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Fawzy A, Wu TD, Wang K, et al. JAMA Intern Med. 2022;Epub May 31.
Black and brown patients have experienced disproportionately poorer outcomes from COVID-19 infection as compared with white patients. This study found that patients who identified as Asian, Black, or Hispanic may not have received timely diagnosis or treatment due to inaccurately measured pulse oximetry (SpO2). These inaccuracies and discrepancies should be considered in COVID outcome research as well as other respiratory illnesses that rely on SpO2 measurement for treatment.
Baim-Lance A, Ferreira KB, Cohen HJ, et al. J Gen Intern Med. 2022;Epub May 17.
When serious adverse events such as death are reported, they are typically associated with poor patient safety. In some fields of care, however, such as palliative care, deaths are expected and not necessarily an indicator of poor quality. This commentary describes how serious and non-serious adverse events (SAEs/AEs) are currently defined and reported, the associated challenges, and proposes a new approach to reporting SAE/AE in clinical trials. A decision-tree to determine SAE/AE reporting based on the new proposed approach is presented.
Krenzischek DA, Card E, Mamaril M, et al. J Perianesth Nurs. 2022;Epub Apr 27.
Patients and caregivers are important partners in promoting safe care. Findings from this cross-sectional study reinforce the importance of patients’ perceived roles in ensuring safe surgery and highlight the importance of patient engagement in mitigating surgical site errors.
Ramani S, Halpern TA, Akerman M, et al. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2022;226:556.e1-556.e9.
Cesarean delivery can lead to adverse outcomes and is commonly used as a measure of obstetrical quality; however, these measures do not account for preexisting maternal and neonatal morbidities, which may increase risk for cesarean delivery. This article describes the development and testing of a new obstetrical quality measure that integrates cesarean delivery rates adjusted for preexisting high-risk maternal factors as well as maternal and neonatal morbidities. Among obstetricians in one large hospital, researchers found that this metric led to significantly different clinician rankings in terms of obstetrical quality (compared to rankings based on crude or adjusted cesarean delivery rates alone.) The authors suggest that this new metric can help identify opportunities for practice improvement among individual clinicians and institutions.
Lazzara EH, Simonson RJ, Gisick LM, et al. Ergonomics. 2022;Epub Apr 19.
Structured handoffs support appropriate communication between teams or departments when transferring responsibility for care. This meta-analysis aimed to determine if structured, standardized post-operative anesthesia handoffs improved provider, patient, organizational and handoff outcomes. Postoperative outcomes moved in a generally positive direction when compared with non-standardized handoffs. The authors suggest additional research into pre- and intra-operative handoffs is needed.
Baartmans MC, Hooftman J, Zwaan L, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;Epub Apr 21.
Understanding human causes of diagnostic errors can lead to more specific targeted, specific recommendations and interventions. Using three classification instruments, researchers examined a series of serious adverse events related to diagnostic errors in the emergency department. Most of the human errors were based on intended actions and could be classified as mistakes or violations. Errors were more frequently made during the assessment and testing phases of the diagnostic process.
Tate K, McLane P, Reid C, et al. BMJ Open Qual. 2022;11:e001639.
Older adults are vulnerable to patient safety events during care transitions. The Older Persons’ Transitions in Care (OPTIC) study prospectively tracked long-term care residents’ transitions and applied the IOM’s quality of care domains to develop 49 measures for quality of care for the transition process (e.g., safety, timeliness, efficiency, effectiveness, and patient-centered care) between long-term care and emergency department settings.
Navathe AS, Liao JM, Yan XS, et al. Health Aff (Millwood). 2022;41:424-433.
Opioid overdose and misuse continues to be a major public health concern with numerous policy- and organization-level approaches to encourage appropriate clinician prescribing. A northern California health system studied the effects of three interventions (individual audit feedback, peer comparison, both combined) as compared to usual care at several emergency department and urgent care sites. Peer comparison and the combined interventions resulted in a significant decrease in pills per prescription.
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.
Willis E, Brady C. Nurs Open. 2022;9:862-871.
