Patient Safety Horizon Scanning Volume 6 Issue 3

March 25, 2015

Smartphones let surgeons know WhatsApp: an analysis of communication in emergency surgical teams

March 25, 2015

Source:  American Journal of Surgery 209/1 pp. 45-51

Follow this link for abstract

Date of publication:  January 2015

Publication type:  Journal article

In a nutshell:  The authors say that outdated communication technologies in healthcare can place patient safety at risk. They set out to evaluate implementation of the WhatsApp messaging service within emergency surgical teams in a London hospital. The initiator and receiver of communication were compared for response times and communication types. Safety events were reported using direct quotations. The authors conclude that WhatsApp represents a safe, efficient communication technology.

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


Improving communication with primary care to ensure patient safety post-hospital discharge

March 25, 2015

Source:  British Journal of Hospital Medicine 76/1 pp. 46-9

Follow this link for abstract

Date of publication:  January 2015

Publication type:  Journal article

In a nutshell: Successful communication between hospitals and primary care is vitally important to enable continuity of care and maintain patient safety post-discharge. Discharge summaries are the simplest way for GPs to obtain information about a patient’s hospital stay. A quality improvement study was conducted with the aim of increasing the content of discharge summaries for inpatients in the authors’ department. The content of discharge summaries was reviewed in accordance with local trust guidelines. Initial results pre-intervention confirmed suboptimal content of discharge summaries. Post-intervention results showed each component of discharge summaries improved in terms of content, with six of eight components having a statistically significant (P<0.05) increase. This was maintained after 12 months. Simple, intensive educational sessions can lead to an improvement in discharge summaries and communication with primary care.

Length of Publication:  4 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


Clinical safety of England’s national programme for IT: A retrospective analysis of all reported safety events 2005 to 2011

March 25, 2015

Source:  International Journal of Medical Informatics 84/3 pp. 198-206

Follow this link for abstract

Date of publication:  March 2015

Publication type:  Journal article

In a nutshell:  This study aimed to analyse patient safety events associated with England’s national programme for IT (NPfIT). A retrospective analysis of all safety events managed by a dedicated IT safety team between September 2005 and November 2011 was undertaken. The authors conclude that events associated with NPfIT reinforce that the use of IT does create hazardous circumstances and can lead to patient harm or death. Large-scale patient safety events have the potential to affect many patients and clinicians. Addressing these events should be a priority for all major IT implementations.

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


Development and measurement of perioperative patient safety indicators

March 25, 2015

Source:  British Journal of Anaesthesia [Epub ahead of print]

Follow this link for abstract

Date of publication:  February 2015

Publication type:  Journal article

In a nutshell:  Many hospitals are implementing evidence-based perioperative safety guidelines so as to improve patient safety. The authors of this study aimed to develop patient safety indicators. The RAND-modified Delphi method was used to develop a set of patient safety indicators based on the perioperative guidelines. A core group of experts systematically selected recommendations from the guidelines. An expert panel of representative professionals then appraised the recommendations against safety criteria, prioritised them and reached consensus about 11 patient safety indicators. There was great variation in guideline adherence between and within hospitals, identifying opportunities for improvement in the quality of perioperative care.

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


DH backs shifting national safety functions to single body

March 25, 2015

Source:  Health Service Journal 11 February 2015

Follow this link for abstract

Date of publication:  February 2015

Publication type:  News item

In a nutshell:  The Department of Health has said it “makes sense” to combine national patient safety functions into one organisation.

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


General practice patient safety reporting form launched

March 25, 2015

Source:  NHS England

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Date of publicationFebruary 2015

Publication type:  News item

In a nutshell: A new e-form has been launched to enable general practice staff to quickly and easily report patient safety incidents to the National Reporting and Learning System (NRLS). The number of safety incidents reported to the NRLS from primary care remains low, making it difficult to develop appropriate and relevant support and learning resources for practice staff. The new e-form can be completed in a matter of minutes, with many questions requiring quick and simple answers. Practices can choose to include their practice code or can submit a report anonymously. Patient identifiable information is also not required. Upon submission of the incident report there is the option to request a bounce back email with a Significant Event Audit template which can be used for CPD, Appraisal and Revalidation. This can also provide evidence of patient safety activity during CQC inspections.

Length of Publication:  1 web page