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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.

This commentary presents two cases highlighting common medication errors in retail pharmacy settings and discusses the importance of mandatory counseling for new medications, use of standardized error reporting processes, and the role of clinical decision support systems (CDSS) in medical decision-making and ensuring medication safety.

Hendy J, Tucker DA. J Bus Ethics. 2020;2021;172:691–706.
Using the events at the United Kingdom’s Mid Staffordshire Trust hospital as a case study, the authors discuss the impact of ‘collective denial’ on organizational processes and safety culture. The authors suggest that safeguards allowing for self-reflection and correction be implemented early in the safety reporting process, and that employees be granted power to speak up about safety concerns.
Hart WM, Doerr P, Qian Y, et al. AMA J Ethics. 2020;22:E298-E304.
Communication has become a foci of improvement efforts across the spectrum of patient safety. This article discusses a surgical complication incident that illustrates the importance of transparency, disclosure and collaboration as elements of a successful approach to communication that can successfully manage the impact of an adverse incident.

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.
Nowotny BM, Davies-Tuck M, Scott B, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2021;30:186-194.
After a cluster of perinatal deaths was identified in 2015, the authors assessed 15-years of routinely collected observational data from 7 different sources (administrative, patient complaint and legal data) preceding the cluster to determine whether the incidents could have been predicted and prevented. The extent of clinical activity along with direct-to-service patient complaints were found to be the more promising for purposes of potential predictive signals. The authors suggest that use of some routinely collected data of these types show promise; however, further work needs to be done on specificity and sensitivity of the data and to gain access to comparator data is needed.
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.
Byju AS, Mayo K. J Med Ethics. 2019;45:821-823.
Managing errors that affect patients who lack decision-making capacity and a designated decision-maker is a new area of concern. This commentary discusses moral, ethical, legal, and clinical reasons for health care to examine how to respond when such a situation occurs. The authors hope to motivate development of needed protocols and best practices to ensure that this vulnerable patient population is respectfully and completely informed after medical errors.
Carmack HJ. Health Comm. 2020;35:1466-1474.
Large-scale system failures can damage an organization's credibility. This commentary analyzes how one organization responded after an incident that involved 76 patients who mistakenly received fatally high doses of radiation. The strategies discussed center on the importance of organizational communication to patients, navigating the blame response, and rapid efforts to prevent similar events.
Antunez AG, Saari A, Miller J, et al. Ann Surg. 2021;273:516-522.
Clinicians sometimes need to address errors committed by other providers, who may or may not be part of their own organization. This study used simulated cases to explore patient preferences for error disclosure when the disclosing provider was not involved in the error. Patients strongly preferred that these errors be treated similarly to other errors, asking for full disclosure whenever possible. A review article and a WebM&M commentary discuss frameworks for providers to use when disclosing errors committed by another clinician.
Chiu RG. AMA J Ethics. 2019;21:E553-558.
Although disclosure of medical error to patients is difficult, it is an ethical responsibility. This article discusses situations involving patients who are incapacitated and unrepresented but have no surrogate present to assist in communication and care coordination. Despite this challenge, the author argues that the clinician and organization still have the responsibility to document what happened, communicate what is known, and rectify the mistake.
National Quality Forum
This website tracks the progress of a project focused on the development and review of measures to enhance viability, reporting, accountability, and impact of health care organization efforts to reduce diagnostic error. The committee's final report is now available.
Palmer J. Patient Saf Qual Healthc. May/June 2019.
Organizations must learn from adverse events to prevent similar incidents. Reporting on lessons to be learned from the cascade of failures connected with the preventable death of a patient during an acute asthma attack at the door of a hospital emergency department, this magazine article outlines the importance of effective signage, appropriate security staff placement, and acceptance of the responsibility for failure.
Jewett C. Kaiser Health News. May 3, 2019.
Transparency has been heralded as a cornerstone to improvement in health care. This news article reports on a government alternative summary reporting program that allowed medical device makers to conceal safety events and malfunction reports associated with medical devices. A new program that expands access to information about device-related failures will be put in place.
Donaldson LJ, Lemer C, Titcombe J. BMJ. 2019;365:l2037.
This commentary recommends that health care structure the work environment to address conditions that allow for failure. The authors discuss how increased commitment to collective accountability for improvement will result in the robust infrastructure, proactive risk assessment, and cultural conditions needed to ensure patient safety.
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.