Incomplete nursing care can negatively affect care quality and safety. This rapid review found that missed or omitted nursing care in adults contributes to increased mortality, adverse events, and clinical deterioration. Included studies cited several causes (e.g., environmental factors, staffing levels and skill mix) as well as solutions (e.g., education, process redesign).
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.
Marshall TL, Rinke ML, Olson APJ, et al. Pediatrics. 2022;149:e2020045948D.
Reducing diagnostic errors in pediatric care remains a critical area of research and quality improvement. This narrative review presents the incidence and epidemiology of pediatric diagnostic error and strategies for additional innovative research to develop effective interventions to reduce these errors.
Al-Ghunaim TA, Johnson J, Biyani CS, et al. Am J Surg. 2022;Epub Jan 4.
Burnout in healthcare providers has been linked to lower patient safety and increased adverse events. This systematic review examined studies focusing on the relationship between burnout and patient safety and professionalism in surgeons. Results indicate higher rates of burnout and emotional exhaustion were associated with an increased risk of involvement in medical error. Interventions to reduce burnout and improve surgeon well-being may result in improved patient safety.
Dorken Gallastegi A, Mikdad S, Kapoen C, et al. J Surg Res. 2022;274:185-195.
While interoperative deaths (IODs) are rare, they are catastrophic events. This study analyzed five years of data on IODs from a large academic medical center. The authors describe three phenotypes: patients with traumatic injury, those undergoing non-trauma-related emergency surgery, and patients who die during an elective procedure from medical cardiac arrests or vascular injuries. This classification framework can serve as a foundation for future research or quality improvement processes.
Sun LY, Jones PM, Wijeysundera DN, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5:e2148161.
Previous research identified a relationship between anesthesia handoffs and rates of major complications and mortality compared to patients who had the same anesthesiologist throughout their procedure. This retrospective cohort study including over 102,000 patients in Ontario, Canada, explored this relationship among patients undergoing cardiac surgery. Analyses revealed that anesthesia handovers were associated with poorer outcomes (i.e., higher 30-day and one-year mortality rates, longer hospitalizations and intensive care unit stays) compared with patients who had the same anesthesiologist throughout their procedure.
Klein DO, Rennenberg RJMW, Koopmans RP, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;17:e1234-e1240.
The Harvard Medical Practice Study (HMPS) and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement Global Trigger Tool (GTT) are two of the most widely used trigger tools to identify adverse events and prompt medical record review. Fifty studies using either trigger tool to prompt a medical record review (MRR) for potentially preventable adverse events were included in this literature review. MRR reveals more adverse events than other methods; however, research is still lacking or is of moderate quality. 
Chaudhry NT, Franklin BD, Mohammed S, et al. Pharmacy (Basel). 2021;9:198.
Data that is collected for clinical care and then reused to improve quality of patient care is referred to as secondary use of data (SUD). This review identified enablers and barriers to successful use of SUD to improve medication safety. The authors developed an integrated framework to describe the processes, mechanisms, and barriers for SUD.
Cribb A, O'Hara JK, Waring J. BMJ Qual Saf. 2022;31:327-330.
Patient safety advocates recommend a shift from a blame culture to a just culture. This commentary describes three types of justice that exist in healthcare - retributive, no blame or qualified blame, and restorative. The authors invite debate around the concept of just culture and its role in the “real world”.

Giannetta N, Dionisi S, Villa G, et al. Acta Biomed. 2021;92(S2):e2021503.

Research to identify ways to decrease medication errors and adverse drug events has increased over the years. This novel study assessing ClinicalTrials.gov identified the prevalence of registered studies with the primary outcome of medication errors. Less than 2% of registered studies focused on interventions to reduce adverse drug events.
Harrington L. AACN Adv Crit Care. 2021;32:375-380.
The usability of health information technology, such as electronic health records (EHR), continues to present a patient safety risk. This commentary describes usability issues such as nurses’ cognitive burden (e.g., non-intuitive EHR design) and system malfunctions (e.g., clinical decision support alerts fire for wrong patients). The author recommends that research and resources should focus on simplifying, integrating, and automating data collection.