Kwok Y-ting, Lam M-sang. BMJ Open Qual. 2022;11:e001696.
Changes in healthcare delivery and care processes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic have increased the risk for falls. This study explored the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the implementation of a fall prevention program (focused on human factors and ergonomics principles) on inpatient fall rates at one hospital in Hong Kong. Findings indicate that fall rates significantly increased from pre-COVID to during the first wave of the pandemic (July-June 2020). The fall prevention program – implemented in July 2020 – led to a reduction of fall rates, but not to pre-pandemic levels.
Murata M, Nakagawa N, Kawasaki T, et al. Am J Emerg Med. 2022;52:13-19.
Transporting critically ill patients within a hospital (e.g., to radiology for diagnostic procedures) is necessary but also poses safety threats. The authors conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of all types of adverse events, critical or life-threatening adverse events, and death occurring during intra-hospital transport. Results indicate that adverse events can occur in intra-hospital transport, and that frequency of critical adverse events and death are low.
Pilosof NP, Barrett M, Oborn E, et al. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021;18:8391.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to dramatic changes in healthcare delivery. Based on semi-structured interviews and direct observations, researchers evaluated the impact of a new model of remote inpatient care using telemedicine technologies in response to the pandemic. Intensive care and internal medicine units were divided into contaminated and clean zones and an integrated control room with audio-visual technologies allowed for remote supervision, communication, and support. The authors conclude that this model can increase flexibility in staffing via remote consultations and allow staff to supervise and monitor more patients without compromising patient and staff safety.
Li Q, Hu P, Kang H, et al. J Nutr Health Aging. 2020;25:492-500.
Missed and delayed diagnosis are a known cause of preventable adverse events. In this cohort of 107 patients with severe or critical COVID-19 in Wuhan, China, 45% developed acute kidney injury (AKI). However, nearly half of those patients (46%) were not diagnosed during their stay in the hospital. Patients with undiagnosed AKI experienced greater hospital mortality than those without AKI or diagnosed AKI. Involvement of intensive care kidney specialists is recommended to increase diagnostic awareness.
Sharara-Chami R, Sabouneh R, Zeineddine R, et al. Simul Healthc. 2020;15:303-309.
Simulation training is used by hospitals to improve patient care. This article describes the use of a preparedness assessment and training intervention featuring in situ simulations followed by debriefing to prepare staff for challenges arising due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Observations and debriefings identified several latent safety threats related to infection control, leadership, and communication.
Naseralallah LM, Hussain TA, Jaam M, et al. Int J Clin Pharm. 2020;42:979-994.
Pediatric patients are particularly vulnerable to medication errors. In this systematic review, the authors evaluated the evidence on the effectiveness of clinical pharmacist interventions on medication error rates in hospitalized pediatric patients. Results of a meta-analysis found that pharmacist involvement was associated with a significant reduction in the overall rate of medication errors in this population.
Johnson CD, Green BN, Konarski-Hart KK, et al. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2020;43:403.e1-403.e21.
An international sample of chiropractic practitioners described actions taken by their practices in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Practitioners discuss using innovative strategies such as telehealth to continue providing patient-centered care while complying with local regulations.
Parush A, Wacht O, Gomes R, et al. J Med Internet Res. 2020;22:e19947.
This study surveyed healthcare professionals in Israel and Portugal to identify key human factors that influence the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) when caring for patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. Respondents attributed difficulties in wearing PPE to discomfort, challenges in hearing and seeing, and doffing. Analyses also found an association between PPE discomfort and situational awareness, but this association reflected difficulties in communication (e.g., hearing and understanding speech).
Sim MA, Ti LK, Mujumdar S, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e189-e195.
This article describes the implementation of a hospital-wide patient safety strategy aimed at reducing hospital-wide adverse events at a single large hospital in Singapore. The strategy included establishing interdisciplinary patient safety teams to identify areas of preventable harm, determine root causes, improve departmental accountability, and leveraging simulation training. Over a 7-year period, adverse event rates decreased significantly (as did the incidence of preventable adverse events and the incidence of events resulting in permanent harm, the use of life-sustaining interventions, or death.
Wee LE, Fua T‐P, Chua YY, et al. Acad Emerg Med. 2020;27:379-387.
This article describes the use of a broad suspect case criteria for detecting COVID-19 in the emergency department of one large, hospital in Singapore. Both the initial official case criteria and the broadened case definition, which included patients presenting with acute respiratory disease with no alternative etiology and a history of travel or residence in a country with ongoing local transmission were used with the broadened criteria having higher sensitivity. The broader criterion may increase the numbers of suspected positive cases but can help minimize nosocomial ED transmission.
Tartari E, Saris K, Kenters N, et al. PLoS One. 2020;15.
