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Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2022.

 

Health care–associated infections (HAIs) affect patients both during and after hospitalization. The use of patient safety methods as well as traditional infection control practices has resulted in significant successes in curbing HAIs such as central-line bloodstream infections. This set of practice guidelines will be developed and disseminated over the course of 2022 to summarize preemptive actions and implementation strategies for prevention of HAIs.

An 18-month-old girl presented to the Emergency Department (ED) after being attacked by a dog and sustaining multiple penetrating injuries to her head and neck. After multiple unsuccessful attempts to establish intravenous access, an intraosseous (IO) line was placed in the patient’s proximal left tibia to facilitate administration of fluids, blood products, vasopressors, and antibiotics.  In the operating room, peripheral intravenous (IV) access was eventually obtained after which intraoperative use of the IO line was restricted to a low-rate fluid infusion.

Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
In this annual publication, AHRQ reviews the results of the National Healthcare Quality Report and National Healthcare Disparities Report. The 2021 report highlights that a wide range of quality measures have shown improvement in quality, access, and cost.
Anderson E, Mohr DC, Regenbogen I, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;17:316-322.
Burnout and low staff morale have been associated with poor patient safety outcomes. This study focused on the association between organizational climate, burnout and morale, and the use of seclusion and restraints in inpatient psychiatric hospitals. The authors recommend that initiatives aimed at reducing restraints and seclusion in inpatient psychiatric facilities also include a component aimed at improving organizational climate and staff morale.
MedWatch Safety Alert. Silver Spring, MD: US Food and Drug Administration; August 20, 2021.
This announcement seeks to raise awareness of the potential risks associated with the use of robotic-assisted surgical devices in mastectomies or cancer-related care. Recommendations for patients who may seek to have robotically assisted surgery include asking about their surgeon's experience with these procedures and discussing benefits, risks, and alternatives regarding available treatment options with their health care provider. Suggestions for health care providers include completing specialized training on procedures they perform. A WebM&M commentary described the challenges and benefits associated with robotic surgery.

Patel J, Otto E, Taylor JS, et al. Dermatol Online J. 2021;27(3).

In an update to their 2010 article, this review’s authors summarized the patient safety literature in dermatology from 2009 to 2020. In addition to topics covered in the 2010 article, this article also includes diagnostic errors related to telemedicine, laser safety, scope of practice, and infections such as COVID-19. The authors recommend further studies, and reports are needed to reduce errors and improve patient safety.

MedWatch Safety Alert. Silver Spring, MD: US Food and Drug Administration; January 15, 2021. 

Vinca alkaloid misadministration is a persistent problem that results in patient harm and death. This alert raises awareness of label changes that aim to mitigate accidental spinal administration of the high-alert chemotherapy agent by supporting infusion bag administration only. 
Han D, Khadka A, McConnell M, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3:e2024589.
Unexpected death or serious disability of a newborn is considered a never event. A cross-sectional analysis including over 5 million births between 2011 and 2017 in the United States found unexpected newborn death was associated with a significant increase in use of procedures to avert or mitigate fetal distress and newborn complications (e.g., cesarean delivery, antibiotic use for suspected sepsis). These findings could reflect increased caution among clinicals or indicate more proactive attempts to identify and address potential complications.  
J Patient Saf. 2020;16:s1-s56.
The patient safety evidence base has been growing exponentially for two decades with noted expansion into the non-acute care environment. This special issue highlights eight articles illustrating the range of practices examined in the AHRQ Making Healthcare Safer III report, including rapid response teams and failure to rescue, deprescribing practices and opioid stewardship.   

A 56-year-old female received a digital tourniquet around the base of her left big toe during an ablation and excision of a deformed in-grown toenail.

FDA alerts patients and health care professionals of EpiPen auto-injector errors related to device malfunctions and user administration. MedWatch Safety Alert. Silver Spring, MD: US Food and Drug Administration. March 24, 2020.

Device related errors reduce the safety of medications. This announcement highlights concerns associated with the use of epinephrine auto-injectors. Recommendations to address the problem include patient review of instructions and practice with the device to ensure its effective use in emergent situations.

Institute for Safe Medication Practices. Horsham, PA: Institute for Safe Medication Practices; 2020.

Smart pumps are widely available as a medication safety tool yet there are challenges affecting their reliable use. This guideline expands on earlier recommendations  to support smart pump use in both hospitals and the ambulatory setting. The material provides recommendations that address infrastructure, drug libraries, quality improvement data, workflow and electronic health record interoperability concerns.
Nawaz RF, Page B, Harrop E, et al. Arch Dis Child. 2020;105:446-451.
This analysis of 220 national incident data from England and Wales’ National Reporting and Learning System  sought to identify safety concerns experienced by children on long-term ventilation at home. The most common problems were with the equipment and devices (e.g., faulty or damaged equipment) or procedures and treatment (e.g. tracheostomy tube becomes dislodged). The reports clearly stated harm to the child in 41% of incidents, such as emergency tracheostomy change or hospital admission. Identified contributory factors involved the patients, staff performance, family caregivers, equipment, organizational, and environmental features.
DeLaurentis P, Walroth TA, Fritschle AC, et al. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2019;76:1281-1287.
Smart infusion pumps have the potential to improve medication safety, but research suggests that errors remain common and that careful consideration must be given to both design and implementation of such technology. Researchers conducted a survey of five health systems in Indiana to better understand smart infusion pump users' views and knowledge regarding the drug library update process. They identified significant knowledge gaps, especially around the steps necessary to update the drug library.
DeRosier JM, Hansemann BK, Smith-Wheelock MW, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2019;45:680-685.
Researchers used failure mode and effects analysis to examine intraocular lens implantation. They report uncovering many potential failure modes or safety vulnerabilities and extensive variation in how this procedure is conducted. The authors recommend standardization, changes to equipment and workflows, and quality assurance through direct observation in order to enhance safety.
Pinkney SJ, Fan M, Koczmara C, et al. Crit Care Med. 2019;47:e597-e601.
This simulation study examined critical care unit nurses' performance in identifying intravenous medications using different equipment types. Researchers found that line labels (attached to each line of tubing) and organizers (which prevent tubing from tangling) significantly improved the accuracy of medication identification compared to usual care. Use of smart pumps required more time and did not improve medication identification accuracy, suggesting that line labels and organizers are an inexpensive and feasible method to enhance medication safety.
Cifra CL, Houston M, Otto A, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2019;45:543-551.
Checklists allow health care teams to adhere to best practices. In a single institution's pediatric intensive care unit, a quality champion who prompted teams to discuss a safety checklist daily facilitated a reduction in urinary catheter days and length of stay. However, the patients cared for during the quality champion's tenure had lower illness severity.
Blandford A, Dykes PC, Franklin BD, et al. Drug Saf. 2019;42:1157-1165.
Intravenous medication infusions are an important target for safety interventions. Many infused medications, such as opioids and chemotherapy, require vigilant adherence to protocol to prevent harm. Technical solutions to infusion errors such as computerized provider order entry, barcode medication administration, and smart infusion pumps have been implemented with some success. Investigators compared infusion errors in the United States, where all three technical interventions are common, to the United Kingdom, where those technical interventions are rare. Minor errors were common in each country, but only 0.8% of infusions placed patients at serious risk of harm. Although the details of errors in both countries differed in detail, rates of error and harm were similar. A WebM&M commentary described a chemotherapy infusion error that caused renal failure.