Passwater M, Huggins YM, Delvo Favre ED, et al. Am J Clin Pathol. 2022;158:212-215.
Wrong blood in tube (WBIT) errors are rare but can lead to complications. One hospital implemented a quality improvement project to reduce WBIT errors with electronic patient identification, manual independent dual verification, and staff education. WBIT errors were significantly reduced and sustained over six years.
Wrong blood in tube (WBIT) errors can be classified as intended patient drawn/wrong label applied or wrong patient/intended label applied. In this international study, errors were divided almost evenly between the two types and most were a combination of protocol violations (e.g. technology not used or not used appropriately) and slips/lapses (e.g., registration errors). Additional contributory factors and recommendations for improvement are also discussed.
Abraham P, Augey L, Duclos A, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;17:e615-e621.
Patient misidentification errors are common and potentially catastrophic. Patient identification incidents reported in one hospital were examined to identify errors and contributory factors. Of the 293 reported incidents, the most common errors were missing wristbands, wrong charts or notes in files, administrative issues, and wrong labeling. The most frequent contributory factors include absence of patient identity control, patient transfer, and emergency context.
Dunbar NM, Delaney M, Murphy MF, et al. Transfusion (Paris). 2021;61:2601-2610.
Transfusion errors can have serious consequences. This study compared wrong blood in tube (WBIT) errors in 9 countries across three settings: emergency department, inpatient, and outpatient. Results show emergency department WBIT errors were significantly higher in emergency departments, and that electronic positive patient identification (ePPID) significantly reduced WBIT errors in the emergency department, but not in inpatient or outpatient wards.
Kern-Goldberger AR, Kneifati-Hayek J, Fernandes Y, et al. Obstet Gynecol. 2021;138:229-235.
Patient misidentification errors can result in serious patient harm. The authors reviewed over 1.3 million electronic orders for inpatients at one New York hospital between 2016 and 2018 and found that wrong-patient order errors occurred more frequently on obstetric units than medical-surgical units. Medication errors were the largest source of order errors and commonly involved antibiotics and opioid and non-opioid analgesics.
Olivarius‐McAllister J, Pandit M, Sykes A, et al. Anaesthesia. 2021;76:1616-1624.
UK Regulators measure never events to assess hospital safety culture and dictate reimbursement. The authors suggest that regulators focus on reducing the national never event rate through shared learning and an integrated system-wide approach, rather than concentrating on underperforming, outlier hospitals where factors such as safety culture maybe contributing to increased rates of never events.
Omar I, Graham Y, Singhal R, et al. World J Surg. 2021;45:697-704.
Never events can result in serious patient harm and indicate serious underlying organizational safety problems. This study analyzed never events occurring between 2012 and 2020 in the National Health Services and categorized 51 common never events into four categories – wrong site surgery (40% of events); retained foreign objects post-procedure (28%); wrong implant/prosthesis (13%); and non-surgical/infrequent never events (19%). Awareness of these themes may support focused efforts to reduce their incidence and development of specific local safety standards.
Omar I, Singhal R, Wilson M, et al. Int J Qual Health Care. 2021;33:mzab045.
Never events, a significant type of adverse event, should never occur in healthcare. This study analyzed 797 surgical never events that occurred from April 2012 to February 2020 in the National Health Service (NHS) England and categorized them into three main categories: wrong-site surgery (53.58%), retained items post-procedure (44.54%), and wrong implant/prosthesis (1.88%). In total 56 common general surgery never events have been found. Being aware of the common themes may help providers to develop more effective strategies to prevent these adverse events.
Kim T, Howe J, Franklin E, et al. Patient Safety. 2020;2(4):40–57.
Patient misidentification errors have the potential for serious patient harm. This study analyzed the processes of care involved in 1,189 wrong-patient events. Most errors occurred during ordering/prescribing (42%). One-quarter of all events reached the patient, most commonly involving inappropriate medication administration or receiving the wrong test or procedure. Errors caught before reaching the patient were primarily attributed to information review by nurses, technicians, or other healthcare staff. The authors recommend several strategies for reducing wrong-patient errors.
Kobo-Greenhut A, Sharlin O, Adler Y, et al. Int J Qual Health Care. 2021;33:mzaa151.
