, implementation, and effect of a safe prescribing strategy (TOWER) in an HIV-focused primary care setting. Providers using TOWER were more adherent to the CDC guidelines, with no worsening patient-reported outcome measures.
Fontil V, Khoong EC, Lyles C, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2022;Epub May 5.
Missed or delayed diagnosis in primary care may result in serious complications for patients. This prospective study followed adults presenting to primary care with new or unresolved symptoms for 12 months. 32% of patients received a diagnosis within one month; most of the rest still did not have a diagnosis at 12 months (50%). The authors suggest interventions aimed at improving diagnosis should be system-based, not specific to a single medical issue or population.
Salema N-E, Bell BG, Marsden K, et al. BJGP Open. 2022;Epub May 6.
Medication prescribing errors are common, particularly during medical training. This retrospective review of prescriptions from ten general practitioners in training in the United Kingdom identified a high rate of prescribing errors (8.9% of prescriptions reviewed) and suboptimal prescribing (35%).
Butler AM, Brown DS, Durkin MJ, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5:e2214153.
Inappropriately prescribing antibiotics for non-bacterial infections remains common in outpatient settings despite the associated risks. This analysis of antibiotics prescribed to more than 2.8 million children showed more than 30% of children with bacterial infection, and 4%-70% of children with viral infection were inappropriately prescribed antibiotics. Inappropriate prescribing led to increased risk of adverse drug events (e.g., allergic reaction) and increased health expenditures in the following 30 days.
Appelbaum NP, Santen SA, Perera RA, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:370-375.
Residents and trainees frequently report experiencing bullying and disrespectful behaviors in the workplace. This study explored the relationship between resident psychological safety, perceived organizational support, and humiliation. Results indicate resident perception of increased organizational support (e.g., help is available when they have a problem) reduces the negative impact of humiliation on their psychological safety.
Prudenzi A, D. Graham C, Flaxman PE, et al. Psychol Health Med. 2022;27:1130-1143.
Previous research has found that mindfulness interventions can reduce stress and burnout among physicians. This survey of 98 healthcare workers within the UK National Health Service (NHS) explored the relationship between poor wellbeing, burnout and perceived safe practice and identified a positive relationship between mindfulness processes and perceived safe practices.
Smith M, Vaughan Sarrazin M, Wang X, et al. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2022;70:1314-1324.
The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted healthcare delivery and contributed to delays in care. Based on a retrospective matched cohort of Medicare patients, this study explored the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on patients who may be at risk for missed or delayed care. Researchers found that patients with four or more indicators for risk of missed or delayed care (e.g., chronic conditions, frailty, disability affecting use of telehealth) had higher mortality and lower rates of healthcare utilization, including primary care visits.
Jambon J, Choukroun C, Roux-Marson C, et al. Clin Neuropharmacol. 2022;45:65-71.
Polypharmacy in older adults is an ongoing safety concern due to the risk of being prescribed a potentially inappropriate medication or co-prescription of medications with dangerous interactions. In this study of adults aged 65 and older with chronic pain, 54% were taking at least one potentially inappropriate medication and 43% were at moderate or high risk of adverse drug events. Measures such as involvement of a pharmacist in medication review could reduce risk of adverse drug events in older adult outpatients.
Shiner B, Gottlieb DJ, Levis M, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2022;31:434-440.
Previous research has emphasized suicide prevention in inpatient mental health settings, but less is known about suicide in outpatient settings. Using longitudinal data from 2013 to 2017, this study found no relationship between overall quality of outpatient mental healthcare and suicide rates among patients treated by the Veterans Health Administration healthcare system.
Buitrago I, Seidl KL, Gingold DB, et al. J Healthc Qual. 2022;44:169-177.
Reducing hospital 30-day readmissions is seen as a way to improve safety and reduce costs. Baltimore City mobile integrated health and community paramedicine (MIH-CP) was designed to improve transitional care from hospital to home. After one year in operation, MIH-CP performed a chart review to determine causes of readmission among patients in the program. Root cause analysis indicated that at least one social determinant of health (e.g., health literacy) played a role in preventable readmissions; the program was modified to improve transitional care.
Johansson H, Lundgren K, Hagiwara MA. BMC Emerg Med. 2022;22:79.
