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US Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs. 117th Cong (2021-2022). (July 20, 2022).

Large-scale electronic health record (EHR) implementation projects encompass a myriad of problems to navigate to arrive at success. This Congressional panel explores challenges experienced during EHR implementation in the VA Health system. Panelists from the Veterans Administration, the investigator and the technology vendor involved in the program shared insights and next steps to direct improvement.

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.

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.

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.

Villarosa L. New York, NT: Doubleday: 2022. ISBN 9780385544887. 

Health inequities are receiving increased attention as a patient safety issue. This book examines the persistent problem of systemic racism on the health of Black patients. It summarizes the evidence on how racism affects health care and discusses strategies for improvement such as reducing gaps in implicit bias content in curriculum.

Andreou A. Scientific AmericanMay 26, 2022.

Negative comments and attitudes indicate a lack of professionalism that can affect patient care. This article shares concerns about surgeon biases toward patients who are overweight and calls for clinicians to recognize the problem and address it.

Clark C. MedPage Today. May 20, 2022.

Public reporting of safety measures is considered a hallmark of health care transparency. This article discusses a proposed change to reporting requirements in the Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program (HACRP). The change would limit the sharing of patient safety indicator data that informs Care Compare and hospital Medicare reimbursements.

Chicago, IL: Harpo Productions, Smithsonian Channel: May 2022.

The COVID-19 pandemic revealed the impact of racial disparities and inequities on patient safety for patients of color. This film shares stories of families whose care was unsafe. The cases discussed highlight how missed and dismissed COVID symptoms and inattention to patient and family concerns due to bias reduces patient safety.

Kelman B. Kaiser Health News. April 29, 2022.

Technological solutions harbor unique risks that can result in patient harm. This article shares a response to reports of automated dispensing cabinet (ADC) menu selection limitations that contribute to mistakes. The piece suggests the implementation of a 5-letter search requirement prior to removing a medication from an ADC. It provides an update on industry response to this forcing function recommendation.

Loller T. Associated PressMarch 30, 2022.

Reporting medical errors, learning from them, and improving systems is a cornerstone of improving patient safety. A just culture centers on moving from blaming individuals for medical errors towards a systems-based approach to learning what went on, in order to prevent similar errors in the future. The recent conviction of a nurse involved in the death of a patient has raised concerns that clinicians may not disclose medical errors out of fear of criminal prosecution and conviction.

Fiore K. MedPage Today. March 28, 2022.

Experts are concerned that convictions for medical error have the potential to limit dialogue on the front line about medical mistakes. This article summarizes discussions regarding the verdict to convict a nurse due to a workaround that resulted in a medication error and patient death.

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.

Stein L, Fraser J, Penzenstadler N et al. USA Today. March 10, 2022.

Nursing home residents, staff, and care processes were particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. This collection of resources examines data and documentation involving one nursing home chain to reveal systemic problems that contributed to failure. It shares family stories that illustrate how COVID affected care in long-term care environments.

Blythe A. NC Health News. March 10, 2022

Patient harm in dentistry is receiving increased attention and scrutiny. This story covers a medication incident and the lack of safety support that contributed to the death of a patient receiving oral surgery. It discusses the response of the patient’s family and their work to change regulations for dental sedation.
Yin HS, Neuspiel DR, Paul IM, et al. Pediatrics. 2021;148:e2021054666.
Children with complex home care needs are vulnerable to medication errors. This guideline suggests strategies to enhance medication safety at home that include focusing on health literacy, prescriber actions, dosing tool appropriateness, communication, and training of caregivers. A March 18, 2022 webinar will highlight factors contributing to medication errors in the home and outline strategies to reduce their impact.

Boodman SG. Washington Post. February 12, 2022.

Misdiagnosis over a long period of time can be acerbated by stigma and cognitive bias. This news story illustrates the problem of omissions due to potential stigma associated with patient mental health issues that contributed to a missed diagnosis. The author discusses how clinician experience led to flagging of a different testing approach to reveal a diagnosis that, once addressed, improved the patient's health.

Levy R, Vestal AJ. Politico. February 19, 2022.

Transmission of COVID-19 in the health care setting continues to be a concern. This article discusses an analysis of US government statistics tracking hospital-acquired COVID-19 infections and reasons that control efforts may be lagging, which include visitor masking choices and health care worker return to work post-COVID-19 behaviors.