Changing the default to promote influenza vaccination among health care workers

February 24, 2016

Source:  Vaccine [Epub ahead of print]

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Date of publication:  February 2016

Publication type:  Journal article

In a nutshell:  Influenza vaccination uptake among health care workers (HCWs) is the most effective method to prevent transmission to patients, but vaccination coverage rates are low among HCWs. Several educational campaigns have been developed to increase the influenza vaccination coverage rates of HCWs, but showed only small effects. The aim of this study was to test an opt-out strategy in promoting uptake among HCWs in a tertiary care center for patients with complex chronic organ failure.

HCWs in the opt-out condition were more likely to have an appointment for influenza vaccination, which in turn increased the probability of getting vaccinated.  Therefore, the authors concluded that changing the default to promote influenza vaccination among HCWs might be an easy and cost-effective alternative to complex vaccination campaigns.

Length of publication:  1 webpage


Which non-technical skills do junior doctors require to prescribe safely? A systematic review

January 27, 2016

Source:  British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology

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Date of publication:  November 2015

Publication type:  Systematic review

In a nutshell:  The aim of this review was to develop a prototype non-technical skills (NTS) taxonomy for safe prescribing, by junior doctors, in hospital settings.  As a result of this research, a prototype taxonomy of relevant categories (situational awareness, decision making, communication and team working, and task management) and elements was constructed.  This prototype will form the basis of future work to create a tool that can be used for training and assessment of medical students and junior doctors to reduce prescribing error in the future.

Length of publication:  12 pages


Junior doctors’ views on reporting concerns about patient safety: a qualitative study

May 22, 2015

Source:  Postgraduate Medical Journal [Epub ahead of print]

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Date of publication:  April 2015

Publication type:  Journal article

In a nutshell:  This study set out to explore the attitudes and barriers to junior doctors formally reporting concerns about patient safety to the organisations in which they are training. A qualitative study was conducted, comprising three focus groups with 10 junior doctors at an Acute Teaching Hospital Trust in the Midlands in 2013. Participants identified that existing incident reporting systems could frustrate efforts to report concerns. They described barriers to reporting, a culture within medicine that was not conducive to reporting concerns, and a lack of feedback providing evidence that formal reporting was worthwhile. They reported a tendency to rely on informal ways of dealing with concerns as an alternative to engaging with formal reporting systems. Attention needs to be paid to the features of reporting systems, the implications of hierarchies and the wider cultural context in which junior doctors work.

Length of Publication:  1 web page

Some important notes: Please contact your local NHS Library for the full text of the article. Follow this link to find your local NHS Library


Cutting medical training by years could harm patient safety, doctors warn

February 20, 2015

Source:  The Telegraph 30 January 2015

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Date of publication:  January 2015

Publication type:  News item

In a nutshell: According to leading doctors’ groups, proposals to shorten medical training could seriously compromise patients’ safety. Plans outlined in an independent review included shortening consultant training from between eight to 10 years to between six to eight years. Junior doctors would become fully registered immediately after completing medical school, but would then spend four to six years in broad-based speciality training. The BMA has called on the government to “pause” such policy development whilst safety concerns are addressed and the changes are piloted in small studies.

Length of Publication:  1 web page


Online patient safety education programme for junior doctors: is it worthwhile?

December 22, 2014

Source:  Irish Journal of Medical Science Epub ahead of print

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Date of publication:  November 2014

Publication type:  Journal article

In a nutshell:  This study looked at online learning about patient safety for junior doctors in Ireland and asked if it is valuable. The participating doctors completed a baseline survey and a follow-up survey. The online initiative resulted in immediate improvements in self-reported knowledge such as knowing when and how to complete incident forms and disclosing errors to patients, and in attitudes towards error reporting. The interactive features were the most positive elements of the programme. The authors conclude that online training about medical errors improved junior doctors self-rated knowledge, attitudes and skills in Ireland.

Length of Publication:  1 web page

Some important notes: Please contact your local NHS Library for the full text of the article. Follow this link to find your local NHS Library


A simple flashcard: big impact for junior doctors!

November 26, 2014

Source:  The Clinical Teacher 11/6 pp. 454-60.

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Date of publication:  October 2014

Publication type:  Journal article

In a nutshell:  Reducing prescribing errors is crucial for ensuring patient safety. Many studies have reported that foundation-year doctors (FYs) have been found to be major contributors to prescribing errors; however, few studies have introduced meaningful interventions. Questionnaires were sent to FY2s to find the 15 most commonly prescribed medications on call. The medications and instructions were incorporated into a flashcard that was disseminated to new FY1s at a hospital in the UK. The FY1s were asked to complete a pre- and post-flashcard questionnaire, giving instructions for 10 medications and their confidence in prescribing these medications. A control group at another hospital were given the same questionnaires, but not the flashcard. No significant difference in confidence was seen in FY1s at either hospital before the flashcard was issued. At week 4, 93% of FY1s still used the flashcard 2.2 times per day, claiming that it saved time on call. The authors say they have introduced an inexpensive and simple prescribing aid, which has been statistically shown to improve prescribing confidence in FY1s.

Length of Publication:  7 pages

Some important notes: Please contact your local NHS Library for the full text of the article. Follow this link to find your local NHS Library


Patients as teachers: a randomised controlled trial on the use of personal stories of harm to raise awareness of patient safety for doctors in training

October 1, 2014

Source:  BMJ Quality & Safety Aug 18. [Epub ahead of print]

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Date of publication:  August 2014

Publication type:  Journal article

In a nutshell:  This study aimed to measure the impact of patient narratives used to train junior doctors in patient safety. A trial was conducted in the North Yorkshire East Coast Foundation School (NYECFS). The intervention consisted of 1-h-long patient narratives followed by discussion. The Attitude to Patient Safety Questionnaire (APSQ) and the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) were used to measure the impact of the intervention. The authors state that involving patients with experiences of safety incidents in training has an ideological appeal and seems an obvious choice in designing safety interventions, but that they were unable to demonstrate the effectiveness of the intervention in changing general attitudes to safety compared to control.

Length of Publication:   Unknown

Some important notes: Please contact your local NHS Library for the full text of the article. Follow this link to find your local NHS Library