Presenteeism among healthcare workers can lead to burnout and healthcare-associated infections, but prior research has found that significant numbers of healthcare workers continue to work despite having influenza-like illness. This study surveyed 249 healthcare workers and 284 non-healthcare workers from 49 countries about their behaviors when experiencing influenza-like illness between October 2018 and January 2019. Overall, 59% of workers would continue to work when experiencing influenza-like illness, and the majority of healthcare workers (89.2-99.2%) and non-healthcare workers (80-96.5%) would continue to work with mild symptoms, such as a mild cough, fatigue or sinus cold. Fewer non-healthcare workers (16.2%) than healthcare workers (26.9%) would continue working with fever alone.
Zhao Z, Bai H, Duan J, et al. Thorac Cancer. 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic is negatively impacting patients with non-COVID-related disease and providers are being faced with challenges in delivering ongoing care to patients with chronic health conditions, such as cancer. This article provides recommendations for alternative treatment for lung cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and other targeted therapies. The authors also suggest approaches to managing treatment-related adverse events outside the hospital to reduce virus exposure among an immunocompromised population.
Long Y, Hu T, Liu L, et al. J Evid Based Med. 2020.
This systematic review pooled data from six trials involving over 9,100 patients to assess the effectiveness of N95 respirators versus surgical masks for flu prevention in hospital and community settings. The meta-analysis found no significant difference between N95 respirators and surgical masks in preventing laboratory- confirmed influenza, respiratory infections or influenza-like illness. The authors conclude that N95 respirators should not be recommended for the general public and should be reserved for high-risk medical staff in close contact with diagnosed or suspected influenza patients.
Perea-Pérez B, Labajo-González E, Acosta-Gío AE, et al. J Patient Saf. 2020;16.
Based on malpractice claims data in Spain, the authors propose eleven recommendations to mitigate preventable adverse events in dentistry. These recommendations include developing a culture of safety, improving the quality of clinical records, safe prescribing practices, using checklists in oral surgical procedures, and having an action plan for life-threatening emergencies in the dental clinic.
Aldawood F, Kazzaz Y, AlShehri A, et al. BMJ Open Qual. 2020;9.
This study reports on results of completing TeamSTEPPS training by leadership and staff in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) at one hospital in Saudi Arabia. The team implemented a daily safety huddle aimed at improving communication and early identification and timely resolution of patient safety issues. Over a 7-month period, 340 safety issues were addressed; the majority involved infection control and medication errors (32%), communication issues (24%) and documentation issues (17%). The authors observed that the daily huddle addressed misconceptions and misunderstandings between nursing and medical teams leading to improved care delivery.
Prior research on the relationship between culture of safety and adverse events has produced conflicting results. Using culture of safety survey data from five long-term care facilities, researchers found an association between improved safety culture scores and a decreased risk of certain adverse events.
Riskin A, Bamberger P, Erez A, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2019;45:358-367.
Prior studies have demonstrated that rude behavior undermines patient safety. This study used a smartphone application to collect reports of rudeness directed toward nurses. These data were analyzed in conjunction with the hospital's hand hygiene and medication protocol compliance data as well as adverse event reports to determine if rudeness affected these safety outcomes. Participants also reported whether rudeness incidents influenced their cognition or their teamwork. Although rudeness was associated with worse self-reported cognition and teamwork, investigators did not observe differences in reported adverse events or changes in hand hygiene or medication protocol adherence related to rudeness exposure. A past PSNet perspective discussed how organizations are seeking to rehabilitate persistently disruptive clinicians.
Kua C-H, Mak VSL, Lee SWH. J Amer Med Direct Assoc. 2019;20:362-372.e11.
This systematic review examined the effects of deprescribing on clinical outcomes among patients in long-term care facilities. Researchers found that interventions in which medications were reviewed according to prespecified criteria resulted in reduced mortality and fewer falls. They recommend that deprescribing guided by medication review be widely implemented in long-term care settings.
Zimlichman E, Henderson D, Tamir O, et al. JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173:2039-2046.
Health care–associated infections (HAIs) remain a major contributor to preventable morbidity and mortality in hospitalized patients, despite some progress in combating certain infections. This economic analysis combined a systematic review of estimates of costs attributable to HAIs with HAI incidence data to project hospitals' total financial burden caused by these infections in adult inpatients. The authors conclude that the 5 most common HAIs result in an annual cost to the health care system of nearly $10 billion. Since the majority of HAIs are considered preventable, this finding implies that considerable savings could be achieved through more rigorous HAI prevention efforts. Although the study is limited by the heterogeneous methods of determining costs used in the original studies, other studies have shown a relatively strong business case for hospitals to invest in efforts to prevent HAIs.
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