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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.

Chicago, IL: American Medical Association; February 2022. 

Insurance policies can have consequences that reduce the safety of medical care. This latest version of the study surveyed 1000 physicians in 2021 to find that prior authorization requirements contributed to patient harm or potentially preventable hospitalization 34 percent of the time. 
Brenner MJ, Boothman RC, Rushton CH, et al. Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 2021;55.
This three-part series offers an in-depth look into the core values of honesty, transparency, and trust. Part 1, Promoting Professionalism, introduces interventions to increase provider professionalism. Part 2, Communication and Transparency, describes the commitment to honesty and transparency across the continuum of the patient-provider relationship. Part 3, Health Professional Wellness, describes the impact of harm on providers and offers recommendations for restoring wellness and joy in work.
Carrillo I, Mira JJ, Guilabert M, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;17:e529-e533.
While prior research has shown patients want disclosure of adverse events, healthcare providers may still be hesitant to disclose and apologize. Factors that influence providers’ willingness to disclose errors and apologize include organizational support, experience in communicating errors, and expectations surrounding patient response. A culture of safety and a clear legal framework may increase providers’ willingness to disclose errors and apologize.

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.

Rosen M, Ali KJ, Buckley BO, et al. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; June 2021. AHRQ Publication No. 20(21)-0040-5-EF.

The mindset on diagnostic error improvement has gone from a focus on individual skills to that of system factors. This issue brief highlights the influence health system executives have on amending the care environment to facilitate the most effective environment for diagnostic accuracy. This is part of a publication series examining diagnostic improvement across health care.
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.  

ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute Care Edition. October 8, 2020;25(20):1-4

In-depth investigations provide multidisciplinary insights that inform sustainable improvement opportunities. This newsletter story highlights a drug administration error examination by a dedicated office in the United Kingdom highlight the value of a commitment to deep, non-punitive analysis of patient safety incidents to enable transparency and learning.

Eng DM, Schweikart SJ. AMA J Ethics. 2020;22(9):e779-e783.

The recognition that humans err and the situation of response to error in a constructive and nonpunitive light are central to achieving safe patient care. This article discusses how implementation of just culture principles can assign accountability appropriately while encouraging disclosure and improvement when mistakes occur. 

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. 
Yong E. The Atlantic. 2020;September.
This article takes a holistic view of the multiple preventable failures of the U.S. in managing the COVID-19 pandemic, raising several patient safety issues from the metasystems perspective. The piece highlights systemic problems such as lack of transparency, investment in public health and learning from experience.

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.