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Yuan CT, Dy SM, Yuanhong Lai A, et al. Am J Med Qual. 2022;37:379-387.
Patient safety in ambulatory care settings is receiving increased attention. Based on interviews and focus groups with patients, providers, and staff at ten patient-centered medical homes, this qualitative study explored perceived facilitators and barriers to improving safety in ambulatory care. Participants identified several safety issues, including communication failures and challenges with medication reconciliation, and noted the importance of health information systems and dedicated resources to advance patient safety. Patients also emphasized the importance of engagement in developing safety solutions. A recent PSNet perspective discusses patient safety challenges in ambulatory care, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A 2-year-old girl presented to her pediatrician with a cough, runny nose, low grade fever and fatigue; a nasal swab for SARS-CoV-2 and influenza was negative and lung sounds were clear. The patient developed a fever and labored breathing and was taken to the Emergency Department (ED) before being admitted to the hospital. She developed respiratory distress and clinically worsened over time until she developed respiratory failure requiring air transportation to the pediatric intensive care unit at a children’s hospital.

Schnipper JL. Ann Intern Med. 2022;175(8):ho2-ho3.

Medication reconciliation is a primary method for improving the safety of medication administration in acute care. This essay highlights how individual hospitalists can improve medication reconciliation both at the practice and organizational level. Areas of influence discussed include medication history completeness and health information technology design.
Harsini S, Tofighi S, Eibschutz L, et al. Diagnostics (Basel). 2022;12:1761.
Incomplete or delayed communication of imaging results can result in harm to the patient and have legal ramifications for the providers involved. This commentary presents a closed-loop communication model for the ordering clinician and radiologist. The model suggests the ordering clinician categorize the radiology report as “concordant” or “discordant”, and if discordant, provide an explanation.

The focus on patient safety in the ambulatory setting was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and appropriately shifting priorities to responding to the pandemic. This piece explores some of the core themes of patient safety in the ambulatory setting, including diagnostic safety and diagnostic errors. Ways to enhance patient safety in the ambulatory care setting and next steps in ambulatory care safety are addressed. 

De Micco F, Fineschi V, Banfi G, et al. Front Med (Lausanne). 2022;9:901788.
The COVID-19 pandemic led to a significant increase in the use of telehealth. This article summarizes several challenges that need to be addressed (e.g., human factors, provider-patient relationships, structural, and technological factors) in order to support continuous improvement in the safety of health care delivered via telemedicine.
Lear R, Freise L, Kybert M, et al. J Med Internet Res. 2022;24:e37226.
As patients increasingly access their electronic health records, they often identify errors requiring correction. This survey of 445 patients in the United Kingdom found that the majority of patients are willing and able to identify and respond to errors in their electronic health records, but information-related and systems-related barriers (e.g., limited understanding of medical terminology, poor information display) disproportionately impact patients with lower digital health literacy or language barriers.
Alpert AB, Mehringer JE, Orta SJ, et al. J Gen Intern Med. 2022;Epub May 31.
Transgender patients who experience or perceive bias when receiving care may avoid or delay seeking care in the future. In this study, transgender patients reported on their experiences in viewing their electronic health record (EHR). In line with previous studies, transgender patients reported experiencing harms in several ways, such as providers using the wrong pronouns, wrong name, or wrong gender marker. The structure of the EHR (e.g., no separate fields for sex and gender) itself also created barriers to quality care.
Nanji K. UpToDate. June 23, 2022.
Perioperative adverse drug events are common and understudied. This review examines factors that contribute to adverse drug events in the surgical setting and discusses prevention strategies that focus on medication reconciliation, technology, standardization, and institutional change.
Joseph AL, Monkman H, Kushniruk AW, et al. Stud Health Technol Inform. 2022;2022:535-539.
Patient portals allow patients and their caregivers to read clinical notes, view test results, and communicate with their provider, with the goal of improving patient safety. This scoping review found limited evidence of improved patient safety with the use of patient portals. Additionally, the authors found multiple naming conventions, such as patient portal, personal health record, and personal medical record.

