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Tran AK, Calabrese M, Quatrara B, et al. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; September 2022. AHRQ Publication No. 22-0026-4-EF.

Nurses are underutilized as members of the diagnostic team. This publication examines the role of nursing educators and leaders to enhance the participation of nurses in diagnostic processes. It shares strategies for improving diagnosis through nurse engagement in the process. This issue brief is part of a series on diagnostic safety.

This case describes a 20-year-old woman was diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism and occlusive thrombus in the right brachial vein surrounding a  peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) line (type, gauge, and length of time the PICC had been in place were not noted). The patient was discharged home but was not given any supplies for cleaning the PICC line, education regarding the signs of PICC line infection, or referral to home health services.

Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; September 2022. AHRQ Publication No. 22-0026-3-EF.

Correct consideration of the likelihood that a patient may have a potential disease guides each level of diagnostic decision making; misjudgments can be fatal. This issue brief introduces an information-focused framework to examine how clinicians determine probability and discusses educational avenues for enhancing those skills. The publication is part of a report series on diagnostic safety.

NAM’s Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience. Washington DC, American Association of Medical Colleges or virtual; October 3, 2022, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM (eastern).

Concerted effort has been undertaken to understand the impact of clinician burnout on patient safety. This webinar will discuss the culmination of a six-year effort to design a national multidisciplinary guidance to address system issues that affect the wellbeing of clinicians.

AHA Team Training. October 6 – November 17, 2022.

Despite the recognition that teamwork is essential to safe care, its implementation into established processes can be a challenge. Building on the established TeamSTEPPS® principles, this virtual workshop series focuses on leadership, change management and process integration to enrich organizational efforts to embed effective teamwork into care.
Harris CK, Chen Y, Yarsky B, et al. Acad Pathol. 2022;9:100049.
Physicians, including resident physicians, report safety events at lower rates than nurses and other staff. This study analyzed adverse event and near miss reporting by residents in one American hospital. Although pathology residents accounted for more than 5% of residents in the hospital, they only accounted for 0.5% of all reports.
Müller BS, Lüttel D, Schütze D, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:444-448.
Effective patient safety improvement efforts address safety threats at the individual, interpersonal, and organizational levels. This study characterizes safety measures described in incident reports from German outpatient care settings. Of the 243 preventative measures identified across 160 reports, 83% of preventative measures were classified by the research team as “weak,” meaning that they focus on influencing human behavior rather than on treating underlying problems (e.g., alerts, trainings, double checks).
Soto C, Dixon-Woods M, Tarrant C. Arch Dis Child. 2022;Epub Jul 21.
Children with complex medical needs are vulnerable to patient safety threats. This qualitative study explored the perspectives of parents with children living at home with a central venous access device (CVAD). Parents highlight the persistent fear of central line-associated blood stream infections as well as the importance of maintaining a sense of normalcy for their children.

A 49-year-old woman was referred by per primary care physician (PCP) to a gastroenterologist for recurrent bouts of abdominal pain, occasional vomiting, and diarrhea. Colonoscopy, esophagogastroduodenoscopy, and x-rays were interpreted as normal, and the patient was reassured that her symptoms should abate. The patient was seen by her PCP and visited the Emergency Department (ED) several times over the next six months. At each ED visit, the patient’s labs were normal and no imaging was performed.

Wallace W, Chan C, Chidambaram S, et al. NPJ Digit Med. 2022;5.
Patient use of digital and online symptom checkers is increasing, but formal validation of these tools is lacking. This systematic review identified ten studies assessing symptom checkers evaluating a variety of conditions, including infectious diseases and ophthalmic conditions. The authors concluded that the diagnostic and triage accuracy of symptom checkers varies and has low accuracy.
Rehder KJ, Adair KC, Eckert E, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;Epub Aug 10.
Teamwork is an essential component of patient safety.  This cross-sectional study of 50,000 healthcare workers in four large US health systems found that the teamwork climate worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic. Survey findings indicate that healthcare facilities with worsening teamwork climate had corresponding decreases in other measured domains, including safety climate and healthcare worker well-being. The researchers suggest that healthcare organizations should proactively increase team-based training to reduce patient harm.
Olans RD, Olans RN, Marfatia R, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2022;48:552-558.
Inadequate or incorrect documentation of patient allergies can lead to patient harm. This commentary discusses factors contributing to penicillin allergy documentation errors within electronic heath record systems (EHRs) and how EHR alerts can be used to improve safety around penicillin allergies.
Ivanovic V, Assadsangabi R, Hacein-Bey L, et al. Clin Radiol. 2022;77:607-612.
Radiological interpretation errors can result in unnecessary additional tests, wrong treatment and delayed diagnosis. This study explored the correlation between neuroradiologists’ diagnostic errors and attendance at institutional tumor boards. Results show that higher attendance at tumor boards was strongly correlated with lower diagnostic error rates. The researchers recommend increased and continuous attendance at tumor boards for all neuroradiologists.
Packer MDC, Ravinsky E, Azordegan N. Am J Clin Pathol. 2022;157:767-773.
Studies have shown diagnostic discordance in evaluation of surgical pathology specimens. In this study, pathologists and pathology residents were asked to diagnose surgical pathology or cytopathology cases and provide a diagnosis. Most respondents provided the correct diagnosis for most of the cases; 35% of cases were wholly or partially misdiagnosed. Educational and process changes (e.g., requiring subspecialist over-read for some diagnoses) were implemented in the pathology department in response, resulting in substantial improvement in error rates.

NIHCM Foundation. Washington DC: National Institute for Health Care Management. August 2, 2022.

Preventable maternal morbidity is an ongoing challenge in the United States. This infographic shares general data and statistics that demonstrate the presence of racial disparities in maternal care that are linked to structural racism. The resource highlights several avenues for improvement such as diversification of the perinatal staffing and increased access to telehealth.
Atallah F, Hamm RF, Davidson CM, et al. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2022;227:B2-B10.
The reduction of cognitive bias is generating increased interest as a diagnostic error reduction strategy. This statement introduces the concept of cognitive bias and discusses methods to manage the presence of bias in obstetrics such as debiasing training and teamwork.

September 21, 2022. 5:00 AM – 11:00 AM (eastern).

Incident investigations are important tools for uncovering latent factors that facilitate patient harm. This conference will draw from experience in the United Kingdom to discuss how adverse event examinations can improve care provision and will highlight efforts in the United Kingdom to focus on maternity care safety.
Tajeu GS, Juarez L, Williams JH, et al. J Gen Intern Med. 2022;37:1970-1979.
Racial bias in physicians and nurses is known to have a negative impact on health outcomes in patients of color; however, less is known about how racial bias in other healthcare workers may impact patients. This study used the Burgess Model framework for racial bias intervention to develop online modules related to racial disparities, implicit bias, communication, and personal biases to help healthcare workers to reduce their implicit biases. The modules were positively received, and implicit pro-white bias was reduced in this group. Organizations may use a similar program to reduce implicit bias in their workforce.