Eldridge N, Wang Y, Metersky M, et al. JAMA. 2022;328:173.
Improving patient safety in hospitals is a longstanding national priority. Using longitudinal Medicare data from 2010 to 2019, this study identified a significant decrease in the rates of adverse events (e.g., adverse drug events, hospital-acquired infections, postoperative adverse events, hospital-acquired pressure ulcers, falls) over time among patients hospitalized for four common conditions – acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, pneumonia, and surgical procedures.
Nowak B, Schwendimann R, Lyrer P, et al. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022;19:2796.
Diagnostic error and misdiagnosis of stroke patients can lead to preventable adverse events, such as treatment delays and adverse outcomes. Researchers at a Swiss hospital retrospective reviewed patients admitted for transient ischemic attack (TIA) or ischemic stroke and found that a trigger tool could accurately identify preventable events among patients with adverse events and no-harm incidents. The most common preventable events were medication events, pressure injuries, and healthcare-associated infections.
Damoiseaux-Volman BA, Raven K, Sent D, et al. Age Ageing. 2022;51:afab205.
According to an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality study, an estimated 700,000 to 1 million hospitalized patients fall each year. This study assessed the impact of potentially inappropriate medications (PIM) on falls in older adults and compared the impact of three deprescribing tools on inpatient falls. PIMs identified by section K of the Screening Tool of Older Persons' Prescriptions (STOPP) had the strongest association with inpatient falls.
Lyndon A, Simpson KR, Spetz J, et al. Appl Nurs Res. 2022;63:151516.
Missed nursing care appears to be associated with higher rates of adverse events. More than 3,600 registered nurses (RNs) were surveyed about missed care during labor and birth in the United States. Three aspects of nursing care were reported missing by respondents: thorough review of prenatal records, missed timely documentation of maternal-fetal assessments, and failure to monitor input and output.
Patient isolation for infection prevention and control may result in unintended consequences. This systematic review examined adverse physical and psychosocial events associated with patient isolation. A meta-analysis of seven observational studies showed no adverse events related to clinical care or patient experience with isolation.
Okpalauwaekwe U, Tzeng H-M. Patient Relat Outcome Meas. 2021;12:323-337.
Patients transferred from hospitals to skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) are vulnerable to adverse events. This scoping review identified common extrinsic factors contributing to adverse events among older adults during rehabilitation stays at skilled nursing facilities, including inappropriate medication usage, polypharmacy, environmental hazards, poor communication between staff, lack of resident safety plans, and poor quality of care due to racial bias, organizational issues, and administrative issues.
Gillespie BM, Harbeck EL, Rattray M, et al. Int J Surg. 2021;95:106136.
Surgical site infections (SSI) are a common, yet largely preventable, complication of surgery which can result in increased length of stay and hospital readmission. In this review of 57 studies, the cumulative incidence of SSI was 11% in adult general surgical patients and was associated with increased length of stay (with variation by types of surgery).
Kuznetsova M, Frits ML, Dulgarian S, et al. JAMIA Open. 2021;4:ooab096.
Dashboards can be used to synthesize data and visualize patient safety indicators and metrics to facilitate decision-making. The authors reviewed design features of patient safety dashboards from 10 hospitals and discuss the variation in the use of performance indicators, style, and timeframe for displayed metrics. The authors suggest that future research explore how specific design elements contribute to usability, and which approaches are associated with improved outcomes.
Patient boarding in the emergency department (ED) can result in patient harm. This review explored the association between boarding in the ED and quality of care, outcomes, and adverse events. Increased boarding time was associated with poorer quality of care and outcomes.
van der Kooi T, Lepape A, Astagneau P, et al. Euro Surveill. 2021;26.
Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) contribute to patient morbidity and mortality every year. Three mortality review measures were developed to measure the potential contribution of HAIs to patient death. All three measures showed acceptable feasibility, validity, and reproducibility in HAI surveillance.
Mangal S, Pho A, Arcia A, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2021;47:591-603.
Interventions to prevent catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI) can include multiple components such as checklists and provider communication. This systematic review focused on CAUTI prevention interventions that included patient and family engagement. All included studies showed some improvement in CAUTI rates and/or patient- and family-related outcomes. Future research is needed to develop more generalizable interventions.