This WebM&M describes two incidences of the incorrect patient being transported from the Emergency Department (ED) to other parts of the hospital for tests or procedures. In one case, the wrong patient was identified before undergoing an unnecessary procedure; in the second case, the wrong patient received an unnecessary chest x-ray. The commentary highlights the consequences of patient transport errors and strategies to enhance the safety of patient transport and prevent transport-related errors.

Cox C, Fritz Z. BMJ. 2022;377:e066720.

As more patients are gaining access to their electronic health records, including clinician notes, the language clinicians use can shape how patients feel about their health and healthcare provider. This commentary describes how some words and phrases routinely used in provider notes, such as “deny” or “non-compliant”, may inadvertently build distrust with the patient. The authors recommend medical students and providers reconsider their language to establish more trusting relationships with their patients.
Giardina TD, Choi DT, Upadhyay DK, et al. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2022;29:1091-1100.
Most patients can now access their provider visit notes via online portals and many have reported mistakes such as diagnostic errors or missed allergies. This study asked patients who may be “at-risk” for diagnostic error about perceived concerns in their visit notes. Patients were more likely to report having concerns if they did not trust their provider and did not have a good feeling about the visit. Soliciting patient concerns may be one way to improve transparency regarding diagnostic errors and trust in providers.
Andersen TS, Gemmer MN, Sejberg HRC, et al. Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2022;15:142.
Conducting a complete medication reconciliation in the emergency department may be difficult or even impossible if the patient is unable to speak for themselves. In these instances, clinicians must rely solely on electronic records of medication prescriptions, which do not always reflect the medications being taken. This analysis of prescriptions entered into the Danish Shared Medication Record (SMR) and patient reports of medications taken showed 81% of patients had at least one discrepancy, the most common of which was discontinued medications still showing in the SMR.
Schust G, Manning M, Weil A. J Gen Intern Med. 2022;37:2074-2076.
The OpenNotes concept is positioned  to increase patient engagement in their care through error correction and communication enhancement. This commentary highlights concerns associated with privacy involving certain conditions and patient groups that participate in open notes programs. The authors provide recommendations to ensure safety while enabling effective information sharing with all patient populations.
Nguyen OT, Hong Y-R, Alishahi Tabriz A, et al. Appl Clin Inform. 2022;13:242-251.
The 21st Century Cures Act mandates that most health care organizations provide patients access to their health record upon request. Using survey data collected just prior to implementation of the Cures Act, researchers found approximately 6.5% of patients requested changes to errors identified in their health records. Patients who reported frequent visits to their online portal and patients who reported entering data into the portal had greater odds of requesting a correction.
Zomerlei T, Carraher A, Chao A, et al. J Patient Saf Risk Manage. 2021;26:221-224.
Failure to communicate abnormal test results to patients can lead to significant health complications and medical malpractice claims. This study aimed to increase patient engagement in asking their provider about previously obtained diagnostic test results. Reminders to follow up with their provider about test results were sent to the patient via the after-visit summary and patient portal. Patients receiving reminders were up to 20 times more likely to ask their providers about their test results, compared to patients who did not receive reminders.
Singh H, Connor DM, Dhaliwal G. BMJ. 2022;376:e068044.
System and clinician behaviors affect the reliability of the diagnostic process. This article shares five strategies to enhance individual clinician diagnostic practices which include seeking feedback, building learning into daily work, considering bias, enabling critical thinking, and teaming.
Berntsson K, Eliasson M, Beckman L. BMC Nurs. 2022;21:24.
Safe and accurate telephone triage is of critical importance, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. This Swedish study evaluated district nurses’ experiences and perceptions of patient safety at a national nurse advice triage call center. Interviews with nurses resulted in an overall theme of “being able to make the right decision” based on the categories of “communication” and “assessment.”
Turner A, Morris R, Rakhra D, et al. Br J Gen Pract. 2021;72:e128-e137.
The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) is increasingly using digital technology to deliver care. Researchers interviewed 19 patients and 18 general practice staff about their experiences with one of the NHS’s digital tools, online (asynchronous) consultations. Unintended consequences related to access to and efficiency of care are discussed.