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Westbrook JI, McMullan R, Urwin R, et al. Intern Med J. 2022;Epub Aug 24.
The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically impacted team functioning in healthcare settings. This survey of nearly 1,600 clinical and non-clinical staff at five Australian hospitals did not identify any perceived increases in unprofessional behaviors during the pandemic and 44% of respondents cited improvements in teamwork.
Shiell A, Fry M, Elliott D, et al. Intensive Crit Care Nurs. 2022;Epub Aug 25.
Rapid response team (RRT) activations bring together a team of providers to immediately assess and treat a patient who is rapidly deteriorating. This mixed-methods study examined the characteristics of a collaborative RRT model in one Australian tertiary care hospital. The majority of activations occurred in general medicine units and some patients (approximately 5%) had more than five activations. Qualitative interviews with nurses and physicians highlighted how the collaborative RRT model improves patient safety and optimized early detection and management of patient deterioration.
Thiruchelvam K, Byles J, Hasan SS, et al. Res Social Adm Pharm. 2022;18:3758-3765.
Potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs) are common among older adults living in residential care facilities. This study examined the impact of the Australian Residential Medication Management Review (RMMR) service (a patient-centered medication review program) on PIM prescribing among older women living in residential aged care facilities. Researchers identified no evidence of an association between the medication review program and use of PIMs in the following year.
Thiele L, Flabouris A, Thompson C. PLoS ONE. 2022;17:e0269921.
Patient and family engagement is essential for safe healthcare. This single-site study found that while most clinicians perceived that patients and families are able to recognize clinical deterioration, clinicians expressed less favorable perceptions towards escalation processes when patients or families have concerns about clinical deterioration.
Redley B, Douglas T, Hoon L, et al. J Adv Nurs. 2022;Epub Jul 7.
Frontline care providers such as nurses play an important role in reducing preventable harm. This study used qualitative methods (direct observation and participatory workshops) to explore nurses’ experiences implementing harm prevention practices when admitting an older adult to the hospital. Researchers identified barriers (e.g., lack of resources, information gaps) and enablers (e.g., teamwork, reminders) to harm prevention during the admission process.
Levkovich BJ, Orosz J, Bingham G, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2022;Epub Jul 5.
Rapid response teams, also known as medical emergency teams (MET), are activated when a patient demonstrates signs of clinical deterioration to prevent transfer to intensive care, cardiac arrest, and death. MET activations were prospectively reviewed at two Australian hospitals to determine the proportion of activations due to medication-related harms and assess the preventability of the activation. 23% of MET activations were medication-related, and 63% of those were considered preventable. Most preventable activations were patients with hypertension, and prevention strategies should focus on these patients.
Ong N, Mimmo L, Barnett D, et al. Dev Med Child Neurol. 2022;Epub May 16.
Patients with intellectual disabilities may be at higher risk for patient safety events. In this study, researchers qualitatively analyzed hospital incident reporting data and identified incidents categories disproportionately experienced by children with intellectual disabilities. These incident categories included medication-intravenous fluid issues, communication failures, clinical deterioration, and care issues identified by parents.
Joseph K, Newman B, Manias E, et al. Patient Educ Couns. 2022;105:2778-2784.
Lack of patient engagement in care can place them at increased risk for safety events. This qualitative study explored ethnic minority stakeholder perspectives about patient engagement in cancer care. Focus groups consisting of participants from consumer and health organizations involved in cancer care in Australia identified three themes supporting successful engagement – consideration of sociocultural beliefs about cancer, adaptation of existing techniques tailored to stakeholders (e.g., culturally specific content), and accounting for factors such as cultural competence during implementation.
Buhlmann M, Ewens B, Rashidi A. J Adv Nurs. 2022;78:2960-2972.
The term “second victims” describes clinicians who experience emotional or physical distress following involvement in an adverse event. Nurses and midwives were interviewed about “moving on” from the impact of a critical incident. Five main themes were identified: Initial emotional and physical response, the aftermath, long-lasting repercussions, workplace support, and moving on. Lack of organizational support exacerbated the nurses’ and midwives’ responses.
Carfora L, Foley CM, Hagi-Diakou P, et al. PLoS ONE. 2022;17:e0267030.
