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Riblet NB, Varela M, Ashby W, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2022;48:503-512.
Preventing suicide among patients with a mental health diagnosis is a National Patient Safety goal. This study evaluated the impact of the WHO Brief Intervention and Contact (BIC) Program on suicide after psychiatric discharge at six Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers. After implementation, nearly 82% of patients exhibited positive treatment engagement. Participating healthcare staff reported that the program was easy to use and implement but noted that insufficient staffing and patient loss-to-follow-up can impede program success. A previous WebM&M case and commentary discusses suicide after discharge.

President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. Washington, DC: White House; September 21, 2022.

National efforts are required to adjust the health care system and embed safety in programs and processes. Speakers participating in this webinar discussed the impact of errors on families, adverse event prevalence, aviation safety lessons, nursing’s improvement role, the current state of patient safety and what needs to be done to reduce the impact and associated cost of harm.

Safer Care for All. London, England:  Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care; 2022.

Dedicated leadership is an important component to examine and address challenges to safety across a system. This report outlines a process to reduce the complexity of care across the United Kingdom through the establishment of offices to address inequity, emerging risk regulation, workforce issues, accountability, and lack of trust in the system.
Boisvert S. J Healthc Risk Manag. 2022;Epub Aug 16.
Social determinants of health (SDOH) are non-medical factors that impact a person’s health and well-being. This commentary presents ways that risk managers can improve equity and patient safety by addressing two SDOH: health literacy and discrimination. The author recommends using existing risk management tools (e.g., error reporting, data collection) to develop strategies to address the negative impacts of SDOH.
Bagnasco A, Rossi S, Dasso N, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e903-e911.
Care left undone (also called missed care, unfinished care, and implicitly rationed care) is associated with lower perception of safety culture and increased adverse events. In this study, more than 2,200 pediatric nurses were asked about care tasks left undone in their most recent shift and a variety of environmental factors (e.g., perception of their work environment, risk of burnout). The most frequently omitted task was comfort/talk with patients, and the least frequently omitted task was pain management.
Schilling S, Armaou M, Morrison Z, et al. PLoS ONE. 2022;17:e0272942.
Effective teamwork is critical in acute and intensive care settings. This systematic review of reviews and thematic analysis identified four key factors that frame the evidence on interprofessional teams in acute and intensive care settings – (1) team internal procedures and dynamics, such as cohesion, organizational culture, and leadership influence; (2) communicative processes; (3) organizational and team-extrinsic influences, such as team composition, hierarchy, and interprofessional dynamics, and; (4) team outcomes, including both patient and staff outcomes.

Millenson M. Forbes. September 16, 2022.

Unnecessary medication infusions indicate weaknesses in medication service processes. While no harm was noted in the case discussed, the actions by the patient’s family to initiate an examination of the incident were rebuffed, patient disrespect was demonstrated, a near miss incident report was absent, and data omissions took place. The piece discusses how these detractors from safety were all present at the hospital involved.

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.
Brown TH, Homan PA. Health Serv Res. 2022;57:443-447.
Structural racism, from race-adjusted algorithms to biased machine learning, contributes to and exacerbates health inequities. This commentary calls for developing valid measures of structural racism and a publicly available data infrastructure for researchers. A related study examined the relationship between structural racism and birth outcomes between Black and white patients in Minnesota.
Austin JM, Bane A, Gooder V, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:526-530.
Use of bar code medication administration (BCMA) technology in hospitals has been shown to decrease medication errors at the time of administration. In 2016, the Leapfrog Group implemented a standard for BCMA use as part of its hospital survey. This article describes the development, testing, and subsequent refinement of the BCMA standard.
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.

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.

Farnborough, UK: Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch; 2022. HSIB Report no. NI-005831

This report summarizes the work of an independent office that examines maternity care safety lapses in the United Kingdom. It discusses the number of investigations done, criteria for investigation selection and primary improvement themes drawn from the review of 706 investigations in the period covered which include clinical assessment and oversight, care escalation, and fetal monitoring. The report outlines the goal to establish a maternity review effort as an independent entity in 2023.
Ghaith S, Campbell RL, Pollock JR, et al. Healthcare (Basel). 2022;10:1328.
Obstetric and gynecologic (OB/GYN) physicians are frequently involved in malpractice lawsuits, some of which result in catastrophic payouts. This study categorized malpractice claims involving OB/GYN trainees (students, residents, and fellows) between 1986 and 2020. Cases are categorized by type of injury, patient outcome, category of error, outcome of lawsuit, and amount of settlement.
Adair KC, Heath A, Frye MA, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:513-520.
Psychological safety (PS) is integral to ensuring healthcare workers feel comfortable asking questions and raising patient safety concerns. A novel PS assessment was administered to over 10,000 healthcare workers and support staff in one academic health system. The scale showed a significant correlation with safety culture, especially among those exposed to institutional PS programs (i.e., Safety WalkRounds and Positive Leadership WalkRounds).
Gogalniceanu P, Kunduzi B, Ruckley C, et al. Surgery. 2022;172:537-545.
The patient safety field frequently adapts safety methods from aviation, such as checklists and crew resource management. Drawn from fieldwork, interviews with aviation safety experts, and focus groups with patient safety experts, this study adapted interventions from aviation crisis recovery for use in surgical error recovery. Twelve tools were developed based on three broad strategies: situational awareness and workload management; checklists for non-normal situations; decision making and problem solving.

Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; 2022.  SAMHSA Publication No. PEP22-06-02-005.

Behavioral health workers are particularly susceptible to burnout, which sets the stage for unsafe care. This guide highlights organizational strategies to amend six thematic conditions in the behavioral health setting that degrade worker wellbeing: workload; control; reward, promotion, and career development; community; fairness; and values.

Farnborough, UK: Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch; July 7, 2022.

Misuse of insulin pens contributes to never events associated with diabetic medication therapy in hospitalized patients. This investigation of an injurious insulin extraction workaround culminated in recommendations to improve insulin administration safety including the explicit use of pen devices to administer U-500 insulin.
Moore T, Kline D, Palettas M, et al. J Nurs Care Qual. 2022;Epub Aug 19.
Fall prevention is a safety priority in hospital settings. This study found that Smart Socks – socks containing pressure sensors that detect when a patient is trying to stand up – reduced fall rates among patients at risk of falls in one hospital’s neurological and neurosurgical department. Over a 13-month period, investigators observed a decreased fall rate (0 per 1000 patient days) among patients wearing Smart Socks compared to prior to intervention implementation (4 per 1000 patient days).