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Howell EA, Sofaer S, Balbierz A, et al. Obstet Gynecol. 2022;139:1061-1069.
Health equity in maternal safety is a major patient safety goal. Researchers interviewed health care professionals, including frontline nurses and physicians, chief medical officers, and quality and safety officers, from high- and low-performing hospitals. Six themes emerged differentiating high and low performers: 1) senior leadership involved in day-to-day quality activities and dedicated to quality improvement, 2) a strong focus on standards and standardized care, 3) strong nurse-physician communication and teamwork, 4) adequate physician and nurse staffing and supervision, 5) sharing of performance data with nurses and other frontline clinicians, and 6) explicit awareness that racial and ethnic disparities exist and that racism and bias in the hospital can lead to differential treatment. PSNet offers a Patient Safety Primer and Curated Library on maternal safety.
Massart N, Mansour A, Ross JT, et al. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2022;163:2131-2140.e3.
Surgical site infections and other postoperative healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) can lead to significant patient morbidity and mortality. This retrospective study examined the relationship between HAIs after cardiac surgery and postoperative inpatient mortality. Among 8,853 patients undergoing cardiac surgery in one academic hospital in France, 4.2% developed an HAI after surgery. When patients developing an HAI were matched with patients who did not, the inpatient mortality rate was significantly greater among patients with HAIs (15.4% vs. 5.7%).
Woods-Hill CZ, Colantuoni EA, Koontz DW, et al. JAMA Pediatr. 2022;176:690-698.
Stewardship interventions seek to optimize use of healthcare services, such as diagnostic tests or antibiotics. This article reports findings from a 14-site multidisciplinary collaborative evaluating pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) blood culture practices before and after implementation of a diagnostic stewardship intervention. Researchers found that rates of blood cultures, broad-spectrum antibiotic use, and central line-associated blood stream infections (CLABSI) were reduced postintervention.
Tan J, Krishnan S, Vacanti JC, et al. J Healthc Risk Manag. 2022;42:9-14.
Inpatient falls are a common patient safety event and can have serious consequences. This study used hospital safety reporting system data to characterize falls in perioperative settings. Falls represented 1% of all safety reports between 2014 and 2020 and most commonly involved falls from a bed or stretcher. The author suggests strategies to identify patients at high risk for falls, improve fall-related training for healthcare personnel, and optimize equipment design in perioperative areas to prevent falls.
Bernstein SL, Catchpole K, Kelechi TJ, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2022;48:309-318.
Maternal morbidity and mortality continues to be a significant patient safety problem. This mixed-methods study identified system-level factors affecting registered nurses during care of people in labor experiencing clinical deterioration. Task overload, missing or inadequate tools and technology, and a crowded physical environment were all identified as performance obstacles. Improving nurse workload and involving nurses in the redesign of tools and technology could provide a meaningful way to reduce maternal morbidity.
Tham N, Fazio T, Johnson D, et al. World J Surg. 2022;46:1249-1258.
The COVID-19 pandemic led to changes in infection control and prevention measures to limit nosocomial spread. This retrospective cohort study found that escalations in infection prevention and control practices due to the COVID-19 pandemic did not affect the incidence of other hospital-acquired infections among surgical patients at one Australian hospital. The authors posit that this may be due to high compliance with existing infection prevention and control practices pre-pandemic.
Nether KG, Thomas EJ, Khan A, et al. J Healthc Qual. 2022;44:23-30.
Medical errors in the neonatal intensive care unit threaten patient safety. This children’s hospital implemented a robust process improvement program (RPI, which refers to widespread dissemination of process improvement tools to support staff skill development and identify sustainable improvements) to reduce harm in the neonatal intensive care unit. The program resulted in significant and sustainable improvements to staff confidence and knowledge related to RPI tools. It also contributed to improvements in health outcomes, including healthcare-acquired infection.
Derksen C, Kötting L, Keller FM, et al. Front Psychol. 2022;13:771626.
Effective communication and teamwork are fundamental to ensure safe patient care. Building on their earlier systematic review of communication interventions in obstetric care, researchers developed and implemented a training to improve communication at two obstetric hospitals. While results did not show a change in communication behavior, perceived patient safety did improve. Additional resources are available in the curated library on maternal safety.
Cantor N, Durr KM, McNeill K, et al. J Intensive Care Med. 2022;Epub Mar 3.
