Watson J, Salisbury C, Whiting PF, et al. Br J Gen Pract. 2022;Epub Jun 6.
Failure to communicate blood test results to patients may result in delayed diagnosis or treatment. In this study, UK primary care patients and general practitioners (GPs) were asked about their experiences with the communication of blood test results. Patients and GPs both expected the other to follow up on results and had conflicting experiences with the method of communication (e.g., phone call, text message).
Panda N, Sinyard RD, Henrich N, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;17:256-263.
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented numerous challenges for the healthcare workforce, including redeploying personnel to different locations or retraining personnel for different tasks. Researchers interviewed hospital leaders from health systems in the United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Singapore and South Korea about redeployment of health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The authors discuss effective practices and lessons learned preparing for and executing workforce redeployment, as well as concerns regarding redeployed personnel
Whelehan DF, Algeo N, Brown DA. BMJ Leader. 2021;5:108-112.
Healthcare workers are facing occupational fatigue stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic (e.g., burnout, stress) as well as fatigue related to ongoing symptoms of the virus (“long COVID”). This article discusses preventive and proactive leadership strategies to address both types of fatigue, including screening for fatigue, providing reasonable accommodations for healthcare workers struggling with fatigue, stress mediation, and establishing organizational culture supporting sleep and rest.
González-Gil MT, González-Blázquez C, Parro-Moreno AI, et al. Intensive Crit Care Nurs. 2021;62:102966.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in concerns about psychological and emotional well-being of health care professionals. In this cross-sectional study, critical care and emergency nurses in Spain report fears of COVID-19 infection, elevated workloads, higher nurse-to-patient ratios, communication struggles with management, and socio-emotional challenges in caring for their patients and themselves during the pandemic.
Verna R, Velazquez AB, Laposata M. Ann Lab Med. 2019;39:121-124.
Teamwork in health care has been embraced as a key element of patient safety. This review highlights the value of creating diagnostic management teams tasked with selecting laboratory tests and interpreting test results to improve diagnostic safety. The authors highlight the potential to apply this strategy to health systems worldwide to enhance communication, efficiency, and accuracy.
Keers RN, Plácido M, Bennett K, et al. PLoS One. 2018;13:e0206233.
This interview study used a human factors method, the critical incident technique, to identify underlying factors in medication administration errors in a mental health inpatient facility. The team identified multiple interconnected vulnerabilities, including inadequate staffing, interruptions, and communication challenges. The findings underscore the persistence of widely documented medication safety administration concerns.
Insufficient communication of laboratory test results can contribute to delays in diagnosis. Discussing poor communication regarding test results in primary care, this commentary advocates for research to understand the best ways to notify patients about their results and involve patients in shared decision-making so that they understand the physician's interpretation and recommendations.
Litchfield I, Bentham L, Lilford R, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2015;24:691-9.
Failure to appropriately communicate test results is a recognized safety hazard in ambulatory care. Despite more than a decade of research into this problem, this survey of 50 general practices in the United Kingdom found that 80% required patients to call to find out their test results, and a similar proportion had no fail-safe mechanism for tracking test results.
Litchfield IJ, Bentham LM, Lilford RJ, et al. Br J Med Pract. 2015;65:e133-e140.
This interview study revealed shortcomings in the process for notifying patients of test results, mirroring findings from prior studies. Patients expressed a desire for consistent and timely test result notification and noted deficiencies in current processes.
Estryn-Behar MR, Milanini-Magny G, Chaumon E, et al. J Patient Saf. 2014;10:29-44.
This direct observation study found that registered nurses, physicians, and nursing aides have frequent interruptions and limited time for shift-change handoffs. This finding suggests that widespread efforts to ensure adequate handoff time and minimize interruptions have not mitigated these problems in hospital settings.
Valentin A, Capuzzo M, Guidet B, et al. BMJ. 2009;338:b814.
Intensive care unit (ICU) patients are generally considered to be at increased risk for medication errors. This cross-sectional study, conducted at hospitals in 27 countries, fused voluntary error reports to attempt to quantify the risk associated with intravenous medications in ICU patients. The authors found an error rate of 74.5 per 100 patient-days, with approximately 1% of patients suffering death or permanent harm as a result of a medication error. Most errors occurred during drug administration. Prior research has demonstrated the effectiveness of clinical pharmacists at reducing medication errors in the ICU.
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