Patient Safety Horizon Scanning Volume 4 Issue 10

October 30, 2013

Six-monthly patient safety incident data published

October 30, 2013

Source:  NHS England

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Date of publication:  September 2013

Publication type:  News item

In a nutshell:  The publication of 6-monthly data on patient safety incidents has been welcomed by NHS England. All incidents in which any patient could have been harmed or has suffered any level of harm, are reported to the National Reporting and Learning System (NRLS) by acute hospitals, mental health services, community trusts, ambulance services and primary care organisations.

Length of Publication:  1 web page


Surgical technology and operating-room safety failures: a systematic review of quantitative studies

October 30, 2013

Source:  BMJ Quality and Safety vol/iss 22/9 pp.710-718

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Date of publication:  September 2013

Publication type:  Journal article

In a nutshell:  This systematic review looked at the frequency of equipment-related error in surgery. One quarter of all errors in surgery are a result of equipment or technology. There was usually about one equipment problem per procedure. Using pre-operative checklists could halve the number of equipment errors.

Length of Publication:  9 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.


Does hands-free drinking improve patient hydration?

October 30, 2013

Source:  Nursing Times vol/iss 109/29, pp. 14-6

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Date of publication:  July 2013

Publication type:  Journal article

In a nutshell:  The researchers examined whether a sports-style bottle could help hospital patients at risk of dehydration. By fitting a drinking tube into the screw top, the bottle could become a hands-free drinking system. Acute wards and in the community were used as a basis to test claims that the bottle could improve hydration and reduce length of hospital stays and the risk of infection. The Hydrant proved transformative for some patients. It was less suitable for older people though particularly those in rehabilitation programmes.

Length of Publication:  3 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.


Whole-Patient Measure of Safety: Using Administrative Data to Assess the Probability of Highly Undesirable Events During Hospitalization

October 30, 2013

Source:  Journal for Healthcare Quality vol/iss 35/5, pp. 20-31

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Date of publication:  September/October 2013

Publication type:  Journal article

In a nutshell:  This article looks at a new model that uses administrative data to gauge the safety of care in hospitals. The model uses a set of highly undesirable events (HUEs) defined using administrative data. It can be customized to address the priorities and needs of different users. With administrative and clinical datasets becoming more consistent, it is possible to use administrative data to compare the rates of HUEs across organizations and to identify opportunities for improvement.

Length of Publication:  12 pages


Patient safety main driver for NHS push to electronic patient records

October 30, 2013

Source:  British Journal of Healthcare Computing

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Date of publication:  September 2013

Publication type:  News item

In a nutshell:  The GP Lead for NHS England’s clinical informatics team, Masood Nazir, has said that the adoption of electronic patient records by the NHS will be an important part of government steps to prevent any future scandals. He has discussed the importance of communication and that data is only worth gathering if it is then shared. The information recorded should include medical tests and results, medication history, diagnoses, allergies and end of life status. From March 2015, the NHS would like people to be able to access their GP health records and repeat prescriptions and to be able to book appointments.

Length of Publication:  1 web page


Five minutes with … a patient safety champion

October 30, 2013

Source:  The Guardian, Friday 4 October 2013

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Date of publication:  October 2013

Publication type:  News item

In a nutshell:  As a patient safety champion, Colin Hewson, would like to see a more open and transparent culture in the NHS to help reduce avoidable harm. He works with a small team of enthusiastic patient safety champions, who attempt to bring their knowledge of reducing harm in high-risk sectors of industry to the NHS. Colin and the team introduced a programme called TalkSafe, which was selected as a finalist in the 2013 Patient Safety Awards.

Length of Publication:  1 web page