Adverse events (AE) may lead to poor patient outcomes as well as increased financial costs. An analysis of more than 17,000 adult intensive care unit patients showed approximately 35% experienced at least one healthcare associated adverse event. Those patients had significantly longer hospital stays, experienced higher rates of in-hospital mortality, and required more invasive intensive care unit (ICU) interventions. Additionally, the total cost of the hospital stay was significantly higher, mostly due to increased length of stay.
Hamad DM, Mandell SP, Stewart RM, et al. J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2022;92:473-480.
By analyzing errors that lead to preventable or potentially preventable deaths in trauma care, healthcare organizations can develop mitigation strategies to prevent those errors from reoccurring. This study classified events anonymously reported by trauma centers using the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations Patient Safety Event Taxonomy. Mitigation strategies were most often low-level, person-focused (e.g., education and training).
Vollam S, Gustafson O, Morgan L, et al. Crit Care Med. 2022;50:1083-1092.
This mixed-method study explored the reasons why out-of-hours discharges from the ICU to the ward, and nighttime coverage are associated with poor outcomes. Based on qualitative interviews with patients, family members, and staff involved in the ICU discharge process, this study found that out-of-hours discharges are considered unsafe due to nighttime staffing levels and skill mix. Out-of-hours discharges often occurred prematurely, without adequate handovers, and involved patients who were not physiologically stable, and at risk for clinical deterioration.
Weiseth A, Plough A, Aggarwal R, et al. Birth. 2022;Epub Mar 1.
Labor and delivery is a high-risk care environment. This study evaluated a quality improvement initiative (TeamBirth) designed to promote shared decision-making and safety culture in labor and delivery. This mixed-methods study included both clinicians and patients at four hospitals and found that the program was feasible, increased the use of huddles, and had no negative effects on patient safety.
Zheng MY, Lui H, Patino G, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e401-e406.
California law requires adverse events that led to serious injury or death because of hospital noncompliance to be reported to the state licensing agency. These events are referred to as “immediate jeopardy.” Using publicly available data, this study analyzed all immediate jeopardy cases between 2007 and 2017. Of the 385 immediate jeopardy cases, 36.6% led to patient death, and the most common category was surgical.
Morisawa T, Saitoh M, Otsuka S, et al. J Clin Med. 2022;11:640.
Hospital-acquired functional decline can lead to poor health outcomes for frail older adults. This multicenter, prospective cohort study set in Japan assessed the effect of hospital-acquired function decline on post-discharge outcomes among older adults who had undergone cardiac surgery. The study observed poor prognostic outcomes in one-third of patients. Hospital-acquired functional decline was an independent predictor of poor prognosis. The authors encourage hospitals to develop and implement approaches to preventing functional decline in older adults.
Hüner B, Derksen C, Schmiedhofer M, et al. Healthcare (Basel). 2022;10:97.
Labor and delivery units are high-risk care environments. Based on a retrospective review of obstetrical adverse events occurring at one German hospital in 2018, researchers created a matrix of preventable factors contributing to adverse events. Six categories of preventable events were identified (peripartum therapy delay; diagnostic error; inadequate maternal birth position; organizational errors; inadequate fetal monitoring; medication error) and 19 associated risk factors, including language barriers, missed diagnosis of a preexisting condition, and on-call duty.
Fakih MG, Bufalino A, Sturm L, et al. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2021;43:26-31.
Central line-associated blood steam infection (CLABSI) and catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) prevention were an important part of patient safety prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. This study compared CLABSI and CAUTI rates in 78 hospitals during the 12-month period prior to the pandemic and the first 6 months of the pandemic. CLABSI rates increased by 51% during the pandemic period, mainly in the ICU. CAUTI rates did not show significant changes.
Messing EG, Abraham RS, Quinn NJ, et al. Am J Nurs. 2022;122.
When hospitals began to fill up with COVID-19 patients, new strategies had to be developed and implemented quickly to reduce the spread of the virus. This article describes one strategy implemented by a New York hospital: relocating smart intravenous (iv) infusion pumps outside of patient rooms. Challenges, facilitators, and lessons learned are discussed.
Wells HJ, Raithatha M, Elhag S, et al. BMJ Open Qual. 2022;11:e001551.
Use of personal protective equipment is necessary to reduce the spread of infectious diseases, such as COVID-19, in healthcare settings. The alertness levels of ICU staff who regularly wore full personal protective equipment (FPPE), i.e., respirator mask, body covering suit, visor, gloves, and hat, were tested when not wearing FPPE and after two hours wearing FPPE. Results show health care worker alertness can be negatively impacted by wearing FPPE for as little as two hours.