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Washington, DC: Leapfrog Group; July 2022.

Diagnostic safety is beginning to be established as a systemic, rather than solely an individual performance issue. This report recommends strategies that support systemic work toward diagnostic excellence and selected implementation stories that illustrate success. It is a part of a larger initiative devoted to the improvement of organizational and team activities in tandem with clinical processes to minimize the impact of human error on diagnosis.
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.
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.
Harsini S, Tofighi S, Eibschutz L, et al. Diagnostics (Basel). 2022;12:1761.
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.
Upadhyay S, Opoku-Agyeman W, Choi S, et al. J Public Health Manag Pract. 2022;28:505-512.
Patient engagement is a key element of successful patient safety improvement efforts, including those leveraging health information technology (IT) approaches. This longitudinal study using a national sample of hospitalizations identified a significant association between patient engagement and electronic health record (EHR) adoption with the incidence of adverse events.
Ostrow O, Prodanuk M, Foong Y, et al. Pediatrics. 2022;150:e2021055866.
Appropriate antibiotic prescribing is a core component of antibiotic stewardship programs to reduce the risk of antibiotic-resistant microbes. This study assessed the rate of misdiagnosed pediatric urinary tract infections (UTI) and associated antibiotic use following implementation of a quality improvement intervention. Using three interventions (diagnostic algorithm, callback system, standardized discharge antibiotic prescription), misdiagnosis of UTI decreased by half, and 2,128 antibiotic days were saved.

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.
Coffey M, Marino M, Lyren A, et al. JAMA Pediatr. 2022;Epub Jul 25.
The Partnership for Patients (P4P) program launched hospital engagement networks (HEN) in 2011 to reduce hospital-acquired harms. This study reports on the outcomes of eight conditions from one HEN, Children's Hospitals' Solutions for Patient Safety (SPS). While the results do show a reduction in harms, the authors state earlier claims of improvement may have been overstated due to failure to not adjust for secular improvements. The co-director of Partnership for Patients, Dr. Paul McGann, was interviewed in 2016 for a PSNet perspective.
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.
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.
Burns ML, Saager L, Cassidy RB, et al. JAMA Surg. 2022;Epub Jul 20.
Anesthesiologists often must oversee multiple surgeries. This study evaluated adult patients from 23 US academic and private hospitals who underwent major surgery between 2010, and 2017, to examine anesthesiologist staffing ratios against patient morbidity and mortality. The authors categorized the staffing into four groups based on the number of operations the anesthesiologist was covering. The study found that increased anesthesiologist coverage was associated with greater risk-adjusted morbidity and mortality of surgical patients. Hospitals should consider evaluating anesthesiology staffing to determine potential increased risks.
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.
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.
Halvorson EE, Thurtle DP, Easter A, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;Epub Jul 6.
Voluntary event reporting (VER) systems are required in most hospitals, but their effectiveness is limited if adverse events (AE) go unreported. In this study, researchers compared rates of AE submitted to the VER against those identified using the Global Assessment of Pediatric Patient Safety (GAPPS) trigger tool to identify disparities based on patient characteristics (i.e., weight, race, English proficiency). The GAPPS tool identified 37 AE in patients with limited English proficiency; none of these were reported to the VER system, suggesting a systematic underreporting of AE in this population.
Plint AC, Newton AS, Stang A, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2022;Epub Jul 19.
While adverse events (AE) in pediatric emergency departments are rare, the majority are considered preventable. This study reports on the proportion of pediatric patients experiencing an AE within 21 days of an emergency department visit, whether the AE may have been preventable, and the type of AE (e.g., management, diagnostic). Results show 3% of children experienced at least one AE, most of which were preventable.
Smith K, Durant KM, Zimmerman C. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2022;79:1198-1204.
Clinical decision support (CDS) systems built into electronic health records are designed to alert providers to potentially unsafe orders, but many alerts are ignored or overridden. This article describes the effectiveness of one hospital’s clinical decision support for high-risk medications both before and after alert improvements.
Li W, Stimec J, Camp M, et al. J Emerg Med. 2022;62:524-533.
While pediatric musculoskeletal radiograph misinterpretations are rare, it is important to know what features of the image area are associated with false-positive or false-negative diagnoses. In this study, pediatric emergency medicine physicians were asked to interpret radiographs with and without known fractures. False-positive diagnosis (i.e., a fracture was identified when there was none) were reviewed by an expert panel to identify the location and anatomy most prone to misdiagnosis.
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.

Jones LA. The Philadelphia Inquirer. July 17, 2022. 

Racial disparities and inequities detract from safe maternal care. This feature article discusses the history of obstetric care in the United States and examines the roots of unsafe care for Black mothers that perpetuate in that community today.
Eldridge N, Wang Y, Metersky M, et al. JAMA. 2022;328:173.
Improving patient safety in hospitals is a longstanding national priority. Using longitudinal Medicare data from 2010 to 2019, this study identified a significant decrease in the rates of adverse events (e.g., adverse drug events, hospital-acquired infections, postoperative adverse events, hospital-acquired pressure ulcers, falls) over time among patients hospitalized for four common conditions – acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, pneumonia, and surgical procedures.