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Atallah F, Hamm RF, Davidson CM, et al. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2022;227:B2-B10.
The reduction of cognitive bias is generating increased interest as a diagnostic error reduction strategy. This statement introduces the concept of cognitive bias and discusses methods to manage the presence of bias in obstetrics such as debiasing training and teamwork.
Horsham, PA: Institute for Safe Medication Practices; 2022.
This updated report outlines 19 consensus-based best practices to ensure safe medication administration, such as diluted solutions of vincristine in minibags and standardized metrics for patient weight. The set of recommended practices has been reviewed and updated every two years since it was first developed in 2014 to include actions related to eliminating the prescribing of fentanyl patches for acute pain and use of information about medication safety risks from other organizations to motivate improvement efforts. The 2022 update includes new practices that are associated with oxytocin, barcode verification in vaccine administration, and high-alert medications. 

Institute for Safe Medication Practices. Horsham, PA: Institute for Safe Medication Practices; 2020.

Smart pumps are widely available as a medication safety tool yet there are challenges affecting their reliable use. This guideline expands on earlier recommendations  to support smart pump use in both hospitals and the ambulatory setting. The material provides recommendations that address infrastructure, drug libraries, quality improvement data, workflow and electronic health record interoperability concerns.

Sentinel Event Alert. July 30, 2019;(61):1-5.

Anticoagulant medications are known to be high-risk for adverse drug events. Although direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) require less monitoring than warfarin, they are still associated with an increased risk of patient harm if not prescribed and administered correctly. The Joint Commission has issued a new sentinel event alert to raise awareness of the risks related to DOACs, and in particular, the challenges associated with stopping bleeding in patients on these medications. The alert suggests that health care organizations develop patient education materials, policies, and evidence-based guidelines to ensure that DOACs and reversal agents are used appropriately. A past WebM&M commentary discussed common errors related to the use of DOACs.
Billstein-Leber M, Carrillo CJD, Cassano AT, et al. Am J Health-Syst Pharm. 2018;75:1493-1517.
Pharmacists can play an important role in medication error reduction efforts across health care systems. This document provides recommendations and best practices for health-system pharmacists to improve safety throughout the medication-use process.
AORN J. 2018;108:64-65.
Categorizing human error as a criminal act can deter reporting required to learn from incidents and improve practice. This position statement articulates the importance of avoiding this approach for unintentional perioperative nursing errors to ensure the open communication needed to support the safety of clinicians, organizations, and patients.
Obstet Gynecol. 2016;128:e54-60.
Incidents involving maternal harm require analysis to provide learning and assist design of prevention strategies. This consensus document outlines an organizational process to determine cases for review and provides a set of diagnostic and complication screening criteria to assess severe maternal morbidity incidents for quality review. The document supersedes the Sentinel Event Alert on maternal harm.

Geneva: World Health Organization; 2018. ISBN-13: 978-92-4-155047-5.

Efforts to reduce surgical site infections have achieved some success. The World Health Organization has taken a leading role in eliminating health care–associated harms and has compiled guidelines to address factors that contribute to surgical site infections in preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative care. The document includes recommendations for improvement informed by the latest evidence. The second edition of the Guidelines was released in 2018.

American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Pediatric Emergency Medicine, American College of Emergency Physicians Pediatric Emergency Medicine Committee, Emergency Nurses Association Pediatric Committee. Pediatrics. 2016;138:e20162680.

Improvement efforts have focused on care transitions, which are known to be vulnerable to communication failures. This guideline provides recommendations for ensuring handoffs are performed in pediatric emergency care and suggests adherence to standard communication methods, coupled with effective training on the use of those tools, can improve the safety of transitions.
London, UK: Royal College of Surgeons of England; 2016.
Biases can affect decision making and behaviors toward colleagues and patients. This guidance provides information for surgeons to help them identify individual and organizational biases and to address disrespectful behaviors through training and peer support mechanisms.

NHS England Patient Safety Domain, National Safety Standards for Invasive Procedures Group. London, UK: National Health Service; 2015.

Patients face risks when undergoing invasive procedures. This report provides recommendations developed by multidisciplinary consensus and outlines how organizations can implement the standards to improve safety of invasive procedures.
Putnam K. AORN J. 2015;102:P11-P13.
Retained surgical items are considered a sentinel event in perioperative care. This guideline suggests strategies such as improving team communication, standardizing protocols for surgical counts, and limiting distractions to address this persisting problem.

Sentinel Event Alert. August 20, 2014;(53):1-6.

The Joint Commission issues sentinel event alerts in response to significant emerging safety risks for events which carry high risk and require immediate action. This alert reports on new standards for tubing connectors to prevent injury from incorrect administration of therapeutic agents. New ISO (International Organization for Standardization) standards prevent one type of tubing (such as intravenous) to be incorrectly attached to a different delivery system (such as a feeding tube.) The Joint Commission recommends multidisciplinary review of existing tubing connectors, maintaining awareness of the possibility for incorrect connections, and preparing and adopting safety connectors as soon as they are available in late 2014. A past AHRQ WebM&M commentary describes an administration error due to incorrect tubing connection.
Ellingson K, Haas JP, Aiello AE, et al. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2014;35:937-960.
Hand hygiene adherence is a key target for improving patient safety. This guideline offers an overview of evidence-based strategies to monitor and promote hand hygiene, including resources developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization's "5 moments" program. The authors provide detailed practice recommendations to increase hand hygiene compliance as a way to reduce health care–associated infections. The guideline is one of the 2014 infection control compendium updates published in the journal.
Sentinel Event Alert. 2014;June 16:1-6.
The Joint Commission has issued a sentinel event alert regarding infections caused by the misuse of vials, prompted by at least 49 outbreaks related to this problem since 2001. The reuse of single-dose vials has resulted in documented transmission of bacteria and hepatitis B and C viruses. Most outbreaks occurred in hospitals, but a large number of cases also came from outpatient pain management and cancer clinics. More than 150,000 patients required notification and further testing due to concern of potential exposure to unsafe injections. This alert outlines recommendations and potential strategies for improvement, including resources related to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) One & Only Campaign, which promotes using "one needle, one syringe, only one time." The report also emphasizes teaching safe practices and establishing safety culture. CDC has previously issued guidelines on appropriate use of single-dose vials.
Talbot TR, Bratzler DW, Carrico RM, et al. Ann Intern Med. 2013;159:631-635.
Public reporting of health care–associated infection rates serves as a key measure for quality in hospitals. This commentary reveals limitations to using these metrics, such as variation in definitions, and outlines standards to guide the collection and utilization of surveillance data.
Irving, TX: American College of Emergency Physicians; 2014.
This guidance recognizes risks associated with emergency medical services and provides recommendations to support the implementation of a safety culture in this setting.