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NIHCM Foundation. Washington DC: National Institute for Health Care Management. August 2, 2022.

Preventable maternal morbidity is an ongoing challenge in the United States. This infographic shares general data and statistics that demonstrate the presence of racial disparities in maternal care that are linked to structural racism. The resource highlights several avenues for improvement such as diversification of the perinatal staffing and increased access to telehealth.

117th Congress 2d Session. June 21, 2022.

Strengthening diagnostic error research and training can lead to sustained diagnostic improvement. Expanding upon legislation introduced in 2020, the “Improving Diagnosis in Medicine Act of 2022” would establish research centers of diagnostic excellence, an interagency council on improving diagnosis in healthcare, and fellowship and training grants in diagnostic safety, as well as convene an expert panel on diagnostic error measurement and data collection and prioritize stakeholder engagement across all activities.

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.

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.

Washington, DC: VA Office of Inspector General; March 17, 2022.

Electronic health record (EHR) implementation failures cause major disruptions to care delivery that can result in inefficiencies, misinformation, and unsafe care. This three-part investigation examines the impact of the new United States Veterans Affairs EHR system problems on medication management, care coordination, and problem reporting and resolution at one facility.

Washington, DC: Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General; August 26, 2021. Report No. 21-01502-240.

Organizational assessments often provide insights that address overarching quality and safety challenges. This extensive inspection report shares findings from inspections of 36 Veterans Health Administration care facilities. Recommendations drawn from the analysis call for improvements in suicide death review, root cause analysis result application, and safety committee action item implementation.

Fourth Report of Session 2021–22. House of Commons Health Committee. London, England: The Stationery Office; July 6, 2021. Publication HC 19. 

High-profile failures motivate examination and change of existing services. This report builds on maternity care failures in National Health Service trusts to recommend needed changes in learning from failure to effectively support clinicians providing maternity care, provide patient-centered care to mothers and babies, and learn from untoward incidents to enhance care safety.

Gangopadhyaya A. Washington DC; Urban Institute: July 2021.

Racial inequities have been revealed by the COVID pandemic as a distinct patient safety concern. This report examined racial differences using patient safety indicators to measure hospital-acquired conditions, insurance coverage, and hospital patient population. The results indicate Black patients have reduced safety, that insurance coverage had little influence on safety and hospitals with a higher Black patient population experienced more adverse events that those serving a white patient population.

Washington, DC: Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General. June 24, 2021. Report No. 19-09808-171.

This report examined veterans' health clinic use of telemental health to identify safety challenges inherent in this approach before the expansion of telemedine during the COVID-19 crisis. The authors note the complexities in managing emergent mental health situations in virtual consultations. Recommendations for improvement included emergency preparedness planning, specific reporting of telemental health incidents and organized access to experts.

Bebinger M. WBUR and Kaiser Health News. April 27, 2021.

Non-English-speaking patients experience barriers to safely navigating the American healthcare system. This story discusses the impact that language and disparities had on care during the pandemic at one health system, and shares outreach communication and translation strategies to improve care safety.
Stevis-Gridneff M, Apuzzo M, Pronczuk M. New York Times. 2020;August 8.
Residential care facilities have been challenged by COVID-19. This story examines the weakness of care processes in nursing homes in Europe that have been revealed due to the pandemic. Data gaps, resource allocation choices, and hospital space considerations are noted situations that have resulted in unintended consequences, reducing the safety of care for this at-risk population. 
This organization shares best practices to align and optimize efforts toward eliminating patient harm by the year 2030. The Foundation supports several awareness initiatives to drive improvements associated with its strategic aims that include promoting transparency, realigning safer care incentives, and informing patients and families about patient safety.

Washington, DC: United States Government Accountability Office; May 20, 2020. Publication GAO-20-576R.   

This US Government Accountability Office (GAO) report highlights the chronic shortfalls in nursing home infection control programs. The GAO analyzed survey data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and found 82% (13,299) of nursing homes surveyed were cited in one or more years between 2013-2017 and in each individual year, 40% of nursing homes had infection control and prevention deficiencies that continued through 2018 and 2019.  While the majority of the citations did not indicate harm to nursing home residents and were rarely associated with enforcement actions, the GAO intends to examine CMS oversight of infection and control in the near future.  In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, these findings are particularly concerning.

Groopman J. New Yorker Online. April 13, 2020. 

Medical devices support quality of life but must be designed appropriately and managed carefully to ensure safety over time. This feature discusses industry processes that reduce the reliability of surgical implants, including gaps and weaknesses in regulatory oversight. 

NHS Improvement. Independent Mortality Review of Cardiac Surgery at St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. NHS England. March 2020.

In-depth incident investigations provide details of care process examinations to motivate learning and improvement. This report examines cardiac surgery patient mortality at a National Health Service Trust over a 5-year period. It highlights weakness in professionalism at the individual and organization level as a contributor to the preventable patient deaths catalogued over that time.

Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Healthwatch; January 2020.

Organizations need to do more than report and collect complaint data to realize improvements based on what is compiled. This report highlights weaknesses in the UK National Health Service (NHS) incident reporting program. It argues that an approach involving improved public and organizational access to complaint information will optimize learning.

Rau J. Kaiser Health News. January 30, 2020.

Medicare reimbursement restrictions are a controversial stimulus to motivate hospital acquired condition reduction efforts. This news article examines the legacy of the penalties, the data's ability to be effectively applied across various types of institutions, and the lack of direct connection to improvements.
Cousins D, Accidents A against M.; 2020.
Health care organizations can learn from internal and external incidents to identify potential patient safety risks and incorporate care process improvements. This report suggests that England’s National Health Service has yet to build accountability and reliability into its response to practice alerts. The authors share 4 primary concerns and recommendations to address the alert compliance gaps that focus on clarity on action expected, transparency, communication and monitoring.