Marang-van de Mheen PJ, Vincent CA. BMJ Qual Saf. 2021;30:525-528.
Research has shown that patients admitted to the hospital on the weekend may experience worse outcomes compared to those admitted on weekdays (the ‘weekend effect’). This editorial highlights the challenges to empirically evaluate the underlying mechanisms contributing to the weekend effect. The authors propose viewing the weekend effect as a proxy for staffing levels and the influence of other factors influencing outcomes for patients admitted on weekends, such as patient acuity, clinician skill-mix and access to diagnostic tests or other ancillary services.
Pati D, Valipoor S, Lorusso L, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;17:273-281.
Decreasing inpatient falls requires improvements in both processes of care and the care environment. This integrative review found that some elements of the built environments have not been rigorously examined and concluded that objective and actionable knowledge on physical design solutions to reduce falls is limited.
Farhat A, Al‐Hajje A, Csajka C, et al. J Clin Pharm Ther. 2021;46:877-886.
Several tools have been developed to reduce potentially inappropriate prescribing. This study explored the economic and clinical impacts of two tools, STOPP/START and FORTA (Fit fOR The Aged list). Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) using those tools demonstrated significant clinical and economic impact in geriatric and internal medicine. Due to the low number of RCT studies evaluating these tools, additional studies are warranted.
Barbash IJ, Davis BS, Yabes JG, et al. Ann Intern Med. 2021;174:927-935.
Starting in 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has required hospitals to report adherence to the Severe Sepsis and Septic Shock Early Management Bundle (SEP-1). This study examined sepsis patient encounters at one health system two years before and two years after SEP-1 implementation. Results indicate variable changes in process measures but no improvement in clinical outcomes. The authors suggest revising the measure with more flexible guidelines that allow clinician discretion may improve patient outcomes.
Lippke S, Derksen C, Keller FM, et al. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021;18:2616.
Communication is an essential component of safe patient care. This review of 71 studies found that communication training interventions in obstetrics can improve communication skills and behavior, particularly when combined with team training. The authors identified a lack of evidence regarding the effect of communication trainings on patient safety outcomes and suggest that future research should assess this relationship. Study findings underscore the need for adequate communication trainings to be provided to all staff and expectant mothers and their partners.
Connolly W, Li B, Conroy RM, et al. J Patient Saf. 2020;17:141-148.
Since the release of To Err is Human, health systems have undertaken a multitude of patient safety initiatives to reduce adverse events. Findings from this systematic review demonstrate minimal reduction in overall risk of adverse event rates that can be attributed to implementation of large-scale patient safety initiatives (e.g. Global Trigger tool in inpatient and geriatric settings). The meta-analysis of included studies estimated one adverse event prevented for every 59 hospital admissions. The authors note a need for more research (particularly large-scale implementation studies) to establish the effectiveness of such initiatives.
Abbas M, Robalo Nunes T, Martischang R, et al. Antimicrob Resist Infect Control. 2021;10:7.
The large burden placed on hospitals and healthcare providers during the COVID-19 pandemic has raised concerns about nosocomial transmission of the virus. This narrative review summarizes existing reports on nosocomial outbreaks of COVID-19 and the strategies health systems have implemented to control healthcare-associated outbreaks. The authors found little evidence describing the role of healthcare workers in reducing or amplifying infection transmission in healthcare settings.
Han D, Khadka A, McConnell M, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3:e2024589.
Unexpected death or serious disability of a newborn is considered a never event. A cross-sectional analysis including over 5 million births between 2011 and 2017 in the United States found unexpected newborn death was associated with a significant increase in use of procedures to avert or mitigate fetal distress and newborn complications (e.g., cesarean delivery, antibiotic use for suspected sepsis). These findings could reflect increased caution among clinicals or indicate more proactive attempts to identify and address potential complications.
Decormeille G, Maurer-Maouchi V, Mercier G, et al. Crit Care Med. 2021;49:e20-e30.
Common nursing procedures, such as bathing patients in their beds, can result in physiologic changes or accidental displacement of medical devices that may be dangerous to the patient. This study of 254 intensive care patients across Western Europe found that serious adverse events occurred in half of patients during bed bathing.
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