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The medication-use process is highly complex with many steps and risk points for error, and those errors are a key target for improving safety. This Library reflects a curated selection of PSNet content focused on medication and drug errors. Included resources explore understanding harms from preventable medication use, medication safety improvement strategies, and resources for design.

Ellis NT, Broaddus A. CNN. August 25, 2021. 

Maternal safety is an ongoing challenge worldwide. This news feature examines how the COVID pandemic has revealed disparities and implicit biases that impact the maternal care of black women. The stories shared highlight experiences of mothers with preventable pregnancy-related complications.

Ensuring maternal safety is a patient safety priority. This library reflects a curated selection of PSNet content focused on improving maternal safety. Included resources explore strategies with the potential to improve maternal care delivery and outcomes, such as high reliability, care standardization, teamwork, unit-based safety initiatives, and trigger tools.

ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute care edition. June 3, 2021; 26(11): 1-5.

Concentrated potassium chloride is a high-alert medication for which dosing errors are particularly injurious. This article shares the root causes of IV-push missteps with this medication during a code. Recommendations for improvement shared center on team characteristics and communication.

Cornelissen C, Call RC, Harbell MW, et al. APSF Newsletter. February 202136(1);25-27

Error disclosure is supported by a robust safety culture and a defined communication and management approach. This article discusses the engagement of anesthesiologists in the disclosure processes to ensure learning, patient centeredness, and care improvement.

Armstrong D. Allen M. ProPublica. February 18, 2021.

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed systemic weaknesses in health care access and delivery. This story examines how equipment shortages affected treatment decisions to culminate in rationing of needed therapies and contributed to patient deaths.

Ofri D. New York Times. January 5, 2021. 

Physicians have unique perspectives when exposed to health care delivery problems as patients themselves or as caregivers. This news story shares the author’s frustrations with the system of care observed during an overnight visit at the bedside of her daughter awaiting an emergency appendectomy. Her experience underscored the value of patients and families engaging in the safety of actions clinicians take when providing care. 

Yong E. The Atlantic. November 13, 2020.

Stressful working conditions are known to increase the potential for medical mistakes. This article shares the perspectives of acute care staff about the emotional and physical toll they've experienced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dembosky A. All Things Considered. National Public Radio. October 15, 2020.

Physician implicit bias is gaining attention as a patient safety concern. This piece shares a story of ineffective care delivery to a patient with COVID-19 as context for the discussion. Hospital tactics to address the problem such as training and use of patient survey data to motivate individual action are reviewed.   

ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute Care Edition. October 8, 2020;25(20):1-4

In-depth investigations provide multidisciplinary insights that inform sustainable improvement opportunities. This newsletter story highlights a drug administration error examination by a dedicated office in the United Kingdom highlight the value of a commitment to deep, non-punitive analysis of patient safety incidents to enable transparency and learning.

Horowitz SH. Washington Post. October 4, 2020.

The harm of misdiagnosis can be extended by lack of clinician recognition and acceptance of the error when a patient raises concerns. This news story shares the experience of a physician-patient whose recognition of a diagnostic mistake was initially dismissed. The author defines the repeated lack of organizational willingness to resolve the situation as a normalized deviance in health care.
Clifford S. The Atlantic. 2020;August 20.
Diagnostic decision-making is susceptible to cognitive biases and error in stressful situations. This feature article illustrates how misdiagnosed child abuse can not only affect the patient but create collateral damage to the families involved.