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Weston M, Chiodo C. AORN J. 2022;115:569-575.
Unintentionally retained foreign objects can be exacerbated by fatigue, distractions, and communication errors. This article highlights the importance of effective teamwork, high reliability orientation, and standardized surgical count methods to minimize the persistent problem of retained surgical items.

Farnborough, UK; Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch; May 26, 2022.

Surgical equipment sterilization can be hampered by equipment design, production pressures, process complexity and policy misalignment. This report examines a case of unclean surgical instrument use. It recommends external sterile service assessment and competency review as steps toward improving the reliability of instrument decontamination processes in the National Health Service.
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.
Brown B, Bermingham S, Vermeulen M, et al. BMJ Open Qual. 2021;10:e001593.
Despite evidence of the benefits of the World Health Organization’s surgical safety checklist, implementation and sustainability are inconsistent in many hospitals. Using five cycles of Plan-Do-Study-Act, a hospital in Adelaide, South Australia, was able to increase use of the checklist from 3.5% to 63%. Staff reported that they felt the new checklist process improved patient safety and was easily incorporated into their workflow.

Bekes JL, Sackash CR, Voss AL, et al. AANA J. 2021;89(4):319-324.

Pediatric medication errors during anesthesia can lead to significant harm and are largely preventable. This review identifies several themes around medication errors including dosing and incorrect medication. Successful error reduction strategies, such as standardized labeling and pre-filled syringes, are also described.
Urban D, Burian BK, Patel K, et al. Ann Surg. 2021;2:e075.
The WHO surgical safety checklist has been implemented in healthcare systems around the world. Survey responses from 2,032 surgical team members from high-income countries suggest that most respondents perceive the checklist as enhancing patient safety, but that not all team members are engaging with its use or feel confident in their role in the checklist process.
Bubric KA, Biesbroek SL, Laberge JC, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2021;47:556-562.
Unintentionally retained foreign objects (RFO) following surgery is a never event. In this study, researchers observed 36 surgical procedures to quantify and describe interruptions and distractions present during surgical counting. Interruptions (e.g., the surgeon or another nurse talking to the scrub nurse) and distractions (e.g., music, background noise) were common. Several suggestions to minimize interruptions and distractions during surgical counts are made.

A 34-year-old morbidly obese man was placed under general anesthesia to treat a pilonidal abscess. Upon initial evaluation by an anesthesiologist, he was found to have a short thick neck, suggesting that endotracheal intubation might be difficult. A fellow anesthetist suggested use of video-laryngoscopy equipment, but the attending anesthesiologist rejected the suggestion. A first-year resident attempted to intubate the patient but failed.

Farnborough, UK: Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch; June 3, 2021.

Wrong site/wrong patent surgery is a persistent healthcare never event. This report examines National Health Service (NHS) reporting data to identify how ambulatory patient identification errors contribute to wrong patient care. The authors recommend that the NHS use human factors methods to design control processes to target and manage the risks in the outpatient environment such as lack of technology integration, shared waiting area space, and reliance on verbal communication at clinic.
Filipescu D, Ştefan M. Best Pract Res Clin Anaesthesiol. 2021;35:141-153.
Transgender people are especially vulnerable in healthcare settings. Anesthesiologists are in a critical position to improve transgender patient outcomes by being aware of sex-related differences in physiology, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics. In addition to research characterizing outcomes of surgery between men and women, future research should address the role of women anesthesiologists in improving patient safety.

Ruskin KJ, ed. Curr Opin Anaesthesiol.  2020;33(6):774-822.

The complexity of care delivery requires complementary approaches to prevent mistakes. This special section shares clinical and organizational tactics to address anesthesiology safety issues. They include automation failures, the role of the obstetric anesthesiologist in maternal safety, and monitoring effectiveness. 
Ruskin KJ, Ruskin AC, O’Connor M. Curr Opin Anaesthesiol. 2020;33:788-792.
Task automation in medicine is a core safety tactic that can also create new opportunities for error. This review examines automation failures in anesthesiology. The authors suggest that competency training and demonstration should be embraced to ensure safe use of automated medical equipment such as infusion pumps and electronic health records.   
Engelhardt KE, Bilimoria KY, Johnson JK, et al. JAMA Surg. 2020;155:851-859.
This mixed-methods study analyzed data from a survey of general surgery residents and qualitative interviews with residents and program directors participating in the FIRST trial to assess preparedness for surgical residents. Results indicate the lack of preparedness was associated with inadequate exposure to resident responsibilities while in medical school, such as infrequent overnight calls or not completing a subinternship. Preparedness was associated with a nearly two-fold lower risk of experiencing burnout.
Sweet W, Snyder D, Raymond M. J Healthc Risk Manage. 2020.
This article describes one health system’s experience implementing an infection prevention program into risk management in an outpatient setting. Over a two-year period post-implementation, the system identified and corrected high-risk practices, increased compliance to device guidance, increased efficiency with the use of central sterile processing departments, and developed a staff competency training structure.
Hibbert PD, Thomas MJW, Deakin A, et al. Int J Qual Health Care. 2020;32:184-189.
Based on 31 root cause analysis reports of surgical incidents in Australia, this study found that the most commonly retained surgical items were surgical packs (n=9) and drain tubes (n=8). While most retained items were detected on the day of the procedure (n=7), about 16% of items were detected 6-months or later post-procedure. The study found that complex or lengthy procedures were more likely to lead to a retained item, and many retained items, such as drains or catheters, occur in postoperative settings where surgical counts are not applicable.
This commentary involves two separate patients; one with a missing lab specimen and one with a mislabeled specimen. Both cases are representative of the challenges in obtaining and appropriately tracking lab specimens and the potential harms to patients. The commentary describes best practices in managing lab specimens.
Criscitelli T. AORN J. 2016;103:518-21.
Alarms contribute to distractions, fatigue, and lack of concentration, which can result in patient harm. This commentary examines the problem in ambulatory surgery centers and summarizes resources and recommendations currently available to help staff manage alarms in this setting.
Shapiro FE, Fernando RJ, Urman RD. J Healthc Risk Manag. 2014;33:35-43.
Checklists are an important patient safety intervention in surgery, but existing research has examined their effectiveness only for hospital-based procedures. Although the rate of serious errors in office-based procedures is likely fairly low, safety practices are not standardized in this setting. This survey found that only half of offices performing procedures (which included plastic surgery, gastroenterology, gynecology, and dentistry offices) utilized any type of safety checklist. The main barriers to using checklists were lack of a regulatory mandate and insufficient evidence supporting their effectiveness in this area. A past AHRQ WebM&M commentary discussed a serious error that occurred after a liposuction procedure performed in a plastic surgery office.