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Ensuring maternal safety is a patient safety priority. This library reflects a curated selection of PSNet content focused on improving maternal safety. Included resources explore strategies with the potential to improve maternal care delivery and outcomes, such as high reliability, care standardization, teamwork, unit-based safety initiatives, and trigger tools.

Kritz F. Shots. National Public Radio; May 24, 2021.

Health literacy efforts address challenges related to both language and effective communication tactics. This story discussed how lack of language and information clarity reduced patient education effectiveness during the pandemic and highlights several efforts to address them including information product translation services.

Dolan J, Mejia B. Los Angeles Times. September 30, 2020.

Socioeconomic conditions influence access to health care, and as a result, reduce its safety and reliability. This story describes how inequity can affect the care of disadvantaged patient populations and shares data on wait times for specialty care in Los Angeles County that contributed to costly diagnostic and treatment delays.
Waldman A, Kaplan J. ProPublica. 2020.
Hospitals have been deeply challenged to provide effective care during the COVID crisis. This article discusses how rationing and ineffective protection for families and patients may have contributed to preventable death and the spread of the virus in families due to unnecessary referrals of patients to home care and hospice.

Brodwin E. Stat News. April 14, 2020.

Patients with cancer and other chronic disorder treatment needs have been negatively affected by the restructuring of services to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. This story discusses company strategies to prepare to virtually support patients with a range of conditions. The author shares communication and support tactics to keep patients safe until they can get their appointments.

Alesse L, Dukakis A, Tatum S, Mosk M. ABC News. March 20, 2020.

Delays in elective surgery and other procedures have the potential to lessen safe patient care. This news story describes the decision-making dilemma for physicians to limit patient access to care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their concern is that the delays have the potential to result in diagnostic and treatment service deviations that could result in harm.

Linnane R, Diedrich J. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. February 25, 2020.

Delays in emergency room (ER) triage and assessment contribute to wide range of failures that degrade patient safety. This news story highlights the findings of a government report highlighting overcrowding and production pressures as factors resulting in the death of a patient waiting for care who initially presented at the ER with symptoms of heart attack.
Bendix J. Med Econ. November 25, 2019;96(23);10-14.
Implicit biases can compromise decision making due to the effect they can have on heuristics, communication and patient/physician communication. This article shares reasons for these biases and shares tactics to minimize their impacts which include being mindful of biases and a personalized approach to patients.
Butcher L.
Inconsistent patient name entry practices in electronic health records can contribute to wrong-patient errors. This magazine article reports on the complex nature of addressing patient-matching discrepancies as an economic, privacy, and technical problem. Improvement strategies include the development and adoption of a national identification program and biometric technology. A WebM&M commentary discussed problems associated with name similarities in the electronic patient record.
Cierniak KH; Gaunt MJ; Grissinger M.
The operating room environment harbors particular patient safety hazards. Drawing from 1137 perioperative medication error reports submitted over a 1-year period, this analysis found that more than half of the recorded incidents reached the patient and the majority of those stemmed from communication breakdowns during transitions or handoffs. The authors provide recommendations to reduce risks of error, including using barcode medication administration, standardizing handoff procedures, and stocking prefilled syringes.
Simmons-Ritchie D. Penn Live. November 15, 2018.
Nursing home patients are vulnerable to preventable harm due to poor safety culture, insufficient staffing levels, lack of regulation enforcement, and misaligned financial incentives. This news investigation reports on how poor practices resulted in resident harm in Pennsylvania nursing homes and discusses strategies for improvement, such as enhancing investigation processes.