Patients are frequently asked to complete patient-reported outcome measures (PROM), or standardized questionnaires, to assess general quality of life, screen for specific conditions or risk factors, and perspectives on their health. This review identified 14 studies related to patient perspectives regarding PROMs. Three themes emerged: patient preferences regarding PROMs, patient perceived benefits, and barriers to patient engagement with PROMs.
Redley B, Taylor N, Hutchinson AM. J Adv Nurs. 2022;Epub Apr 22.
Nurses play a critical role in reducing preventable harm among inpatients. This cross-sectional survey of nurses working in general medicine wards identified both enabling factors (behavioral regulation, perceived capabilities, and environmental context/resources) and barriers (intentions, perceived consequences, optimism, and professional role) to implementing comprehensive harm prevention programs for older adult inpatients.
Gilbert GL, Kerridge I. BMC Health Serv Res. 2022;22:504.
Hospital transmission of COVID-19 has necessitated review of organization infection prevention and control (IPC) policies and practices. This study, conducted before the pandemic, compared IPC attitudes and practices of nurses and physicians, and how these differences affect interpersonal relationships. Both professions described unflattering and stereotypical behaviors of the other (i.e., doctors are unaware or disdainful of IPC; “bossy” nurses).  Many IPC policies implemented during the pandemic, such as encouraging all healthcare workers to speak up about infection prevention breaches, were accepted by both professions, and the authors recommend seizing on this interprofessional unity to continue adherence to all IPC policies.
Wailling J, Kooijman A, Hughes J, et al. Health Expect. 2022;25:1192-1199.
Harm resulting from patient safety incidents can be compounded if investigating responses ignore the human relationships involved. This article describes how compounded harm arises, and it recommends the use of a restorative practices. A restorative approach focuses on (1) who has been hurt and their needs, and who is responsible for addressing those needs, (2) how harms and relationships can be repaired, and avenues to prevent the incident from reoccurring.
Tham N, Fazio T, Johnson D, et al. World J Surg. 2022;46:1249-1258.
The COVID-19 pandemic led to changes in infection control and prevention measures to limit nosocomial spread. This retrospective cohort study found that escalations in infection prevention and control practices due to the COVID-19 pandemic did not affect the incidence of other hospital-acquired infections among surgical patients at one Australian hospital. The authors posit that this may be due to high compliance with existing infection prevention and control practices pre-pandemic.
Latimer S, Hewitt J, de Wet C, et al. J Clin Nurs. 2022;Epub Mar 6.
Medication reconciliation at hospital discharge has become a mainstay of patient safety efforts with most of the focus on pharmacist involvement. Focus groups of hospital nurses were conducted to elicit their perspectives on their role in medication reconciliation. Three themes emerged: nurses' role involves chasing, checking, and educating; burden of undertaking medication reconciliation at hospital discharge; team collaboration and communication in medication reconciliation.
Patel TK, Patel PB, Bhalla HL, et al. Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2022;78:267-278.
Adverse drug events are common and often result in preventable patient harm. Based on 23 included studies from US and international settings, this meta-analysis estimated that drug-related deaths contributed to 5.6% of all inpatient hospital deaths. The authors estimated that almost half of drug-related deaths are preventable.
Mimmo L, Harrison R, Travaglia J, et al. Dev Med Child Neurol. 2022;64:314-322.
Children with intellectual disabilities may experience poor-quality care and be at higher risk for patient safety events. This cross-sectional study including patients admitted to two children’s hospitals in Australia found that children with intellectual disabilities had longer hospital stays and experienced more admissions with at least one clinical incident (e.g., medication incidents, documentation errors) compared to children without intellectual disabilities.
Moore MR, Mitchell SJ, Weller JM, et al. Anaesthesia. 2021;77:185-195.
Surgical safety checklists (SSCs) have been shown to improve patient outcomes and reduce complications. In this study, postoperative mortality and increased days alive and out of hospital were measures for surgical patients in the 18-month period prior to implementation of the SSC and the 18-month period following implementation. Changes in mortality and days alive and out of hospital during these time periods were indistinguishable from longer-term trends. Researchers noted Māori patients had worse outcomes than non-Māori patients.
Manias E, Street M, Lowe G, et al. BMC Health Serv Res. 2021;21:1025.
This study explored associations between person-related (e.g., individual responsible for medication error), environment-related (e.g., transitions of care), and communication-related (e.g., misreading of medication order) medication errors in two Australian hospitals. The authors recommend that improved communication regarding medications with patients and families could reduce medication errors associated with possible or probable harm.