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James L, Elkins-Brown N, Wilson M, et al. Int J Nurs Stud. 2021;123:104041.
Many hospitals have adopted a 12-hour work shift for nurses and some studies have shown a resulting increase in burnout and decrease in patient safety. In this study, researchers assessed simulated nursing performance, cognition, and sleepiness in day nurses and night nurses who worked three consecutive 12-hour shifts. Overall results indicated nurses on both shifts mostly maintain their abilities on the simulated nursing performance assessment despite reporting increased sleepiness and fatigue. However there was more individual variation in cognition and some domains of performance.
Cecil E, Bottle A, Majeed A, et al. Br J Gen Pract. 2021;71(708):e547-e554.
There has been an increased focus on patient safety, including missed diagnosis, in primary care in recent years. This cohort study evaluated the incidence of emergency hospital admission within 3 days of a visit with a GP with missed sepsis, ectopic pregnancy, urinary tract infection or pulmonary embolism. Shorter duration of appointment and telephone appointment (compared with in person) were associated with increased incidence of self-referred emergency hospital admission.
Taylor E, Hignett S. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021;18(15):7780.
Informed environmental features, such as the built environment, can improve safety outcomes. The authors propose a theoretic model and matrix (DEEP SCOPE; DEsigning with Ergonomic Principles – Safety as Complexity of the Organization, People, and Environment) intended to synthesize design interventions into a systems-based model using the principles of human factors and ergonomics.
Ceschi A, Noseda R, Pironi M, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(9):e2124672.
Medication reconciliation at hospital discharge can result in reduction of adverse events when the patient returns to the community. This study measured the effect of medication reconciliation performed at admission to hospital on subsequent health care outcomes. For patients ages 85 years and older, taking more than 10 medications at hospital admission, or both, medication reconciliation at admission did not have an impact on 30-day readmission to hospital.
Hu X, Casey T. J Adv Nurs. 2021;77(9):3733-3744.
Speaking up about concerns is essential to improving safety, but prior research has found that many healthcare workers do not feel comfortable speaking up. In this study, staff members from a disability healthcare organization in Australia responded to a questionnaire regarding organizational identification and culture of safety. Findings highlight the importance of organizational identification and management commitment to safety and psychological safety in promoting speaking up behaviors.
Sauro KM, Machan M, Whalen-Browne L, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;Epub Sep 2.
Hospital adverse events are common and can contribute to serious patient harm. This systematic review included 94 studies (representing 590 million admissions from 25 countries) examining trends in hospital adverse events from 1961 to 2014. Findings indicate that hospital adverse events have increased over time and that over half are considered preventable.

Betsy Lehman Center. September 2021.

Clinicians involved in adverse events that harm patients can struggle to come to terms with error. This toolkit is designed to assist organizations in the development of initiatives to support clinicians and staff after an adverse event. Areas of focus include leadership buy-in, policy development, and training. An implementation guide is also provided.
Ellis R, Hardie JA, Summerton DJ, et al. Surg. 2021;59(7):752-756.
Many non-urgent, non-cancer surgeries were postponed or canceled during COVID-19 surges resulting in a potential loss of surgeons’ “currency”. This commentary discusses the benefits of, and barriers to, dual surgeon operating as a way to increase currency as elective surgeries are resumed.
Buljac-Samardzic M, Dekker-van Doorn C, van Wijngaarden JDH. J Patient Saf. 2021;17(7):490-496.
Emotional exhaustion and burnout among healthcare workers can jeopardize patient safety. This survey of caregivers from two long-term care organizations found that psychological detachment – the ability to separate oneself from the job and focusing on other areas of life – positively affects patient safety and may contribute to less burnout.
Martin GP, Chew S, Dixon-Woods M. Soc Sci Med. 2021;287:114375.
Engaging patients and families in patient safety efforts and encouraging them to speak up about concerns is an ongoing healthcare priority. Based on narrative interviews with people raising and responding to concerns and complaints in six English National Health Service (NHS) organizations, this study explored how substandard responses to concerns and complaints can lead to organizational failures.
Weiner-Lastinger LM, Pattabiraman V, Konnor RY, et al. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2021;Epub Sept 13.
Using data reported to the National Healthcare Safety Network, this study identified significant increases in the incidence of healthcare-associated infections from 2019 to 2020. The authors conclude that these findings suggest a need to return to conventional infection control and prevention practices and prepare for future pandemics.
D'Angelo JD, Lund S, Busch RA, et al. Surgery. 2021;170(2):440-445.
This study evaluated the type and effectiveness of resident and faculty coping strategies following an intraoperative error and the interaction with physician gender. Results show that while men and women surgeons experience adverse events at approximately the same rate, the coping methods utilized and effectiveness of the methods varied.
Preston-Suni K, Celedon MA, Cordasco’s KM. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2021;47(10):673-676.
Presenteeism among healthcare workers – continuing to work while sick – has been attributed to various cultural and system factors, such as fear of failing colleagues or patients. This commentary discusses the patient safety and ethical considerations of presenteeism during the COVID-19 pandemic

Pasztor A. Wall Street Journal. September 2, 2021.

Aviation continues to serve as an exemplar for healthcare safety efforts. This story highlights work toward the development of a National Patient Safety Board for medicine to establish a neutral centralized body to examine errors and share improvements driven by a robust self-reporting culture similar to that in commercial aviation.
Cohen JB, Patel SY. Anesth Analg. 2021;133(3):816-820.
Designated safety leadership roles are situated to direct and sustain organizational safety progress. This commentary describes an anesthesiology safety officer function and how it is positioned to motivate staff safety behaviors and support engagement during project challenges.

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.

Clabaugh M, Beal JL, Illingworth Plake KS. J Am Pharm Assoc (2003). 2021;Epub Jun 12.
Patient safety concerns in community pharmacies have been documented in the media. This study sought to examine the association of working conditions and patient safety. Results indicate that while all participants reported negative company climate and workflow, those in chain pharmacies reported significantly more fear of speaking up about patient safety issues than those in independent, big box, or grocery pharmacies.
Hansen J, Terreros A, Sherman A, et al. Pediatrics. 2021;148(3):e2021050555.
Physicians have demonstrated knowledge gaps in accurately diagnosing child maltreatment. This article describes the implementation of a system-wide daily review of patients with concerns of maltreatment, allowing child abuse pediatricians (CAPs) to intervene and address potential errors (e.g., history taking, injury identification, testing for occult injuries, and cognitive analysis) and to identify patients who require immediate intervention. Over a 30-month period, the program identified potential diagnostic errors and safe discharge concerns, many of which led to new or changed diagnoses.