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1 - 20 of 61

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.

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.
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.
DeMarco P. Globe Magazine. November 3, 2018.
This magazine article reports on the preventable death of a patient during an acute asthma attack. Written by the patient's husband, the article outlines the failures that led to her death despite the fact that she was at the door of a hospital emergency department and on the phone with an emergency dispatcher. Factors discussed include overreliance on poorly functioning technology, communication failures, and lack of fail-safes.
Ready T.
Transitions are an error-prone process. This news article reports that organizational leadership should be engaged in enhancing safety of transitions and facilitating design of sustainable improvements. The article also highlights successful interventions that have benefited from leadership engagement, such as the I-PASS program.

ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute Care Edition. May 18, 2017;22:1-4.

Verbal orders are known to increase risk of error in care. This newsletter article summarizes survey results that sought to characterize current verbal order behaviors. Notably, practices to improve the reliability of verbal orders such as read backs were not optimally integrated in medication processes. The article includes recommendations for organizations, individuals, and teams to improve the safety of verbal orders.
Clements K. Nursing Management (Springhouse). 2017;48.
High reliability has yet to be achieved in health care organizations. This magazine article described how a 13-hospital health system used handoff standardization tools such as I-PASS to enhance the reliability of patient transitions.
Gardner LA. PA-PSRS Patient Saf Advis. 2016;13:58-65.
Insufficient health literacy is a known patient safety hazard. This article reviews incidents submitted to a state reporting initiative where insufficient patient understanding may have played a role in delayed or missed care and describes a program to encourage adoption of teach-back and other strategies to help patients better comprehend their health care instructions. A past PSNet perspective discussed the role of health literacy in patient safety.
Khullar D.
Preventing readmissions after hospital discharge is a national policy priority. This newspaper article discusses how poor communication between hospital-based and outpatient physicians, lack of involvement of the frontline care team in the discharge process, and production pressures can diminish the safety of discharge. The piece also describes strategies to enhance transitions and reduce readmission rates.
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.

Betbeze P. HealthLeaders Media. May 2, 2014.

Reporting on how misinterpretation of advance directives and living wills can detract from patient safety, this news article reveals insights from a physician who developed a checklist poster to provide decision support for clinicians and recommends standardization of the forms to reduce risks.