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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.

London UK: Crown Copyright; March 30, 2022. ISBN: 9781528632294.

Maternal and baby harm in healthcare is a sentinel event manifested by systemic failure. This report serves as the final conclusions of an investigation into 250 cases at a National Health System (NHS) trust. The authors share overarching system improvement suggestions and high-priority recommendations to initiate NHS maternity care improvement.
Fleisher LA, Schreiber M, Cardo D, et al. N Engl J Med. 2022;386:609-611.
The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted many aspects of health care. This commentary discusses its impact on patient safety. The authors discuss how the pandemic response dismantled strategies put in place to prevent healthcare-associated infections and falls, and stressors placed on both patients and healthcare workers directed attention away from ongoing safety improvement efforts. They argue that more resilience needs to be built into the system to ensure safety efforts are sustainable in challenging times.
Mital R, Lovegrove MC, Moro RN, et al. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2022;31:225-234.
Accidental ingestion of over-the-counter (OTC) cold and cough medicines (CCMs) among children can result in adverse events. This study used national surveillance data to characterize emergency department (ED) visits for harms related to OTC CCM use and discusses differences by patient demographics, intent of use, and concurrent substance use.

Ellis NT, Broaddus A. CNN. August 25, 2021. 

Maternal safety is an ongoing challenge worldwide. This news feature examines how the COVID pandemic has revealed disparities and implicit biases that impact the maternal care of black women. The stories shared highlight experiences of mothers with preventable pregnancy-related complications.
Keister LA, Stecher C, Aronson B, et al. BMC Public Health. 2021;21:1518.
Constrained diagnostic situations in the emergency department (ED), such as crowding, can impact safe care. Based on multiple years of electronic health record data from one ED at a large U.S. hospital, researchers found that providers were significantly less likely to prescribe opioids during constrained diagnostic situations and less likely to prescribe opioids to high-risk patients or racial/ethnic minorities.
Liese KL, Davis-Floyd R, Stewart K, et al. Anthropol Med. 2021;28:188-204.
This article draws on interviews and observations to explore medical iatrogenesis in obstetric care. The authors discuss how various factors – such as universal management plans, labor and delivery interventions, and informed consent – contribute to iatrogenic harm and worse perinatal outcomes for racial/ethnic minority patients.

Kritz F. Shots. National Public Radio; May 24, 2021.

Health literacy efforts address challenges related to both language and effective communication tactics. This story discussed how lack of language and information clarity reduced patient education effectiveness during the pandemic and highlights several efforts to address them including information product translation services.

A pregnant patient was admitted for scheduled Cesarean delivery, before being tested according to a universal inpatient screening protocol for SARS-CoV-2. During surgery, the patient developed a fever and required oxygen supplementation. Due to suspicion for COVID-19, a specimen obtained via nasopharyngeal swab was sent to a commercial laboratory for reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing.

Shannon EM, Zheng J, Orav EJ, et al. JAMA Network Open. 2021:4(3);e213474.

This cross-sectional study examined whether racial/ethnic disparities in interhospital transfers (IHT) for common medical diagnoses such as heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, stroke, and sepsis, impact mortality outcomes. The authors analyzed 899,557 patients and reported that Black patients had lower odds of IHT compared to White patients, while Hispanic patient had higher odds of IHT compared with White patients. The authors propose several possible explanations including differences in Black and Hispanic willingness to transfer, impact of insurance status and reimbursement rates, coding inaccuracies, and other complex dynamics for their findings.
Postorino M, Treglia M, Giammatteo J, et al. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020;17:8834.
Telehealth benefits, barriers, and challenges have become more apparent due to its increased use during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study evaluated 3,828 telehealth examinations (telephone, email) and found that the incidence of serious or minor adverse events was less than 0.50%.  
Brooks Carthon M, Brom H, McHugh MD, et al. Med Care. 2021;59:169-176.
Prior research has shown that lower nurse-to-patient ratios are associated with increased patient mortality. This cross-sectional analysis using multiple data sources from four states assessed the relationship between nurse staffing and survival disparities after in-hospital cardiac arrest. Results indicate that disparities in survival between black and white patients may be linked to medical-surgical nurse staffing levels, and that the benefit of being treated at a hospital with higher staffing ratios may be especially pronounced for black patients.
Braithwaite J, Vincent C, Garcia-Elorrio E, et al. BMC Med. 2020;18:340.
Delivering high-quality, safe healthcare requires coordination and integration of complex systems and activities. The authors propose three initiatives to further practical opportunities for transforming health systems across the world – a country-specific blueprint for change, tangible steps to reduce inequities within and across health systems, and learning from both errors and successes to improve safe care delivery.  
Levy N, Zucco L, Ehrlichman RJ, et al. Anesthesiology. 2020;133:985-996.
This article describes the experience of one hospital in eastern Massachusetts implementing rapid response capabilities in an innovative, hybrid acute care-intensive care unit. Health system leadership used failure modes and effect analysis, process mapping, and on-site walkthroughs to identify potential hazards and opportunities for risk mitigation, as well as in situ simulation drills to facilitate team training.
Khan A, Yin HS, Brach C, et al. JAMA Pediatr. 2020;174:e203215.
Language barriers between patients and providers is a potential contributor to adverse events. Based on a cohort of 1,666 Arabic-, Chinese-, English-, and Spanish-speaking parents of general pediatric and subspeciality patients 17 years and younger, this study examined the association between parents with limited comfort with English (LCE) and adverse events in hospitalized children. Compared with children of parents who expressed comfort or proficiency with English, children of parents who expressed LCE had significantly higher odds of experiencing an adverse event, including preventable events. Future research should focus on strategies to improve communication and safety for this vulnerable group of children.
Wee LE, Fua T‐P, Chua YY, et al. Acad Emerg Med. 2020;27:379-387.
This article describes the use of a broad suspect case criteria for detecting COVID-19 in the emergency department of one large, hospital in Singapore. Both the initial official case criteria and the broadened case definition, which included patients presenting with acute respiratory disease with no alternative etiology and a history of travel or residence in a country with ongoing local transmission were used with the broadened criteria having higher sensitivity. The broader criterion may increase the numbers of suspected positive cases but can help minimize nosocomial ED transmission.
Lai J, Ma S, Wang Y, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3:e203976.
Healthcare workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic are at risk for adverse psychological impacts. This cross-sectional survey evaluated mental health outcomes affecting healthcare workers treating patients exposed to COVID-19 in China. The 1,257 survey respondents reported symptoms of distress (72%), depression (50%), anxiety (45%) and insomnia (34%). Those engaged directly in the diagnosis, treatment and care of patients with COVID-19 were at greater risk for symptoms of depression (odds ratio [OR]=1.52; 95% CI, 1.11-2.09), anxiety (OR=1.57; 95% CI, 1.22-2.02), insomnia (OR=2.97; 95% CI, 1.92-4.60), and distress (OR=1.60; 95% CI, 1.25-2.04). The authors conclude that special interventions to promote the mental well-being of healthcare workers treating patients with COVID-19 need to be immediately implemented in order to reduce psychological burden.