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Lefosse G, Rasero L, Bellandi T, et al. J Patient Saf Risk Manag. 2022;27:66-75.
Reducing healthcare-acquired infections is an ongoing patient safety goal. In this study, researchers used structured observations to explore factors contributing to healthcare-related infections in nursing homes in one region of Italy. Findings highlight the need to improve the physical care environment (e.g., room ventilation), handwashing compliance, and appropriate use of antibiotics.
Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority. Harrisburg, PA: Patient Safety Authority; April 2022.
This report summarizes patient safety improvement work in the state of Pennsylvania and reviews the 2021 activities of the Patient Safety Authority, including the Agency's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, video programs, liaison efforts, publication programs, and the launch of a new learning management system.

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press; 2022. ISBN: 9780309686259

Nursing homes face significant patient safety challenges, and these challenges became more apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic. This report identifies key issues in the delivery of care for nursing home residents and provides recommendations to strengthen the quality and safety of care delivery, such as improved working conditions, enhanced minimum staffing standards, improving quality measurement, and strengthening emergency preparedness.
Paulik O, Hallen J, Lapkin S, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e613-e619.
Patient falls are considered a never event and can result in serious injury. This study retrospectively reviewed inpatient falls resulting in injury and the strength of the improvement recommendations proposed after investigation of the event. The researchers classified 8.5% of recommendations as ‘strong’ (i.e., environmental modifications, equipment/process redesign), 35.7% as ‘medium’ (i.e., changing documentation process and/or skill mix, providing education) and 55.8% as ‘weak’ (i.e., alerts or warnings).
Rhodus EK, Lancaster EA, Hunter EG, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e503-e507.
Patient falls represent a significant cause of patient harm. This study explored the causes of falls resulting in harm among patients with dementia receiving or referred to occupational therapy (OT). Eighty root cause analyses (RCAs) were included in the analysis. Of these events, three-quarters resulted in hip fracture and 20% led to death. The authors conclude that earlier OT evaluation may decrease the frequency of falls among older adults with dementia.

Occupational Safety and Health AdministrationMarch 2, 2022.

The impact of nursing home inspections to ensure the quality and safety of the service environment is lacking. Weaknesses in the process became more explicit as poor long-term care infection control was determined to be a contributor to the early spread of COVID amongst nursing home residents. This announcement outlines a targeted inspection initiative to assess whether organizations previously sited have made progress toward improving workforce safety.

Montesantos L. Ann Health Law Life Sci. 2022;31(Spring):179-215.

Health information technologies (HIT) and advanced learning systems, if poorly designed, used, maintained, integrated, or accessed, harbor the potential for failure across the systems they support. This legal discussion argues for federal standards to establish levels of accountability for physicians who use HIT systems and assign liability, should use result in patient harm.

Katz MJ, Tamma PD, Cosgrove SE, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5(2):e220181.

Overuse of antibiotics has been common in nursing homes; therefore, antibiotic stewardship programs (ASPs) have been emphasized by experts. To assist facilities, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Safety Program for Improving Antibiotic Use developed programs and a toolkit to improve the appropriate use of antibiotics. This quality improvement program found that a focused educational initiative to establish ASPs in nursing homes was associated with reduction in antibiotic use in those facilities with high levels of engagement.
Residents living in nursing homes or residential care facilities use common dining and activity spaces and may share rooms, which increases the risk for transmission of COVID-19 infection. This document describes key patient safety challenges facing older adults living in these settings, who are particularly vulnerable to the effects of the virus, and identifies federal guidelines and resources related to COVID-19 prevention and mitigation in long-term care. As of April 13, 2020, the Associated
Fleisher LA, Schreiber M, Cardo D, et al. N Engl J Med. 2022;386:609-611.
The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted many aspects of health care. This commentary discusses its impact on patient safety. The authors discuss how the pandemic response dismantled strategies put in place to prevent healthcare-associated infections and falls, and stressors placed on both patients and healthcare workers directed attention away from ongoing safety improvement efforts. They argue that more resilience needs to be built into the system to ensure safety efforts are sustainable in challenging times.
Saliba R, Karam-Sarkis D, Zahar J-R, et al. J Hosp Infect. 2022;119:54-63.
Patient isolation for infection prevention and control may result in unintended consequences. This systematic review examined adverse physical and psychosocial events associated with patient isolation. A meta-analysis of seven observational studies showed no adverse events related to clinical care or patient experience with isolation.
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.
Wang X, Wilson C, Holmes K. J Gerontol Soc Work. 2021:1-17.
Nursing home residents are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 due to their age and communal living conditions. Using publicly available data for nursing homes in Florida, this study explored the association between nursing home characteristics and COVID-19 cases and deaths. Findings suggest that the likelihood of COVID-19 cases in nursing homes is related to ownership status, facility size and average occupancy rate, rather than quality (as measured by infection prevention and control deficiencies).
Quach ED, Kazis LE, Zhao S, et al. BMC Health Serv Res. 2021;21:842.
The safety climate in nursing homes influences patient safety. This study of frontline staff and managers from 56 US Veterans Health Administration community living centers found that organizational readiness to change predicted safety climate. The authors suggest that nursing home leadership explore readiness for change in order to help nursing homes improve their safety climate.

Center for Healthy Aging--New York Academy of Medicine, Yale School of Nursing.

Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) challenge safety in long-term care. This toolkit highlights multidisciplinary approaches to reducing HAIs and teaching tools focused on distinct audiences across the continuum to share principles and tactics supporting improvement.
Damery S, Flanagan S, Jones J, et al. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021;18:7581.
Hospital admissions and preventable adverse events, such as falls and pressure ulcers, are common in long-term care. In this study, care home staff were provided skills training and facilitated support. After 24 months, the safety climate had improved, and both falls and pressure ulcers were reduced.

The MOQI seeks to reduce avoidable hospitalization among nursing home residents by placing an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) within the care team with the goal of early identification of resident decline. In addition to the APRN, the MOQI involves nursing home teams focused on use of tools to better detect acute changes in resident status, smoother transitions between hospitals and nursing homes, end-of-life care, and use of health information technology to facilitate communication with peers. As a result of the innovation, resident hospitalizations declined.

Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; June 2021.

The use of antibiotics should be monitored to reduce the potential for infection in care facilities. This toolkit outlines offers a methodology for launching or invigorating an antibiotic stewardship program. Designed to align with four time elements of antibiotic therapy, its supports processes that enable safety for nursing home residents.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. May 3, 2021. Fed Register. 2021;86(83):23366-23369.

This notice announces a call for comments on an information collection project drawing from the Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program (CUSP). This project will support the implementation of targeted hospital-acquired infection improvement initiatives in intensive care units, long term care and surgical environments to reduce the prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The process for submitting comments is now closed.