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Search results for "Latent Errors"
Journal Article > Study
Risk of wrong-patient orders among multiple vs singleton births in the neonatal intensive care units of 2 integrated health care systems.
Adelman JS, Applebaum JR, Southern WN, et al. JAMA Pediatr. 2019 Aug 26; [Epub ahead of print].
A classic study found that the replacing the usual naming convention for newborns ("Babygirl" or "Babyboy") with one incorporating the mother's first name (e.g., "Marysgirl" or "Marysboy") reduced wrong-patient errors. Based on this finding, The Joint Commission issued a National Patient Safety Goal (NPSG) requiring the use of distinct naming systems for newborns. The authors of this study noted that the new standard would still leave multiple-birth infants vulnerable to wrong-patient errors, as most hospitals adopted naming standards that left room for confusion between infants (e.g., twin infants might be named "Marysgirl1" and "Marysgirl2"). Researchers examined the rate of wrong-patient errors in six neonatal intensive care units of two health systems that used the NPSG recommended naming conventions, comparing multiple-birth infants to singleton infants. They measured wrong-patient errors by tracking the rate of orders that were retracted and then immediately reordered for a different patient. The rate of wrong-patient errors was significantly higher among multiple-birth infants, most of which could be explained by intrafamilial errors (e.g., a medication was ordered for one twin when intended for another). The accompanying editorial points out that this study is an important example of carefully assessing the real-world impact of novel policies; in this case, the NPSG likely does protect against wrong-patient errors for singleton infants, but not for multiple-birth infants.
Cases & Commentaries
- Web M&M
Neal L. Benowitz, MD; April 2019
A woman who required oxygen at home via nasal cannula and used a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine at night was admitted for an exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease without any signs of infection. During her hospital stay, she continued to require 5 liters of oxygen by nasal cannula. Although the patient had received smoking cessation education and no longer smoked regular cigarettes, she did continue to vape with an electronic cigarette (e-cigarette). Having not been told to avoid vaping in the hospital, the patient took a puff on her e-cigarette while she was receiving oxygen through her nasal cannula and sparked an explosion. She ripped off the nasal cannula, which had melted, and sustained burns to her face and hand, resulting in a prolonged hospitalization for burn care and extensive pain management.
Journal Article > Study
Sun E, Mello MM, Rishel CA, et al; Multicenter Perioperative Outcomes Group (MPOG). JAMA. 2019;321:762-772.
Scheduling overlapping surgeries has raised substantial patient safety concerns. However, research regarding the impact of concurrent surgery on patient outcomes has produced conflicting results. In this multicenter retrospective cohort study, researchers examined the relationship between overlapping surgery and mortality, postoperative complications, and surgery duration for 66,430 surgeries between January 2010 and May 2018. Although overlapping surgery was not significantly associated with an increase in mortality or complications overall, researchers did find a significant association between overlapping surgery and increased length of surgery. An accompanying editorial discusses the role of overlapping surgery in promoting the autonomy of those in surgical training and suggests that further research is needed to settle the debate regarding the impact of overlapping surgery on patient safety.
DeMarco P. Globe Magazine. November 3, 2018.
This magazine article reports on the preventable death of a patient during an acute asthma attack. Written by the patient's husband, the article outlines the failures that led to her death despite the fact that she was at the door of a hospital emergency department and on the phone with an emergency dispatcher. Factors discussed include overreliance on poorly functioning technology, communication failures, and lack of fail-safes.
Cases & Commentaries
- Spotlight Case
- Web M&M
Olle ten Cate, PhD; November 2018
An ICU patient with head and spine trauma was sent for an MRI. Due his critical condition, hospital policy required a physician and nurse to accompany the patient to the MRI scanner. The ICU attending assigned a new intern, who felt unprepared to handle any crises that might arise, to transport the patient along with the nurse. While in a holding area awaiting the MRI, the patient's heart rate fell below 20 beats per minute, and the experienced ICU nurse administered atropine to recover his heart rate and blood pressure. The intern worried he had placed the patient's life at risk because of his inexperience, but he also felt uncomfortable speaking up.
Journal Article > Commentary
Sage WM, Gallagher TH, Armstrong S, et al. Health Aff (Millwood). 2014;33:11-19.
Communication-and-resolution programs continue to face challenges to implementation despite their demonstrated value. This commentary recommends policy adjustments for legal, payment, and peer review protection to address barriers to implementing such programs and optimize their widespread adoption.