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Waters TM, Burns N, Kaplan CM, et al. BMC Health Serv Res. 2022;22:958.
Pay-for-performance (P4P) strategies have been used by federal agencies to incentivize high quality care and reduce medical errors. This study used 2007 to 2016 inpatient discharge data from 14 states to compare rates of inpatient quality indicators and patient safety indicators before and after the implementation of the Medicare’s P4P program. Analyses identified limited improvement in quality and patient safety indicators.
St Paul, MN: Minnesota Department of Health.
The National Quality Forum has defined 29 never events—patient safety problems that should never occur, such as wrong-site surgery and patient falls. Since 2003, Minnesota hospitals have been required to report such incidents. The 2021 report summarizes information about 508 adverse events that were reported, representing a significant increase in the year covered. Earlier reports document a fairly consistent count of adverse events. The rise reflected here is likely due to demands on staffing and care processes associated with COVID-19. Pressure ulcers and fall-related injuries were the most common incidents documented. Reports from previous years are available.
Maher V, Cwiek M. Hosp Top. 2022;Epub Jul 20.
Fear of criminal liability may inhibit clinicians from reporting medical errors, thereby reducing opportunities for learning. This commentary discusses recent legal actions brought against clinicians, including Tennessee nurse RaDonda Vaught, and the negative impact such actions may have on the longstanding disclosure movement.
Hemmelgarn C, Hatlie MJ, Sheridan S, et al. J Patient Saf Risk Manage. 2022;27:56-58.
This commentary, authored by patients and families who have experienced medical errors, argues current patient safety efforts in the United States lack urgency and commitment, even as the World Health Organization is increasing its efforts. They call on policy makers and safety agencies to collaborate with the Patients for Patient Safety US organization to move improvement efforts forward.

Lockhart B, Mascie-Taylor H. Crown Copyright: London, England; June 2022.  ISBN 9781912313631.

Misdiagnosis of neurological conditions, such as stroke, can lead to delays in treatment and patient morbidity and mortality. This report outlines findings from an inquiry into one misdiagnosis attributed to one neurologist in Ireland and discusses the leadership, system, process, and communication failures which permitted misdiagnoses to go unchecked.
Kepner S, Jones RM. Patient Safety. 2022;4:18-33.
Acute care facilities in Pennsylvania are required to report all Incidents and Serious Events to the state’s Patient Safety Authority. This study updates the 2020 report. Similar to prior reports, Error Related to Procedure/Treatment/Test remained the most commonly reported events, followed by Medication Error, Complication of Procedure/Treatment/Test, and Fall.
Milliren CE, Bailey G, Graham DA, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e741-e746.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) use a variety of quality indicators to measure and rank hospital performance. In this study, researchers analyzed the variance between AHRQ pediatric quality indicators and CMS hospital-acquired condition indicators and evaluated the use of alternative composite scores. The researchers identified substantial within-hospital variation across the indicators and could not identify a single composite measure capable of capturing all of the variance observed across the broad range of outcomes. The authors call for additional research to identify meaningful approaches to performance ranking for children’s hospitals.
Lalani M, Morgan S, Basu A, et al. J Health Serv Res Policy. 2022;Epub May 6.
Autopsies following unexpected deaths can provide valuable insights and learning opportunities for improving patient safety. In 2017, the National Health Service (NHS) implemented “Learning from Deaths” (LfD) to report, learn from, and avoid potentially preventable deaths. Through interviews with policy makers, managers, and senior clinicians responsible for implementing the policy, this study reports on how contextual factors influenced implementation of the LfD policy.
Morsø L, Birkeland S, Walløe S, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2022;48:271-279.
Patient complaints can provide insights into safety threats and system weaknesses. This study used the healthcare complaints analysis tool (HCAT) to identify and categorize safety problems in emergency care. Most problems arose during examination/diagnosis and frequently resulted in diagnostic errors or errors of omission.
Enumah SJ, Resnick AS, Chang DC. PLOS ONE. 2022;17:e0266696.
While quality and patient safety initiatives are implemented to improve patient outcomes, they also typically include a financial cost which must be balanced with expected outcomes. This study compared hospitals’ financial performance (i.e., financial margin and risk of financial distress) and outcomes (i.e., 30-day readmission rates, patient safety indicator-90 (PSI-90)) using data from the American Hospital Association and Hospital Compare. Hospitals in the best quintiles of readmission rates and PSI-90 scores had higher operating margins compared to the lowest rated hospitals.

London UK: Patient Safety Learning: 2022.

Unsafe care affects a wide range of individuals and organizations physically, emotionally, and financially. This report examines large system failures in the UK National Health Service to suggest actions that support learning and improvement. The publication highlights how public investigations, government reports, legal actions, and patient complaints can provide information to support the systems approach required to arrive at safe care.
Wojcieszak D. J Patient Saf Risk Manag. 2022;27:15-20.
Open disclosure and apology for errors is recommended in healthcare. In this study, 38 state medical boards responded to a survey regarding disclosure and apology practices after medical errors. Findings suggest that state medical boards have generally favorable views toward clinicians who disclose errors and apologize, and that these actions would not make the clinician a target for disciplinary action; respondents had less favorable views towards legislative initiatives regarding apologies and disclosure.

Collaborative for Accountability and ImprovementApril 26, 2022.

Communication and resolution programs (CRP) can improve response to patients and families after a harmful medical error. This session examined how silos negatively impact transparency after error and how CRPs can reduce siloed communication. The session features Dr. Jo Shapiro as a panelist.

Rau J. Kaiser Health News. February 8, 2022. 

Rating systems face challenges to accurately represent the safety and quality of patient care. This article discusses inconsistent results between national rating systems and those organizations penalized by the Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program though reduction of Medicare payments for hospitals recording certain adverse events.

Washington, DC: United States Government Accountability Office; November 30, 2021. Publication GAO-22-105142.

Patient complaints have the potential to be used for care improvement as they surface problems in health facilities. This report examined complaint response processes in Veterans Affairs nursing homes and found them lacking. Five recommendations submitted to drive improvement underscore the value of adherence to policy and the transfer of complaint experiences to leadership.

Joint Commission.

Sentinel events are a primary indicator of patient safety in hospitals that enable learning through reporting to the Joint Commission. This website provides access to statistics, alerts, policies and tools to assist organizations in using sentinel events for their medical error reduction efforts.

Zirger JM, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fed Register. September 27, 2021;86:53309-53312.

Tracking healthcare-associated infection (HAI) data aids in national, regional, and organizational design of HAI improvement efforts. This notice calls for public comment on the continuation of the National Healthcare Safety Network HAI information collection process. The comment period closes November 26, 2021.