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Wyner D, Wyner F, Brumbaugh D, et al. Pediatrics. 2021;148:e2021053091.
The dismissal of parental concerns is a known contributor to medical errors in children. This story illustrates how poor communication, lack of respect, and anchoring bias  contributed to failure in the care of a boy. The authors share actions being taken by the hospital involved in the tragedy to partner with the family to improve diagnosis practices throughout their organization.
Nadkarni A, Levy-Carrick NC, Kroll DS, et al. National Academy of Medicine; 2021.
Communication within teams is central to safe care delivery, crisis management, and staff well-being. This report shares the experience of one hospital that used technology to enhance information-sharing as a strategy to reduce clinician burnout in times of uncertainty and crisis.
Shaw J, Bastawrous M, Burns S, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;17:30-35.
Patients who have fallen in their homes and are found by a home healthcare worker are referred to as “found-on-floor” incidents. This study found that length of stay was a key theme in found-on-floor incidents and signaled underlying system-level issues, such as lack of informational continuity across the continuum of care (e.g., lack of standard documentation across settings, unclear messaging regarding clients’ home care needs), reliance on home healthcare workers instead of rehabilitation professionals, and lack of fall assessment follow-up. The authors recommend systems-level changes to improve fall prevention practices, such as use of electronic health records across the continuum of care and enhanced accountability in home safety.  

Boston, MA: Institute for Healthcare Improvement: September 2020.  

This National Action Plan developed by the National Steering Committee for Patient Safety – a group of 27 national organizations convened by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement – provides direction for health care leaders and organizations to implement and adapt effective tactics and supportive actions to establish the recommendations laid out in the plan. Its areas of focus include culture, leadership, and governance, patient and family engagement, workforce safety and learning systems.  

Chicago, IL; Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine: August 2020. 

Patients and families provide unique insights for leaders working to improve diagnosis. This report highlights how organizations can best implement patient advisory council programs to spark learning, enhance feedback, and support a safety culture that enhances the impact of those efforts. 

Chicago, IL; Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine: August 2020.   

Patient and Family Advisory Councils (PFACs) are an established strategy that provides structure to a health care organization’s patient and family engagement efforts. This report shares insights and tools to establish a PFAC and engage them in diagnostic error reduction.      
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.
Chuang E, Cuartas PA, Powell T, et al. AJOB Empir Bioeth. 2020;11:148-159.
Before the emergence of COVID-19, the National Academy of Medicine had provided guidance on the reallocation of scarce medical resources – including ventilators – during extreme situations. Based on focus groups and key informant interviews conducted in 2018, this study sought to understand potential barriers arising from ethical conflicts to the implementation of these guidelines for ventilator allocation in the event of resource scarcity. Participants anticipated challenges reconciling this protocol with their roles and identities as health care providers, as well as concerns about emotional consequences, and fear of legal repercussions. These concerns raise questions about the performance of such a protocol in disaster scenarios and highlight the need for disaster preparedness drills and training.

James G. House Commons Report 31. Department of Health and Social Care. London, England: Crown Copyright; 2020. ISBN 9781528617284.

Sharing information from large-scale failure investigations provides insights on latent factors that contribute to patient harm. This analysis discusses a criminal case involving one surgeon in the National Health Service. The examination uncovered problems perpetuated by culture, lack of respect for patient concerns, poor complaint follow-up and organizational blindness. The report summarizes recommendations to reduce similar situations through improving patient communication, organizational accountability and complaints management.
Brown SD, Bruno MA, Shyu JY, et al. Radiology. 2019;293:30-35.
This commentary reviews general aspects of the disclosure movement, supportive evidence, and challenges associated with liability concerns. The authors discuss barriers unique to radiology that have hindered acceptance of the practice and highlight how communication-and-resolution programs can support radiologist participation in disclosure conversations.
Pettersen B, Tate J, Tipper K, McKean H. Colorado Senate Bill 19-201.
Communication-and-resolution mechanisms are seen as important approaches to improving transparency and healing after an adverse event. This state bill, referred to as the "Colorado Candor Act," protects conversations between organizations, clinicians, patient, and families from legal discoverability and outlines criteria to guarantee that protection.
Blease CR, Bell SK. Diagnosis (Berl). 2019;6:213-221.
Despite growing support for patient involvement in safety and quality improvement, little is known about engaging patients as partners in reducing diagnostic error. This commentary summarizes research on how sharing notes with patients can improve the timeliness of follow-up to confirm a diagnosis, identify documentation errors, and strengthen communication between the clinical team and the patient. The authors discuss challenges to the successful implementation of this strategy and areas of focus needed for future development. A PSNet interview discussed use of OpenNotes to engage patients in their care.
Dr. Schulz Moore is the Director of Learning and Teaching at the University of New South Wales Faculty of Law and an Associate with the University of New South Wales School of Public Health and Community Medicine. Her research in health law draws from her unique training in public health, law, and health social sciences. We spoke with her about disclosure and apology in health care as well as the intersection between health and legal systems in Australia, New Zealand, and the United States.
Dr. McDonald is President of the Center for Open and Honest Communication at the MedStar Institute for Quality and Safety, and Adjunct Professor of Law at Loyola University-Chicago School of Law and the Beazley Institute for Health Law and Policy. An internationally recognized patient safety expert, he served as a lead architect for the Communication and Optimal Resolution (CANDOR) toolkit, supported by AHRQ. We spoke with him about lessons learned over the years regarding event reporting and his insights about building and disseminating communication-and-resolution programs.
Hong K, Hong YD, Cooke CE. Res Social Adm Pharm. 2019;15:823-826.
Medication errors are common in inpatient and ambulatory environments. This commentary summarizes the research exploring the current status of medication safety incident reporting and reduction efforts in community pharmacies. The authors call for community pharmacy corporations to encourage the discussion and data sharing needed to increase transparency around incidents in this care setting. A recent PSNet interview discussed challenges to safety in the retail pharmacy environment.
Elmontsri M, Banarsee R, Majeed A. JRSM Open. 2018;9:2054270418786112.
Health care safety is a global concern. This review examined the literature on improvement experience from developed countries and identified common themes. The authors recommend a patient-centered, systems-oriented approach built on leadership, teamwork, transparency, and communication as key elements for effectively implementing improvement efforts in developing countries.
Cleary M, Lees D, Lopez V. Issues Ment Health Nurs. 2018;39:980-982.
Effective apology behaviors improve opportunities for error resolution for clinicians, patients, and families. This commentary highlights the importance of expressing empathy, considering legal implications, and demonstrating individual, leadership, and organizational support of open disclosure.
Smith KM, Smith LL, (Jack) Gentry JC, et al. J Patient Saf Risk Manag. 2018;24:83-89.
Appropriate response to patient and family concerns after health care–associated harm is important. This commentary describes a seven-element approach to resolving family and patient issues following harmful error incidents. Strategies include providing immediate support to patients and families, rethinking legal action, committing to making changes required to address problems, and developing a communication-and-resolution program community.