Patel D, Liu G, Roberts SCM, et al. Womens Health Issues. 2022;32:327-333.
Obstetrics is a considered a high-risk care environment. This claims-based retrospective analysis found that abortion-related morbidity or adverse events occurred in nearly 4% of abortions but that event rates did not differ between OBGYNs or physicians of other specialties.
Incomplete or delayed communication of imaging results can result in harm to the patient and have legal ramifications for the providers involved. This commentary presents a closed-loop communication model for the ordering clinician and radiologist. The model suggests the ordering clinician categorize the radiology report as “concordant” or “discordant”, and if discordant, provide an explanation.
Wiering B, Lyratzopoulos G, Hamilton W, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2022;31:579-589.
Delays in cancer diagnosis and treatment can lead to significant morbidity and mortality. This retrospective study linking data reflecting primary and secondary care as well as cancer registry data found that only 40% of patients presenting with common possible cancer features received an urgent referral to specialist care within 14 days. Findings revealed that a significant number of these patients developed cancer within one year.
Atallah F, Hamm RF, Davidson CM, et al. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2022;227:B2-B10.
The reduction of cognitive bias is generating increased interest as a diagnostic error reduction strategy. This statement introduces the concept of cognitive bias and discusses methods to manage the presence of bias in obstetrics such as debiasing training and teamwork.
Montgomery A, Lainidi O, Johnson J, et al. Health Care Manage Rev. 2022;Epub Jun 16.
When faced with a patient safety concern, staff need to decide whether to speak up or remain silent. Leaders play a crucial role in addressing contextual factors behind employees’ decisions to remain silent. This article offers support for leaders to create a culture of psychological safety and encourage speaking up behaviors.
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.
Zimolzak AJ, Singh H, Murphy DR, et al. BMJ Health Care Inform. 2022;29(1):e100565.
Patient safety algorithms developed through research must also be implemented into clinical practice. This article describes the process of translating an electronic health record-based algorithm for detecting missed follow-up of colorectal or lung cancer testing, from research into practice. All 12 test sites were able to successfully implement the trigger and identify appropriate cases.
Samal L, Khasnabish S, Foskett C, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;Epub Jul 21.
Adverse events can be identified through multiple methods, including trigger tools and voluntary reporting systems. In this comparison study, the Global Trigger Tool identified 79 AE in 88 oncology patients, compared to 21 in the voluntary reporting system; only two AE were identified by both. Results indicate multiple sources should be used to detect AE.
Watson J, Salisbury C, Whiting PF, et al. Br J Gen Pract. 2022;Epub Jun 6.
Failure to communicate blood test results to patients may result in delayed diagnosis or treatment. In this study, UK primary care patients and general practitioners (GPs) were asked about their experiences with the communication of blood test results. Patients and GPs both expected the other to follow up on results and had conflicting experiences with the method of communication (e.g., phone call, text message).
Tajeu GS, Juarez L, Williams JH, et al. J Gen Intern Med. 2022;37:1970-1979.
Racial bias in physicians and nurses is known to have a negative impact on health outcomes in patients of color; however, less is known about how racial bias in other healthcare workers may impact patients. This study used the Burgess Model framework for racial bias intervention to develop online modules related to racial disparities, implicit bias, communication, and personal biases to help healthcare workers to reduce their implicit biases. The modules were positively received, and implicit pro-white bias was reduced in this group. Organizations may use a similar program to reduce implicit bias in their workforce.
Minyé HM, Benjamin EM. Br Dent J. 2022;232:879-885.
High reliability organization (HRO) principles used in other high-risk industries (such as aviation) can be applied patient safety. This article provides an overview of how HRO principles (preoccupation with failure, situational awareness, reluctance to simplify, deference to expertise, and commitment to resilience) can be successfully applied in dentistry.
De Micco F, Fineschi V, Banfi G, et al. Front Med (Lausanne). 2022;9:901788.
The COVID-19 pandemic led to a significant increase in the use of telehealth. This article summarizes several challenges that need to be addressed (e.g., human factors, provider-patient relationships, structural, and technological factors) in order to support continuous improvement in the safety of health care delivered via telemedicine.
Prescribing antibiotics increases the risk of resistant infections and can lead to patient harm. From December 2019 to November 2020, 389 ambulatory practices participated in a quality improvement project using the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Safety Program for Improving Antibiotic Use Program. The goal of the intervention was to support implementation and sustainment of antibiotic stewardship into practice culture, communication, and decision-making. Practices that completed the program and submitted data showed a significant decrease of antibiotic prescribing for acute respiratory infections at program completion in November 2020.
Diagnostic errors caused by premature closure and anchoring bias occur when clinicians rely on initial diagnosis despite receiving subsequent information to the contrary. This commentary encourages clinicians to be aware of their cognitive biases during the diagnosis process.
Howe LC, Hardebeck EJ, Eberhardt JL, et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2022;119:e2007717119.
Providers’ gender, racial, and ethnic bias can adversely affect patient safety and lead to poor outcomes. This study investigated white patients’ physiological responses to treatment provided by either a woman or Black physician. Despite patients’ positive overt attitudes to Black or woman physicians, they were less physiologically responsive to placebo treatment provided by women or Black physicians, suggesting additional implications for health inequities.
Jordan M, Young-Whitford M, Mullan J, et al. Aust J Gen Pract. 2022;51:521-528.
Interventions such as deprescribing, pharmacist involvement, and medication reconciliation are used to reduce polypharmacy and use of high-risk medications such as opioids. In this study, a pharmacist was embedded in general practice to support medication management of high-risk patients. This study presents perspectives of the pharmacists, general practitioners, practice personnel, patients, and carers who participated in the program.
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.
McInerney C, Benn J, Dowding D, et al. Stud Health Technol Inform. 2022;290:364-368.
Digital health tools are increasingly used across all areas of the healthcare system. In this study, researchers convened an interdisciplinary expert panel to identify patient safety concerns associated with emerging digital health technologies and to outline recommendations to address these concerns.
Goodair B, Reeves A. Lancet Public Health. 2022;7:e638-e646.
England’s National Health Service (NHS) allows patients to receive care from public or for-profit private organizations. In comparing treatable mortality rates at public and for-profit providers, researchers found an additional 557 treatable deaths at for-profit private organizations between 2014 and 2020. The authors recommend further research into potential causes.
Xiao Y, Smith A, Abebe E, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;Epub May 22.
Older adults are particularly vulnerable to medication errors due to polypharmacy and medical complexities. In this qualitative study, healthcare professionals outlined several multifactorial hazards for medication-related harm during care transitions, including complex dosing, knowledge gaps, errors in discharge medications and gaps in access to care.
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