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Milliren CE, Bailey G, Graham DA, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e741-e746.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) use a variety of quality indicators to measure and rank hospital performance. In this study, researchers analyzed the variance between AHRQ pediatric quality indicators and CMS hospital-acquired condition indicators and evaluated the use of alternative composite scores. The researchers identified substantial within-hospital variation across the indicators and could not identify a single composite measure capable of capturing all of the variance observed across the broad range of outcomes. The authors call for additional research to identify meaningful approaches to performance ranking for children’s hospitals.
Lalani M, Morgan S, Basu A, et al. J Health Serv Res Policy. 2022;Epub May 6.
Autopsies following unexpected deaths can provide valuable insights and learning opportunities for improving patient safety. In 2017, the National Health Service (NHS) implemented “Learning from Deaths” (LfD) to report, learn from, and avoid potentially preventable deaths. Through interviews with policy makers, managers, and senior clinicians responsible for implementing the policy, this study reports on how contextual factors influenced implementation of the LfD policy.
Morsø L, Birkeland S, Walløe S, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2022;48:271-279.
Patient complaints can provide insights into safety threats and system weaknesses. This study used the healthcare complaints analysis tool (HCAT) to identify and categorize safety problems in emergency care. Most problems arose during examination/diagnosis and frequently resulted in diagnostic errors or errors of omission.
Enumah SJ, Resnick AS, Chang DC. PLOS ONE. 2022;17:e0266696.
While quality and patient safety initiatives are implemented to improve patient outcomes, they also typically include a financial cost which must be balanced with expected outcomes. This study compared hospitals’ financial performance (i.e., financial margin and risk of financial distress) and outcomes (i.e., 30-day readmission rates, patient safety indicator-90 (PSI-90)) using data from the American Hospital Association and Hospital Compare. Hospitals in the best quintiles of readmission rates and PSI-90 scores had higher operating margins compared to the lowest rated hospitals.

London UK: Patient Safety Learning: 2022.

Unsafe care affects a wide range of individuals and organizations physically, emotionally, and financially. This report examines large system failures in the UK National Health Service to suggest actions that support learning and improvement. The publication highlights how public investigations, government reports, legal actions, and patient complaints can provide information to support the systems approach required to arrive at safe care.
Wojcieszak D. J Patient Saf Risk Manag. 2022;27:15-20.
Open disclosure and apology for errors is recommended in healthcare. In this study, 38 state medical boards responded to a survey regarding disclosure and apology practices after medical errors. Findings suggest that state medical boards have generally favorable views toward clinicians who disclose errors and apologize, and that these actions would not make the clinician a target for disciplinary action; respondents had less favorable views towards legislative initiatives regarding apologies and disclosure.

Collaborative for Accountability and ImprovementApril 26, 2022.

Communication and resolution programs (CRP) can improve response to patients and families after a harmful medical error. This session examined how silos negatively impact transparency after error and how CRPs can reduce siloed communication. The session features Dr. Jo Shapiro as a panelist.

Rau J. Kaiser Health News. February 8, 2022. 

Rating systems face challenges to accurately represent the safety and quality of patient care. This article discusses inconsistent results between national rating systems and those organizations penalized by the Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program though reduction of Medicare payments for hospitals recording certain adverse events.

Washington, DC: United States Government Accountability Office; November 30, 2021. Publication GAO-22-105142.

Patient complaints have the potential to be used for care improvement as they surface problems in health facilities. This report examined complaint response processes in Veterans Affairs nursing homes and found them lacking. Five recommendations submitted to drive improvement underscore the value of adherence to policy and the transfer of complaint experiences to leadership.

Joint Commission.

Sentinel events are a primary indicator of patient safety in hospitals that enable learning through reporting to the Joint Commission. This website provides access to statistics, alerts, policies and tools to assist organizations in using sentinel events for their medical error reduction efforts.

Zirger JM, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fed Register. September 27, 2021;86:53309-53312.

Tracking healthcare-associated infection (HAI) data aids in national, regional, and organizational design of HAI improvement efforts. This notice calls for public comment on the continuation of the National Healthcare Safety Network HAI information collection process. The comment period closes November 26, 2021.
Bouwman R, Bomhoff M, Robben PB, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;17:473-482.
When appropriately responded to and addressed, patient complaints may help prevent adverse events. In this study of patient complaints filed with the Dutch Healthcare Inspectorate, researchers investigated how patients expected their complaint would impact healthcare quality, whether patients and regulators had similar expectations, and if expectations are different whether the complaints are clinical or nonclinical in nature. Results show a mismatch between expectations of patients and regulators.
Arntson E, Dimick JB, Nuliyalu U, et al. Ann Surg. 2021;274:e301-e307.
Hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) are thought to be preventable, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reduce payments to hospitals with the highest rates of these conditions through its Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program (HACRP). This study evaluated surgical HACs at three timepoints: before Affordable Care Act (ACA) implementation, after ACA implementation, and after HACRP. While the number of HACs continued to decline after implementation of HACRP, it did not affect 30-day mortality.

Ross NE, Newman WJ. J Am Acad Psychiatry Law. Epub 2021 May 21.

Open disclosure of errors and adverse events is increasingly encouraged in healthcare, but clinicians frequently cite fear of malpractice lawsuits as a reason to avoid apologizing for an error. This commentary summarizes the relationship between apologies and malpractice, the emergency of apology laws in the United States, and research exploring the impact of apology laws on malpractice claims and patient outcomes.
Synan LT, Eid MA, Lamb CR, et al. Surgery. 2021;170:764-768.
This study compared unsolicited hospital reviews posted online by patients with Hospital Compare patient satisfaction and postsurgical safety indicators. While there was variation in consumer ratings between platforms, unstructured consumer reviews were generally correlated with Hospital Compare patient satisfaction scores; consumer platforms were not consistently correlated with postsurgical patient safety indicators.