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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.
Mirarchi FL, Cammarata C, Zerkle SW, et al. J Patient Saf. 2015;11:9-17.
This survey of emergency department physicians found that significant confusion in understanding of Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) documents exists. The authors suggest that additional research and training are required to protect patients' decisions. A related study revealed variation in interpretations of POLST orders by prehospital emergency responders. A previous AHRQ WebM&M commentary discusses how confusion in resuscitation status can result in a patient receiving unwanted care.
Dawson S, King L, Grantham H. Emerg Med Australas. 2015;25:393-405.
Handoffs between care settings can lead to adverse events. This literature review analyzed 17 studies of handoffs between prehospital first responders and emergency department (ED) staff. Safety gaps detected included communication barriers, lack of a structured communication tool, and unclear identification of the receiving clinical staff. The authors suggest that a structured handoff tool could improve first responder–ED handoffs. A past AHRQ WebM&M commentary discussed communication failures between providers and highlighted a need for standard handoff protocols.
Gustafsson M, Wennerholm S, Fridlund B. Intensive Crit Care Nurs. 2010;26:138-45.
Few studies have addressed patient safety issues during inter-hospital patient transport. This Swedish study used critical incident debriefing techniques to explore factors leading to potential safety problems during transport, based on the perceptions of experienced transport nurses.
Gillman L, Leslie G, Williams T, et al. Emerg Med J. 2006;23:858-61.
This study evaluated nearly 300 adverse events that occurred during intrahospital transport, noting that equipment problems and hypothermia were the most common. Investigators combined 6 months of prospective observation with retrospective chart review to characterize the type and nature of events recorded for patients admitted to the intensive care unit from the emergency department. While the overall rates were lower than reported in past research, the authors advocate for using their findings as benchmarks: an adverse event rate of 22 of 100 transfers and 38 of 100 delays in transfer. A case commentary on Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) WebM&M discusses the issue of intrahospital transport with suggestions for improving the safety of this poorly studied process.