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Journal Article > Study
Tsai TT, Maddox TM, Roe MT, et al; National Cardiovascular Data Registry. JAMA. 2009;302:2458-2464.
Patients hospitalized for cardiac problems are vulnerable to experiencing medication errors, as they are commonly prescribed high-risk medications such as anticoagulants and antiplatelet agents. This analysis of more than 22,000 hemodialysis patients undergoing percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI) (for example, angioplasty) found that 22.3% were administered either enoxaparin or eptifibatide, medications that are contraindicated in dialysis patients due to excessive bleeding risk. This risk was borne out in the study, as patients who received the contraindicated medications did in fact have more major bleeding episodes. The high prevalence of serious medication errors in this study argues for education and use of forcing functions to prevent misuse of these medications.
Levinson DR. Washington, DC: US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General; March 2010. Report No. OEI-06-08-00221.
This report examined five methods of identifying adverse events that harmed hospitalized patients. Findings note that physician and nurse reviews were highly effective in discovering problems but that incident reports were not as useful. The document provides numerous recommendations to improve screening for adverse events.
VA Health Care: VA Uses Medical Injury Tort Claims Data to Assess Veterans’ Care, but Should Take Action to Ensure That These Data Are Complete.
Washington, DC: United States Government Accountability Office; October 28, 2011. Publication GAO-12-6R.
This report reviews injury claim data to assess quality of care in the Veterans Affairs health system.
Journal Article > Study
Allaudeen N, Schnipper JL, Orav EJ, Wachter RM, Vidyarthi AR. J Gen Intern Med. 2011;26:771-776.
None of the providers directly involved in caring for hospitalized elderly patients—nurses, physicians, or case managers—were able to accurately predict the likelihood that these patients would be readmitted within 30 days of discharge.
Multifaceted initiative to reduce "alarm fatigue" on cardiac unit reduces alarms and increases nurse and patient satisfaction.
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Health Care Innovations Exchange. June 18, 2014.
Clinical alarms have been described as a serious patient safety issue. This article relates how one hospital implemented a series of actions reduce nuisance alarms in a cardiac unit and reports a substantial decrease in audible alerts with no subsequent adverse effects. Interventions included expanding limits for triggering heart rate alarms and collaboration between two nurses to design customized alarm parameters for individual patients.
Sorra J, Famolaro T, Yount N, Burns W, Liu H, Shyy M. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; November 2014. AHRQ Publication No. 15-0004-EF.
The AHRQ Nursing Home Survey on Patient Safety Culture, a validated tool for measuring safety culture, was initially released in 2008. This comprehensive national survey of registered nurses, nursing aides, and support staff garnered a high response rate. While respondents rated overall safety perceptions highly, similar to outpatient and hospital safety culture surveys, they expressed concerns about adequacy of staffing, as prior reports of adverse events in nursing homes would suggest. Even though most respondents believed that feedback and communication about safety problems was positive, many did not endorse a nonpunitive response to error. Instead, there was concern about individual blame. As with multiple studies, managers reported a more positive safety climate than frontline staff, suggesting that leadership on safety climate has not changed on-the-ground staff perceptions despite increasing awareness of safety culture. Given that prior work has demonstrated a link between positive safety climate and patient outcomes in nursing homes, it will be critical to address the problems raised in this analysis. A past AHRQ WebM&M commentary discussed the safety and quality of long-term care, and a previous AHRQ WebM&M interview with Nicholas Castle explored unique issues surrounding patient safety in the nursing home population.
Levinson DR. Washington, DC: US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General; November 2018. Report No. OEI-06-14-00530.
Frail populations cared for in long-term care facilities are at high risk for adverse events. This report from the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) analyzed Medicare data from 2008 to 2016 to determine the prevalence of adverse events in long-term care facilities and the resultant harm to residents. Nearly half of patients experienced adverse events or temporary harm events. A significant proportion of these events were considered serious, meaning that they led to prolonged stay, transfer to acute care, provision of life-saving intervention, or resulted in permanent harm or death. More than half of these events were found to be preventable and were attributed either to error or substandard care. The OIG recommends that patient safety efforts undertaken by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services specifically address long-term care facilities. A past WebM&M commentary discussed safety and quality of long-term care.