Emergency medical services (EMS) clinicians must decide whether to transport patients to hospitals for emergency care, what level of emergency care they require, or to treat the patient at home and not transport to hospital. This analysis focused on patient safety incidents in Swedish prehospital care that occurred after 2015, following implementation of a protocol allowing EMS clinicians to triage patients to see-and-treat (non-conveyance) or see-and-convey elsewhere. Qualitative analysis of incident reports revealed three themes: assessment of patients, guidelines, and environment and organization. EMS clinicians deviated from the protocol in 34% of cases, putting patients at risk of inappropriate triage to see-and-treat.
Molist-Brunet N, Sevilla-Sánchez D, Puigoriol-Juvanteny E, et al. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022;19:3423.
Inappropriate prescribing and polypharmacy can place older adults at increased risk for medication-related adverse events. This study found that up to 90% of older adults had at least one inappropriate prescription, regardless of residential setting but medication review resulted in a greater decrease in risk factors for medication-related adverse events (e.g., polypharmacy, therapeutic complexity) among nursing home patients compared to patients living at home.
Rotenstein LS, Melnick ER, Sinsky CA. JAMA. 2022;327:2079-2080.
Clinician well-being is increasingly seen as a quality and safety issue. This commentary discusses how systemic efforts must be built to enhance occupational well-being among clinicians. This approach discussed should consider both human factors and organizational design strategies to reduce burnout, cognitive overload, process frustration, and technology use.
Liu L, Chien AT, Singer SJ. Health Care Manage Rev. 2022;Epub Apr 30.
Work conditions can impact clinician satisfaction and the quality and safety of the care they provide. This study sought to identify the combination of systems features (team dynamics, provider-perceived safety culture, patient care coordination) that positively impact work satisfaction in primary care practices. Results showed a strong culture of safety combined with more effective team dynamics were sufficient to lead to improved work satisfaction.
Gupta K, Rivadeneira NA, Lisker S, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;Epub Apr 27.
Strategies to reduce clinician burnout related to adverse events are critically needed. Physicians in the United States were surveyed on their experiences with adverse events to identify facilitators and barriers to reducing burnout. A common facilitator was peer support, and barriers included shame and a punitive work environment.
Lalani M, Morgan S, Basu A, et al. J Health Serv Res Policy. 2022;Epub May 6.
Autopsies following unexpected deaths can provide valuable insights and learning opportunities for improving patient safety. In 2017, the National Health Service (NHS) implemented “Learning from Deaths” (LfD) to report, learn from, and avoid potentially preventable deaths. Through interviews with policy makers, managers, and senior clinicians responsible for implementing the policy, this study reports on how contextual factors influenced implementation of the LfD policy.
Strube‐Lahmann S, Müller‐Werdan U, Klingelhöfer‐Noe J, et al. Pharmacol Res Perspect. 2022;10:e00953.
Patients receiving home care services are vulnerable to medication errors. Based on survey feedback from 485 home care nurses in Germany, this study found that regular medication training and use of quality assurance principles (i.e., double checking) can decrease the incidence of medication errors in home care settings.
Brady KJS, Barlam TF, Trockel MT, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2022;48:287-297.
Inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics to treat viral illnesses is an ongoing patient safety threat. This study examined the association between clinician depression, anxiety, and burnout and inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics for acute respiratory tract infections (RTIs) in outpatient care. Depression and anxiety, but not burnout, were associated with increased adjusted odds of inappropriate prescribing for RTIs.
Lim L, Zimring CM, DuBose JR, et al. HERD. 2022;Epub Apr 5.
Social distancing policies implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic challenged healthcare system leaders and providers to balance infection prevention strategies and providing collaborative, team-based patient care. In this article, four primary care clinics made changes to the clinic design, operational protocols, and usage of spaces. Negative impacts of these changes, such as fewer opportunities for collaboration, communication, and coordination, were observed.

Jagsi R, Griffith KA, Vicini F, et al for the Michigan Radiation Oncology Quality Consortium. JAMA OncolEpub 2022 Apr 21. 

Concordance of patient-reported symptoms and provider-documented symptoms is necessary for appropriate patient care and has clinical implications for research. This study compared patient-reported symptoms (pain, pruritus, edema, and fatigue) following radiotherapy for breast cancer with provider assessments. Underrecognition of at least one symptom occurred in more than 50% of patients. Underrecognition was more common in Black patients and those seen by male physicians. The authors suggest that interventions to improve communication between providers and patients may not only improve outcomes but also reduce racial disparities.