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Strube‐Lahmann S, Müller‐Werdan U, Klingelhöfer‐Noe J, et al. Pharmacol Res Perspect. 2022;10:e00953.
Patients receiving home care services are vulnerable to medication errors. Based on survey feedback from 485 home care nurses in Germany, this study found that regular medication training and use of quality assurance principles (i.e., double checking) can decrease the incidence of medication errors in home care settings.

Post-acute transitions – which involve patients being discharged from the hospital to home-based or community care environments – are associated with patient safety risks, often due to poor communication and fragmented care. This primer outlines the main types of home-based care services and formal home-based care programs and how these services can increase patient safety and improve health outcomes.

Alboksmaty A, Beaney T, Elkin S, et al. The Lancet Digital Health. 2022;4:e279-e289.
The COVID-19 pandemic led to a rapid transition of healthcare from in-person to remote and virtual care. This review assessed the safety and effectiveness of pulse oximetry in remote patient monitoring (RPM) of patients at home with COVID-19. Results show RPM was safe for patients in identifying risk of deterioration. However, it was not evident whether remote pulse oximetry was more effective than other virtual methods, such as virtual visits, monitoring consultations, or online or paper diaries.
Brunelli L, Cristofori V, Battistella C, et al. Int J Integr Care. 2022;22:19.
Accreditation programs are intended to improve patient safety and quality of care. Researchers in Italy aimed to develop and validate an accreditation tool for home care. The tool, validated by 21 experts, is divided into six domains: 1) Organization and governance; 2) Patient safety and risk management; 3) Professionals’ knowledge, skills, and competencies; 4) Information and communication; 5) Care integration, and 6) Improvement and innovation.
Coates MC, Granche J, Sefcik JS, et al. Res Gerontol Nurs. 2022;15:69-75.
Older adults, especially those taking multiple medications, are at increased risk for medication self-administration (MSE) errors. Data from the National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS) was analyzed to ascertain if the source of the medication ­– picking up from local pharmacy, receiving the medication via mail-order pharmacy, or both ­– impacted MSE or hospitalization. Respondents receiving medications via both mail-order and pick up were more likely to report hospitalizations and medication mistakes.
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.
Mullur J, Chen Y-C, Wickner PG, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e431-e438.
COVID-19 restrictions and patient safety concerns have greatly expanded the use of telehealth and virtual visits. Through patient satisfaction surveys and patient complaints, this US hospital evaluated the quality and safety of virtual visits in March and April of 2020. Five patient complaints were submitted during this timeframe and overall patient satisfaction remained high. Safety and quality risks were identified (e.g., diagnostic error) and best practices were established.
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.”
Dionisi S, Di Simone E, Liquori G, et al. Public Health Nurs. 2021;Epub Dec 31.
Causes of medication errors occurring in home care may differ from those in the hospital setting. This systematic review identified three main risk factors for medication errors in the home: transition documentation, medication reconciliation, and communication among the multidisciplinary team. Most studies recommend involvement of a pharmacist as a member of the care team.
Khoong EC, Sharma AE, Gupta K, et al. J Gen Intern Med. 2022;37:1270-1274.
In response to concerns about COVID-19 transmission, many ambulatory care visits have transitioned to telehealth visits. This commentary describes the impact of telehealth on diagnostic errors and medication safety in ambulatory settings. Recommendations to further understand the impact of telemedicine on patient safety include: systematically measuring patient safety outcomes and increasing reporting of safety incidents; identifying the patients and clinical scenarios with the greatest risk of unsafe telehealth care; identifying and supporting best practices to ensure equal access to safe telehealth.
DeCherrie LV, Leff B, Levine DM, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2022;48:180-184.
Hospital at Home (HAH), in which patients receive hospital-level care in their own homes, reduces the risk of hospital-acquired conditions such as delirium, especially in older adults. This commentary provides an overview of HAH, recent developments, and associated regulatory, safety, and quality issues.
Mital R, Lovegrove MC, Moro RN, et al. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2022;31:225-234.
Accidental ingestion of over-the-counter (OTC) cold and cough medicines (CCMs) among children can result in adverse events. This study used national surveillance data to characterize emergency department (ED) visits for harms related to OTC CCM use and discusses differences by patient demographics, intent of use, and concurrent substance use.

A 77-year-old man was diagnosed with a rectal mass. After discussing goals of care with an oncologist, he declined surgical intervention and underwent targeted radiotherapy before being lost to follow up. The patient subsequently presented to Emergency Department after a fall at home and was found to have new metastatic lesions in both lungs and numerous enhancing lesions in the brain. Further discussions of the goals of care revealed that the patient desired to focus on comfort and on maintaining independence for as long as possible. The inpatient hospice team discussed the potential role

Silverglow A, Johansson L, Lidén E, et al. Scand J Caring Sci. 2021;Epub Aug 24.
Home care settings harbor unique patient safety challenges. This qualitative study identified three themes regarding care providers’ perceptions of providing safe care for frail older adults living at home – the role of the encounter and interaction, the responsibility of the caregiver, and the threat of insufficient organizational resources.
Aasen L, Johannessen A‐K, Ruud Knutsen I, et al. J Clin Nurs. 2021;Epub Sep 28.
Patients receiving hospital-level care at home (hospital-at-home, (HAH) have fewer complications, better patient and family satisfaction, and better outcomes. This study describes nurses’ and physicians’ perspectives of pediatric HAH. Three themes evolved: building a trusting relationship with the child and family; performing essential skills; and acting as the “hub” between families and providers.

Graber ML, Schrandt S. Evanston, IL:  Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine;  September 8, 2021. 

This report summarizes the results of a project that examined how the literature and various stakeholders consider challenges and opportunities for improving diagnosis during telemedicine interactions. Both areas of concern and potential were highlighted to engage researchers, educators, and clinicians in the implementation and use of telediagnosis that is safe and of high-value for patients and families.
Hu X, Casey T. J Adv Nurs. 2021;77:3733-3744.
Speaking up about concerns is essential to improving safety, but prior research has found that many healthcare workers do not feel comfortable speaking up. In this study, staff members from a disability healthcare organization in Australia responded to a questionnaire regarding organizational identification and culture of safety. Findings highlight the importance of organizational identification and management commitment to safety and psychological safety in promoting speaking up behaviors.