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ECHO-Care Transitions (ECHO-CT) intends to ensure continuity of care and alleviate the risk of patient safety issues, notably medication errors, occurring because of hospital transition. With funding from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) adapted Project Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO) to connect receiving multidisciplinary skilled nursing facility (SNF) teams with a multidisciplinary team at the discharging hospital. Within one week of discharge, hospital providers discuss each patient’s transitional and medical issues with providers at the SNF using videoconferencing technology. The innovation has successfully reduced patient readmission and SNF length of stay.

Rich RK, Jimenez FE, Puumala SE, et al. HERD. 2020;Epub Nov 13  .
Design changes in health care settings can improve patient safety. In this single-site study, researchers found that new hospital design elements (single patient acuity-adaptable rooms, decentralized nursing stations, access to nature, etc.) improved patient satisfaction but did not impact patient outcomes such as length, falls, medication events, or healthcare-associated infections.  

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. 
Hillman E, Paul J, Neustadt M, et al. Acad Med. 2020;95(12):1864-1873.
Quality improvement and patient safety (QIPS) programs are intended to increase patient safety competency during graduate medical education. This article describes the development and implementation of a consortium aimed to improve QIPS education at a large academic health center. Primary goals of the consortium include to (1) expand learner-driven, interprofessional opportunities, (2) leverage simulation training, and (3) engage and collaborate with community stakeholders.  
Kjaergaard-Andersen G, Ibsgaard P, Paltved C, et al. Int J Health Care Qual. 2021;33(1):mzaa148.
Simulation training is used by hospitals to improve patient care. This study describes the experience of one Danish hospital shifting from simulation training at external centers to in situ training. The shift to in situ training identified several latent safety threats (e.g., equipment access, lack of closed-loop communication, out-of-date checklists) and these findings led to practice changes.  
Rovers JJE, van de Linde LS, Kenters N, et al. Antimicrob Resist Infect Control. 2020;9(1):190.
Health systems are undertaking various approaches to reduce nosocomial transmission of COVID-19. This study found that psychiatric departments may be more susceptible to hospital-acquired COVID-19 due to treating high-risk populations, lower adherence to infection prevention policies, inadequate environmental changes, and organizational policy challenges.   
Butler CR, Wong SPY, Wightman AG, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(11):e2027315.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to wide-ranging changes to health care delivery. This qualitative study with clinicians in the United States identified three emerging themes describing clinicians’ experience providing care in settings of resource limitations - planning for crisis capacity, adapting to resource limitations, and unprecedented barriers to care delivery. 
Fillo KT. Bureau of Health Care Safety and Quality, Department of Public Health. Boston, MA: Commonwealth of Massachusetts; 2020.
This annual report compiles patient safety data documented by Massachusetts hospitals. The latest numbers represent a modest increase in serious reportable events recorded in acute care hospitals, from 1066 the previous year to 1189. This presentation also includes events from ambulatory surgery centers. Previous years reports are also available.
Buljac-Samardzic M, Doekhie KD, van Wijngaarden JDH. Hum Resourc Health. 2020;18.
This systematic review is an update of prior research characterizing the evidence base on team effectiveness in healthcare organizations. The review analyzed 297 publications focused on three types of interventions: (1) training, including crew resource management, TeamSTEPPS and simulations, (2) tools, including SBARs and checklists, and (3) organizational (re)designs, which involves intervening in structures which lead to improved team functioning (such as changing the physical environment or altering roles/responsibilities). The authors found that existing evidence base is limited to certain interventions, settings (primarily acute care), and outcomes (primarily non-technical skills). The authors call for more longitudinal research, particularly examining team functioning outside the hospital setting.
Glauser G, Goodrich S, McClintock SD, et al. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2021;162(1):155-164.e2.
Surgical overlap is a longstanding practice, and reports suggest a link to postoperative complications and patient safety. This study measured the impact of overlap on patient outcomes among patients undergoing cardiac surgical interventions over a two-year period and found that overlap did not predict mortality, readmission, reoperation or emergency department visits at 30- or 90-days post-discharge, compared to patients without surgical overlap.
Washington, DC: Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General. January 7, 2020. Report No. 19-00468-67.
Systemic weaknesses challenge safe care in Veterans Affairs health systems facilities. This report analyzed a patient suicide at one medical center and determined contributors to the failure. This report shares recommendations to address deficiencies including improved communication across the care continuum and reliably acting on root cause analysis results.
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. 2019.
Structured processes are important strategies for embedding safe care practices. This tool kit shares training modules and tools to support a 4-point practice to improve antibiotic prescribing and reduce hospital-acquired infections. Elements of the process center on diagnosis, testing, reassessment and duration.
Bristol AA, Schneider CE, Lin S-Y, et al. J Healthc Qual. 2019.
Care transitions between hospitals and community settings have been identified as a source of negative patient safety outcomes, such as medication errors or other adverse events. This systematic review focused on transitions of care within hospitals (such as within the same unit or between units) and found two studies demonstrating that the risk of adverse events - such as medication errors, infections or falls - increased as patients experienced three or more transfers. A prior PSNet WebM&M also discussed medication errors that can arise during transitions between hospital units.
Oakbrook Terrace, IL: Joint Commission: October 2019.
Inpatient suicide is increasing as a safety concern. This case analysis offers two levels of examination of a hypothetical patient suicide: one that outlines points of failure in the patient’s care and the other that shares strategies to prevent the event from occurring. 
Safe primary care – prescribing; Safe acute care – surgical complications and health care-associated infections, Safe acute care – obstetric trauma. Chapters In: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Health at a Glance 2019: OECD Indicators, OECD Publishing, Paris: 2019.
This report documents the overall state of health care, based on an international analysis of population health and health system performance data, with specific chapters on patient safety in surgery, obstetrics and prescribing in primary care. The results identify areas for improvement while outlining areas of concern.
Cullen SW, Xie M, Vermeulen JM, et al. Med Care. 2019;57(11):913-920.
Various factors can impact patient safety risk in psychiatric settings. This study assessed the prevalence of AEs and MEs in community hospitals and Veterans Health Administration (VHA) hospitals and found that psychiatric inpatients at community hospitals were twice as likely to experience these patient safety events than VHA inpatients, even after controlling for patient and hospital characteristics.
Havaei F, MacPhee M, Dahinten S. J Adv Nurs. 2019;75:2144-2155.
This study looked at the impact of two different models of delivering care by nurses, team versus total care, on quality of care and adverse events. The authors found that the team nursing model reported higher frequency of adverse events when there were licensed practical nurses on the team.
Kennedy AR, Massey LR. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2019;76:1481-1491.
This Special Feature discusses risks and vulnerabilities around medications in non-pediatric hospitals that provide care to pediatric patients. The authors identify risks and provide recommendations to ensure safe care of children including optimizing technology, utilizing external resources, and ensuring a pediatric pharmacist is in place.
Dr. Chopra is Chief of the Division of Hospital Medicine and Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School. His research focuses on improving the safety of hospitalized patients by preventing hospital-acquired complications—particularly those associated with peripherally inserted central catheters.