Patient Safety Horizon Scanning Volume 5 Issue 8

August 27, 2014

The WHO surgical safety checklist: survey of patients’ views

August 27, 2014

Source:  BMJ Quality and Safety 2014 Jul 18. Epub ahead of print

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Date of publication:  July 2014

Publication type:  Journal article

In a nutshell:  The WHO surgical safety checklist should be implemented across all NHS operating theatres, but it presents a challenge for some teams. This paper assessed patients’ views of the checklist. Patients from surgical wards at two hospitals were shown two professionally produced videos. One video showed a team using the WHO surgical safety checklist and the other showed surgery before the checklist was introduced. Patients were surveyed and they had positive views about the checklist and thought it would improve safety. This may provide further evidence to convince professionals who remain resistant to using it.

Length of Publication:  1 web page


An analysis of patient safety incidents associated with medications reported from critical care units in the North West of England between 2009 and 2012

August 27, 2014

Source:  Anaesthesia 69/7 pp. 735-45

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Date of publication:  July 2014

Publication type:  Journal article

In a nutshell:  One of the key tools promoted for improving patient safety in healthcare is incident reporting. The authors of this study analysed 2238 patient safety incidents involving medications submitted from up to 29 critical care units in the North West of England every year between 2009 and 2012. 452 of the incidents led to harm to patients. The most commonly reported drugs were noradrenaline, heparins, morphine and insulin. The administration of drugs was the stage where incidents were most commonly reported. This was also the stage most likely to harm patients. The authors conclude that quality improvement initiatives could improve medication safety in the units studied.

Length of Publication:  11 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


New safety collaborative will improve outcomes for patients with tracheostomies

August 27, 2014

Source:  The Health Foundation

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Date of publication:  July 2014

Publication type:  News item

In a nutshell: A new project in South Manchester will improve the safety and quality of care for patients with tracheostomies. The project, funded by the Health Foundation, aims to improve care and outcomes both in the NHS and around the world. The announcement comes as the European Global Tracheostomy Collaborative (GTC) – a multidisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, allied health clinicians and patients working together to disseminate best practice – is launched during an event at the Royal College of Surgeons in central London, which includes a guest talk from Professor Stephen Hawking. About 15,000 tracheostomies are performed each year in England and Wales. A team at the University Hospital of South Manchester will lead the project and local ‘champions’ in four different sites in Manchester will set targets which can be benchmarked against international hospitals and standards through the GTC’s database.

Length of Publication:  1 web page


Five top tips for using safety culture surveys

August 27, 2014

Source:  The Health Foundation

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Date of publication:  August 2014

Publication type:  News item

In a nutshell: The importance of safety culture in the NHS is a big issue. The Health Foundation spoke to people using safety culture surveys on the front line to try to understand and improve local safety culture. Their experiences and top tips are highlighted on this web page. It was concluded that safety culture surveys are helpful for understanding how safety is perceived, for measuring the impact of an intervention, or as an intervention in their own right.

Length of Publication:  1 web page


New focus on patient safety sees compliments double at A&E unit

August 27, 2014

Source:  The Guardian

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Date of publication:  July 2014

Publication type:  News item

In a nutshell:   The number of compliments from patients about their care at the A&E department at Princess Alexandra hospital NHS trust in Harlow has doubled. Some 95% of patients would recommend the department to family and friends and the department has seen the number of serious patient incidents fall from eight, two years ago, to zero in the last 12 months. The statistics demonstrate the success of the department’s transformation in the last year and reflect a change in culture where patient safety comes first. The A&E now has its first nurse practitioner who can take serious cases including patients with chest or abdominal pain who previously would have been seen by doctors. There is now a consultant in the department 16 hours every day because more emergency consultants have been taken on.

Length of Publication:  1 web page


The patient safety culture as perceived by staff at two different emergency departments before and after introducing a flow-oriented working model with team triage and lean principles: a repeated cross-sectional study

August 27, 2014

Source:  BMC Health Services Research 14/1 pp. 296

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Date of publication:  July 2014

Publication type:  Journal article

In a nutshell:  This Swedish study aimed to describe the patient safety culture in an emergency department at two different hospitals before and after a lean quality improvement (QI) project, which aimed to enhance patient safety. Staff completed a questionnaire before and after the intervention. The intervention was associated with improved perceptions of teamwork within both hospitals and across hospital units at one hospital. One of the hospitals also had improved perceptions of communication openness. Physicians were more likely to perceive the changes than other staff.

Length of Publication:  1 web page