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Rivera-Chiauzzi EY, Smith HA, Moore-Murray T, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e308-e314.
Peer support programs are increasingly used to support clinicians involved in adverse events. This evaluation found that a structured peer support program for providers involved in obstetric adverse events can effectively support providers in short periods of time (for example, 92% of participants did not need follow-up after second peer support contact) and can be initiated with limited resources.
Bennion J, Mansell SK. Br J Hosp Med (Lond). 2021;82:1-8.
Many strategies have been developed to improve recognition of, and response, to clinically deteriorating patients. This review found that simulation-based educational strategies was the most effective educational method for training staff to recognize unwell patients. However, the quality of evidence was low and additional research into simulation-based education is needed.
Petrosoniak A, Fan M, Hicks CM, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2021;30:739-746.
Trauma resuscitation is a complex, specialized process with a high risk for errors. Researchers analyzed videotapes of in situ simulations to evaluate latent safety events occurring during trauma resuscitation. Themes influencing latent safety events related to physical workspace, mental model formation, equipment, unclear accountability, demands exceeding individuals’ capacity, and task-specific issues.
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.
Park Y, Hu J, Singh M, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4:e213909.
Machine learning uses data and statistical methods to enhance risk prediction models and it has been promoted as a tool to improve healthcare safety. Using Medicaid claims data for a large cohort of White and Black pregnant females, this study evaluated approaches to reduce bias in clinical prediction algorithms for postpartum depression and mental health service utilization. The researchers found that a reweighing method in machine learning models was associated with a greater reduction in bias than excluding race from the prediction models. The authors suggest further examination of potentially biased data informing clinical prediction models and consideration of other methods to mitigate bias.
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.
Finney RE, Torbenson VE, Riggan KA, et al. J Nurs Manag. 2021;29:642-652.
Healthcare professionals who experience emotional consequences after adverse events are referred to as ‘second victims’. Nearly half of nurses responding to this survey reported ‘second victim’ events during their career and experienced psychological distress, greater turnover intention, decreased professional self-efficacy, and lack of institutional support. Nurse respondents expressed desires for more peer support interventions for ‘second victim’ experiences.
Pelaccia T, Messman AM, Kline JA. Patient Edu Couns. 2020;103:1650-1656.
The hectic and complex environment of emergency care can reduce diagnostic safety. This article discusses clinical reasoning and decision-making strategies used by emergency medicine physicians, contributing factors to diagnostic errors occurring in emergency medicine (e.g., overconfidence, cognitive stress, anchoring bias), and strategies to reduce the risk of error. A previous WebM&M commentary discussed an incident involving diagnostic delay in the emergency department.
Kern-Goldberger AR, Adelman J, Applebaum JR, et al. Obstet Gynecol. 2020;136:161-166.
This commentary presents two cases of near-miss wrong-patient order errors between mother-newborn pairs and discusses the unique threat the postpartum setting presents to electronic order safety. The article highlights opportunities for systems improvement.
Fasano HT, McCarter MSJ, Simonis JM, et al. Simul Healthc. 2021;6:85-91.
This study explored disparities in physician decision making among patients of varying socioeconomic status (SES) during simulated scenarios. While quantitative analyses did not identify a significant relationship between SES and image or medication ordering, patient-perceived empathy, or clinical performance, qualitative analyses identified three themes which may bias decision making – overt diagnostic focus, discharge planning, and risk and exposure.
Howlett MM, Butler E, Lavelle KM, et al. Appl Clin Inform. 2020;11.
Using a pre-post approach, this study assessed the impact of implementing electronic prescribing and smart pump-facilitated standard concentration infusions on medication errors in a pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). The overall error rates were similar before and after implementation but the error types changed before and after implementation of these tools. After implementation, lack of clarity, incomplete orders and wrong unit errors were reduced but dosing errors, altered orders and duplicate errors increased. Pre-implementation, 78% of errors were deemed preventable by electronic prescribing and smart-pumps; post-implementation 27% of errors were attributed to the technology and would not have occurred if the order was not electronically created or administered via the smart-pump.
Fortman E, Hettinger AZ, Howe JL, et al. J Am Med Inform Asso. 2020.
