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Washington, DC: United States Government Accountability Office; November 30, 2021. Publication GAO-22-105142.

Patient complaints have the potential to be used for care improvement as they surface problems in health facilities. This report examined complaint response processes in Veterans Affairs nursing homes and found them lacking. Five recommendations submitted to drive improvement underscore the value of adherence to policy and the transfer of complaint experiences to leadership.

Patient Safety Movement Foundation.

Inspired by efforts to learn from errors that resulted in the death of one young man, this award program recognizes health profession students that lead activities to reduce preventable health care harm. The application deadline is January 28, 2022.
Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
In this annual publication, AHRQ reviews the results of the National Healthcare Quality Report and National Healthcare Disparities Report. This 2021 report highlights that a wide range of quality measures have shown improvement in quality, access, and cost.

Patient Safety Movement Foundation. January 25, 2022, 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM (eastern).

Successful patient safety improvements engage individuals across the continuum of care and administrative processes, including patients as advocates for change. This webinar will highlight the role of the patient in influencing legislation designed to affect systems of care to ensure safe practice.

Gebeloff R, Thomas K, Silver-Greenberg J. New York TimesDecember 9, 2021.

Nursing homes harbor numerous challenges to patient safety and they should be transparently reported and acted upon to ensure improvement. This news investigation discusses a gap in the reporting and inspection of nursing home incidents that undermines the ability of the US nursing home rating system to inform consumer long term care facility choice.

Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; December 2021. AHRQ Publication No. 22-0009.

In consultation with AHRQ, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services delivered a final report on effective strategies to improve patient safety and reduce medical errors to Congress. Required by the Patient Safety Act of 2005, the report was made available for public review and comment, and review by the National Academy of Medicine. It outlined several strategies to accelerate progress in improving patient safety, including using analytic approaches in patient safety research, measurement, and practice improvement to monitor risk; implementing evidence-based practices in real-world settings through clinically useful tools and infrastructure; encouraging the development of learning health systems that integrate continuous learning and improvement in day-to-day operations; and encouraging the use of patient safety strategies outlined in the National Action Plan by the National Steering Committee for Patient Safety.
Tzeng H-M, Raji MA, Chou L-N, et al. J Nurs Care Qual. 2021;37(1):6-13.
Potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs) for older adults carry a high risk of adverse drug events. Using a sample of Medicare beneficiaries from 2015 to 2018, researchers assessed the impact of state scope of practice regulations for nurse practitioners (NPs) on PIM prescribing patterns compared to primary care physicians. Findings indicate that the PIM prescribing rate is lower in states with full NP practice and lower among NPs than among physicians.
Fan B, Pardo J, Yu-Moe CW, et al. Ann Surg Oncol. 2021;28(13):8109-8115.
While prior research has described malpractice cases related to breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, this study sought to identify errors specifically related to breast cancer surgical procedures. Plastic surgeons were the most commonly named provider type (64%), error in surgical treatment was the most common allegation (87%), and infection, cosmetic injury, emotional trauma, foreign body, and nosocomial infection were the top 5 injury descriptions.

Jacksonville University.

Inspired by the research and leadership of Dr. Robert Wears, this award annually recognizes individuals, teams or organizations that examine the applications of safety science concepts to improve medicine. The deadline for submitting a 2022 award nomination is January 3, 2022.

Joseph A. Stat News. November 22, 2021

The opioid epidemic has put regulatory and professional pressures on the tapering of pain medications that have had unintended consequences for patients resulting in harm. This news story discusses how one family used legal means to address systemic gaps and clinical missteps that resulted in patient suicide due to lack of appropriate pain control.
Townsend T, Cerdá M, Bohnert AS, et al. Health Aff (Millwood). 2021;40(11):1766-1775.
Misuse of prescription opioids represents a serious patient safety issue. Using commercial claims from 2014 - 2018, researchers examined the association between the 2016 CDC guidelines to reduce unsafe opioid prescribing and opioid dispensing for patients with four common chronic pain diagnoses. Findings indicate that the release of the 2016 guidelines was associated with reductions in the percentage of patients receiving opioids, average dose prescribed, percentage receiving high-dose prescriptions, number of days supplied, and the percentage of patients receiving concurrent opioid/benzodiazepine prescriptions. The authors observe that questions remain about how clinicians are tailoring opioid reductions using a patient-centered approach.
Upadhyay S, Stephenson AL, Weech-Maldonado R, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;Epub Sep 28.
This longitudinal study concluded that culturally competent hospitals have better patient safety culture than other hospitals. Based on survey data, results indicate that hospitals with higher levels of engagement in diversity programs had higher perceptions of management support for safety, teamwork across units, and nonpunitive responses.

Jewett C. Kaiser Health News. November 4, 2021.

Nosocomial infection is a primary concern due to the COVID pandemic. This news story examines instances when inpatients contracted, and sometimes died of, COVID-19 while receiving care for a different condition. It summarizes the challenges associated with collecting adequate data that completely document nosocomial spread of COVID-19 and its impact on patient outcomes.
Rosenkrantz AB, Siegal D, Skillings JA, et al. J Am Coll Radiol. 2021;18(9):1310-1316.
Prior research found that cancer, infections, and vascular events (the “big three”) account for nearly half of all serious misdiagnosis-related harm identified in malpractice claims. This retrospective analysis of malpractice claims data from 2008 to 2017 found that oncology-related errors represented the largest source of radiology malpractice cases with diagnostic allegations. Imaging misinterpretation was the primary contributing factor.

US House of Representatives Committee on Veterans' Affairs Subcommittee on Health.  117th Cong. 1st Sess (2021).

The Veterans Health Administration is a large complex system that faces various challenges to safe care provision. At this hearing, government administrators testified on current gaps that detract from safe care in the Veteran’s health system. The experts discussed several high-profile misconduct and systemic failure incidents, suggested that the culture and leadership within the system overall enables latency of issues, and outlined actions being taken to address weaknesses.

Manchester, UK: Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman; October 2021.

This report examines a premature infant death associated with failings of antibiotic administration, deterioration recognition and action on family concerns both during treatment and post-incident. The report issues a series of recommendations building on standard remediation guidance in the United Kingdom.

The Daisy Foundation and Institute for Healthcare Improvement.

Nurses have a fundamental role in safe care delivery by fostering a healthy work environment. This award recognizes nurses that exhibit compassion, patient and family centeredness, and a commitment to workplace safety. The award will be presented at annual IHI Patient Safety Congress. Award nominations are due December 3, 2021.
Hussein M, Pavlova M, Ghalwash M, et al. BMC Health Serv Res. 2021;21(1):1057.
Accreditation programs, such as Magnet Hospital Program and The Joint Commission, are intended to improve hospital patient safety and quality. This review of 76 studies suggests accreditation has a positive impact on safety culture, efficiency and length of stay. Effects on mortality and healthcare-associated infection rates were mixed.