Failure mode and effect analysis (FMEA) is used to asses risk in various heath care processes. This study found that an algorithmic prediction of failure modes in healthcare (APFMH) is more effective in identifying hazards and uses fewer resources (time and human resource investment) than traditional FMEA.
Transfusion errors can have serious consequences. This retrospective analysis used a Canadian national database to characterize patient registration-related errors in the blood transfusion process. Findings indicate that registration errors most commonly occur in outpatient areas and emergency departments and can lead to delays in transfusion.
Shaikh U, Natale JAE, Till DA, et al. Pediatr Emerg Care. 2022;38:e283-e286.
Incident reporting systems may be underutilized by medical trainees. This article describes a brief, interactive simulation activity to improve identification and reporting of patient safety hazards among medical students and interns.
Patient misidentification can lead to serious patient safety risks. In this large academic medical center, displaying patient photographs in the electronic health record (EHR) resulted in fewer wrong-patient order entry errors. The authors suggest this may be a simple and cost-effective strategy for reducing wrong-patient errors.
Kulju S, Morrish W, King LA, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e290-e296.
Patient misidentification can lead to serious patient safety risks. Researchers used patient safety reports and root cause analyses (RCA) to characterize patient misidentification events in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). The incidence of patient misidentification in inpatient and outpatient settings was similar and most commonly attributed to the absence of two unique patient identifiers. The authors identified three strategies to mitigate misidentification based on high-reliability principles: (1) develop policies for patient identification throughout the continuum of care, (2) develop policies to report and monitor patient misidentification measures, and (3) apply quality and process improvement tools to patient identification emphasizing use by front line staff.
Vanneman MW, Balakrishna A, Lang AL, et al. Anesth Analg. 2020;131:1217-1227.
Transfusion errors due to patient misidentification can have serious consequences. This article describes the implementation of an automated, electronic barcode scanner system to improve pretransfusion verification and documentation. Over two years, the system improved documentation compliance and averted transfusion of mismatched blood products in 20 patients.
Sim MA, Ti LK, Mujumdar S, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e189-e195.
This article describes the implementation of a hospital-wide patient safety strategy aimed at reducing hospital-wide adverse events at a single large hospital in Singapore. The strategy included establishing interdisciplinary patient safety teams to identify areas of preventable harm, determine root causes, improve departmental accountability, and leveraging simulation training. Over a 7-year period, adverse event rates decreased significantly (as did the incidence of preventable adverse events and the incidence of events resulting in permanent harm, the use of life-sustaining interventions, or death.
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.
Anderson JE, Watt AJ. Int J Qual Health Care. 2020;32:196-203.
Using a Safety-II framework, the authors used a mixed-methods approach to retrospectively analyze root cause analysis (RCA) reports of ‘never events’ occurring in the United Kingdom to characterize proposed actions, insights and recommendations to prevent future events. The analysis found that proposed actions were generally of low-to-moderate effectiveness, and that despite identifying systems challenges and weaknesses, many reports did not include proposed actions to mitigate or remove risks. The authors conclude that applying concepts from resilient healthcare can identify vulnerabilities and opportunities for strengthening the RCA system and improving the quality of RCA reports.
Ho S, Stamm R, Hibbs M, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2019;45:814-821.
Recent guidelines from the Institute for Safe Medication Practices have warned of the risk of blood-borne disease transmission associated with insulin pen sharing in hospitalized patients and provide recommendations for safe practices. This paper describes the impact on insulin pen sharing after the implementation of safe practice recommendations (e.g., label redesign, patient-specific bar coding on pens) at a quaternary academic medical center. Institutional efforts resulted in a less frequent pen-sharing events and a decrease in latent errors found during medication drawer audits, such as retained pens after discharge and illegible or missing label.
Thomas JJ, Yaster M, Guffey P. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2019;46:118-121.
The Universal Protocol was intended to prevent wrong site, wrong procedure and wrong person surgery; however, these errors persist. In an effort to reduce wrong-patient charting and near-miss events involving anesthesia, this study implemented a digital photograph to the pre-anesthesia checklist to prompt visual inspection of the patient’s facial image and verification of their hospital ID bracelet. After implementation, only one instance of wrong-patient charting was documented; however, baseline data was unavailable and thus, it is unknown whether this intervention reduced mischarting error.
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