Physicians from different health systems using two computerized provider order entry (CPOE) systems participated in simulated patient scenarios using eye movement recordings to determine whether the physician looked at patient-identifying information when placing orders. The rate of patient identification overall was 62%, but the rate varied by CPOE system. An expert panel identified three potential reasons for this variation – visual clutter and information density, the number of charts open at any given time, and the importance placed on patient identification verification by institutions.  
Isbell LM, Boudreaux ED, Chimowitz H, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2020;29:815–825.
Research has suggested that health care providers’ emotions may impact patient safety. These authors conducted 86 semi-structured interviews with emergency department (ED) nurses and physicians to better understand their emotional triggers, beliefs about emotional influences on patient safety, and emotional management strategies. Patients often triggered both positive and negative emotions; hospital- or systems-level factors primarily triggered negative emotions. Providers were aware that negative emotions can adversely impact clinical decision-making and place patients at risk; future research should explore whether emotional regulation strategies can mitigate these safety risks.
Isbell LM, Tager J, Beals K, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2020;29:803-814.
Providers’emotional state can affect clinical decision-making and patient safety. In this study, ED nurses and physicians recalled three patient experiences (an angry encounter, a positive encounter and a mental health encounter) and rated their emotions and engagement in the encounters and their perception of how their emotions impacted their decisions and behavior. Perceived patient safety risks were higher during angry and mental health encounters positive encounters were associated with perceptions of higher quality care. These findings highlight the importance of educating clinicians about emotional influences and how to manage them as well as the need for research to explore evidence-based interventions to mitigate emotion-induced patient safety risks.
Appelbaum N, Clarke J, Feather C, et al. BMJ Open. 2019;9:e032686.
While medication errors during paediatric resuscitation are considered common, little information about the processes that contribute to them has been gathered. This prospective observational study in a large English teaching hospital describes the incidence, nature and severity of medication errors made by 15 teams, each comprised of two doctors and two nurses, during simulated paediatric resuscitations. Clinically significant errors were made in 11 of the 15 cases, most due to discrepancies in drug ordering, preparation and administration. The authors recommend additional research into new approaches to protecting patients in paediatric emergency settings.
Sheetz KH, Dimick JB. JAMA. 2019;321:1971-1972.
The FDA recently raised awareness of the potential risks associated with the use of robotic-assisted surgical devices in mastectomies or cancer-related care. This commentary spotlights how payers, hospitals, and clinicians can prevent harm related to robotic surgical device use. Strategies to improve safety include enhanced credentialing, device-specific training, and informed consent. A WebM&M commentary discussed an incident of harm associated with robotic-assisted surgery.
Sun E, Mello MM, Rishel CA, et al. JAMA. 2019;321:762-772.
Scheduling overlapping surgeries has raised substantial patient safety concerns. However, research regarding the impact of concurrent surgery on patient outcomes has produced conflicting results. In this multicenter retrospective cohort study, researchers examined the relationship between overlapping surgery and mortality, postoperative complications, and surgery duration for 66,430 surgeries between January 2010 and May 2018. Although overlapping surgery was not significantly associated with an increase in mortality or complications overall, researchers did find a significant association between overlapping surgery and increased length of surgery. An accompanying editorial discusses the role of overlapping surgery in promoting the autonomy of those in surgical training and suggests that further research is needed to settle the debate regarding the impact of overlapping surgery on patient safety.
Kozhimannil KB. Health Aff (Millwood). 2018;37:1901-1904.
Maternal harm is a sentinel event that is gaining increased attention in both policy and clinical environments. In this commentary, the author relates her family history of maternal morbidity and mortality and advocates for enhancements in collecting data on maternal health outcomes, access to care, understanding of racial disparities, accountability, and listening to patients and families who have been impacted by unsafe maternal care.
Schnapp BH, Sun JE, Kim JL, et al. Diagnosis (Berl). 2018;5:135-142.
In 2015, the National Academy of Medicine called for renewed focus on reducing diagnostic error. Among patients admitted to the hospital shortly after discharge home from the emergency department, researchers found that 19% of cases involved a cognitive error, such as faulty information processing or inaccurate data verification, which may contribute to diagnostic errors.