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Chicago, IL: Harpo Productions, Smithsonian Channel: May 2022.

The COVID-19 pandemic revealed the impact of racial disparities and inequities on patient safety for patients of color. This film shares stories of families whose care was unsafe. The cases discussed highlight how missed and dismissed COVID symptoms and inattention to patient and family concerns due to bias reduces patient safety.

Kelman B. Kaiser Health News. April 29, 2022.

Technological solutions harbor unique risks that can result in patient harm. This article shares a response to reports of automated dispensing cabinet (ADC) menu selection limitations that contribute to mistakes. The piece suggests the implementation of a 5-letter search requirement prior to removing a medication from an ADC. It provides an update on industry response to this forcing function recommendation.

London UK: Patient Safety Learning: 2022.

Unsafe care affects a wide range of individuals and organizations physically, emotionally, and financially. This report examines large system failures in the UK National Health Service to suggest actions that support learning and improvement. The publication highlights how public investigations, government reports, legal actions, and patient complaints can provide information to support the systems approach required to arrive at safe care.

London UK: Crown Copyright; March 30, 2022. ISBN: 9781528632294.

Maternal and baby harm in healthcare is a sentinel event manifested by systemic failure. This report serves as the final conclusions of an investigation into 250 cases at a National Health System (NHS) trust. The authors share overarching system improvement suggestions and high-priority recommendations to initiate NHS maternity care improvement.

Loller T. Associated PressMarch 30, 2022.

Reporting medical errors, learning from them, and improving systems is a cornerstone of improving patient safety. A just culture centers on moving from blaming individuals for medical errors towards a systems-based approach to learning what went on, in order to prevent similar errors in the future. The recent conviction of a nurse involved in the death of a patient has raised concerns that clinicians may not disclose medical errors out of fear of criminal prosecution and conviction.

Fiore K. MedPage Today. March 28, 2022.

Experts are concerned that convictions for medical error have the potential to limit dialogue on the front line about medical mistakes. This article summarizes discussions regarding the verdict to convict a nurse due to a workaround that resulted in a medication error and patient death.

National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Reproductive Health; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Maternal harm during and after pregnancy is a sentinel event. This campaign encourages women, families, and health providers to identify and speak up with concerns about maternal care and act on them. The program seeks to inform the design of support systems and tool development that enhance maternal safety.

Washington, DC: VA Office of Inspector General; March 17, 2022.

Electronic health record (EHR) implementation failures cause major disruptions to care delivery that can result in inefficiencies, misinformation, and unsafe care. This three-part investigation examines the impact of the new United States Veterans Affairs EHR system problems on medication management, care coordination, and problem reporting and resolution at one facility.

Stein L, Fraser J, Penzenstadler N et al. USA Today. March 10, 2022.

Nursing home residents, staff, and care processes were particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. This collection of resources examines data and documentation involving one nursing home chain to reveal systemic problems that contributed to failure. It shares family stories that illustrate how COVID affected care in long-term care environments.

Garb HN. Psyche. March 22, 2022.

A wide array of biases can affect clinical judgement and contribute to diagnostic error. This article discusses the impact of implicit biases, test inaccuracy, and data weaknesses in diagnosis of mental health conditions in both children and adults. The author provides recommendations for clinicians and researchers to reduce the impact of bias on diagnosis.

Blythe A. NC Health News. March 10, 2022

Patient harm in dentistry is receiving increased attention and scrutiny. This story covers a medication incident and the lack of safety support that contributed to the death of a patient receiving oral surgery. It discusses the response of the patient’s family and their work to change regulations for dental sedation.

Farnborough, UK: Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch; February 17, 2022.

Pre-hospital emergency care can be vulnerable to timing, information, and task failures that compromise safety. This investigation explores how computerized decision support system access played a roles in an emergency call-center program incident where erroneous information was transmitted to a pregnant patient that contributed to infant harm.
Yin HS, Neuspiel DR, Paul IM, et al. Pediatrics. 2021;148:e2021054666.
Children with complex home care needs are vulnerable to medication errors. This guideline suggests strategies to enhance medication safety at home that include focusing on health literacy, prescriber actions, dosing tool appropriateness, communication, and training of caregivers. A March 18, 2022 webinar will highlight factors contributing to medication errors in the home and outline strategies to reduce their impact.

Boodman SG. Washington Post. February 12, 2022.

Misdiagnosis over a long period of time can be acerbated by stigma and cognitive bias. This news story illustrates the problem of omissions due to potential stigma associated with patient mental health issues that contributed to a missed diagnosis. The author discusses how clinician experience led to flagging of a different testing approach to reveal a diagnosis that, once addressed, improved the patient's health.

Levy R, Vestal AJ. Politico. February 19, 2022.

Transmission of COVID-19 in the health care setting continues to be a concern. This article discusses an analysis of US government statistics tracking hospital-acquired COVID-19 infections and reasons that control efforts may be lagging, which include visitor masking choices and health care worker return to work post-COVID-19 behaviors.

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press; 2022. 

Diagnostic errors remain an ongoing challenge in many medical specialties, including oncology. This workshop reviewed the evidence base examining challenges in cancer diagnosis, discussed suggestions for improvement in the field, and looked toward a safer future for cancer patients.
Patient safety improvement has made progress but more can be done. This organization supports community efforts in the United States to engage policymakers in work toward aligning efforts to reduce preventable patient harm at a national level. It will build its efforts on the World Health Organization plan by moving forward with a framework to collaborate on a variety of strategies to enhance the safety of health care.