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A proceduralist went to perform ultrasound and thoracentesis on an elderly man admitted to the medicine service with bilateral pleural effusions. Unfortunately, he scanned the wrong patient (the patient had the same last name and was in the room next door). When the patient care assistant notified the physician of the error, he proceeded to scan the correct patient. He later nominated the assistant for a Stand Up for Safety Award.
Chang BH, Hsu Y-J, Rosen MA, et al. Am J Med Qual. 2020;35:37-45.
Preventing health care–associated infections remains a patient safety priority. This multisite study compared rates of central line–associated bloodstream infections, surgical site infections, and ventilator-associated pneumonia before and after implementation of a multifaceted intervention. Investigators adopted the comprehensive unit-based safety program, which emphasizes safety culture and includes staff education, identification of safety risks, leadership engagement, and team training. Central line–associated bloodstream infections and surgical site infections initially declined, but rates returned to baseline in the third year. They were unable to measure differences in ventilator-associated pneumonia rates due to a change in the definition. These results demonstrate the challenge of implementing and sustaining evidence-based safety practices in real-world clinical settings. A past PSNet interview discussed infection prevention and patient safety.
Wong LP. Semin Dial. 2019;32:266-273.
Patients with end-stage renal disease are vulnerable to adverse events in dialysis. This commentary outlines a team-based approach to improving safety in dialysis care. The authors highlight the importance of multidisciplinary teamwork, accountability, and coleadership to develop high-functioning teams for safe dialysis.
Rönnerhag M, Severinsson E, Haruna M, et al. J Adv Nurs. 2019;75:585-593.
Inadequate communication in obstetrics can compromise safety. In this qualitative study, researchers conducted focus groups of multidisciplinary teams including obstetricians, midwives, and nurses working in a single maternity ward to examine their perceptions of adverse events during childbirth. Analysis of data collected suggests that support for high-quality interprofessional teamwork is important for safe maternity care.
Jukkala AM, Kirby RS. MCN Am J Matern Child Nurs. 2009;34:365-371.
This survey of rural hospitals in the southern United States found that hospitals with fewer than 125 deliveries per year were relatively less prepared to administer neonatal resuscitation. As well, one-third of hospitals did not have an established method for transferring patients to tertiary care hospitals.
Tregunno D, Pittini R, Haley M, et al. Qual Saf Health Care. 2009;18:393-6.
This study evaluated the feasibility of an obstetrical team performance tool that raters used to observe teamwork and communication behaviors in clinical practice. While the tool requires further reliability and validity testing, early feedback suggested its usability as a comprehensive and quick method for assessing team performance.
A toddler admitted for severe dehydration requires a femoral IV. The anesthesiologist ignores a nurse's reminder that hospital policy requires monitoring if a child is to receive sedation in the unit. When the nurse attempts to stop the procedure, the anesthesiologist throws the needle to the floor.