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Found 242 results
  1. Content Article
    Surveying activity across 136 WHO member states that observed World Patient Safety Day 2022, the report details: Activities and events held by WHO headquarters, regional offices and country offices. National events, conferences and webinars held in different member states. Publications and videos highlight key issues relating to World Patient Safety Day, including a blog by Patient Safety Learning and a Patient Safety Spotlight Interview with Angela Carrington, Lead Pharmacist for Medication Safety In Northern Ireland. Involvement of patients and healthcare professionals in events and activities. Media coverage.
  2. Content Article
    The impact of tiredness on performance Tired from work? No matter what your job, work can sometimes wear us out and leave us feeling drained and weary. For those of us that work in healthcare, this can have huge impacts on the care we are able to deliver to our patients. Our workloads are heavy, stressful and often involve complex decision making, compounded by a shortage of staff and a lack of support in the workplace. On top of this, there are the usual out of work demands: family, social, studying and keeping fit to name but a few. With more and more things needing attention in our waking hours, sleep has a tendency to fall down the list of priorities. Many healthcare workers are chronically sleep restricted and don’t routinely get their required 8 hours’ sleep. Early starts and night shifts only serve to make matters worse. In fact, chronic sleep restriction reduces our subjective feelings of drowsiness, so we may miss the important warning signs that our performance is deteriorating. There’s good evidence that as we tire our performance get worse. It’s harder to make complex decisions or perform complicated tasks, manage our emotions and interact empathically with colleagues. Staff have less respect for sleep deprived managers. Our vigilance, short term memory, and mood suffer; we are more impulsive, poorer at assessing risk and less effective at teamwork.[1] And we are more accident-prone, sometimes with tragic consequences. Doctors, nurses, midwives – all have died driving home tired. The patient safety implications Sleep restriction also impacts on the care we deliver to patients. GPs prescribe more antibiotics when they have been working long hours without a break, surgeons are slower at operating, and patients anaesthetised later in the day have higher rates of postoperative pain, nausea and vomiting than those on morning lists. At the end of a long shift, neonatal ICU clinicians are less meticulous about hand asepsis.[2] Tired practitioners make more errors prescribing and dispensing drugs at night, and patients operated on out-of-hours have an increased risk of unexpected death. Patients of nurses working shifts longer than 12 hours have higher rates of mortality and morbidity.[3, 4] Staff wellbeing It’s not only the patients that may come to harm, night shift workers themselves have a higher risk of several diseases, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, mental health problems, accidents, injuries and some forms of cancer.[5–8] Our bodies are not designed to be awake at night. As well as the brain’s internal body clock controlling our circadian sleep rhythm, many of our cells function differently at night. The pancreas goes into a tailspin if we eat a large meal in the middle of the night; digestion, blood sugar control, muscle strength and cognitive function are all diurnal (day-active). These systems don’t respond when we change from day to night shift. No matter how hard we try, we are unable to shift the phase of our internal clock to match our work demands, so we may be sleepy during night shifts and struggle to sleep in the day. What can we learn from other industries? Every other safety-critical industry realises that employee fatigue is a problem and has ways of recognising and mitigating its impact. But for some reason, healthcare does not. It’s a legal requirement for other 24/7 industries, such as airlines, road haulage and nuclear, to have a formal fatigue risk management system as part of the work culture. So what can we learn from them? The first thing is education: ensuring everyone in an organisation understands the risks of fatigue and the importance of prioritising our sleep – so-called ‘good sleep hygiene’. At work we need easily accessible facilities in quiet dark safe areas where we can nap during breaks. Even a 20 minute ‘power nap’ makes us safer. We need a culture that encourages staff to take breaks and to nap. We also need to minimise the amount of work we do between 3 and 6am, the circadian nadir, perhaps changing the time we traditionally give 6 hourly medicines from midnight and 6 am, where drug errors are more common at these times, to 1 am and 7 am. Where activity cannot be avoided, we need to look out for each other; double check what we are doing with a colleague and have some experienced staff on each shift who can support our thinking in fast-moving situations. Most of all we need to talk about fatigue, to find out who is already tired when we come to work and recognise that fatigue-aware cultures make healthcare safer, for staff and for our patients. What can organisations do to improve their culture? Organisations can take steps to improve their culture, including: Putting fatigue on the risk register. Improving facilities with sofa beds in staff rooms. Raising awareness of fatigue amongst medical and nursing staff, particularly in acute medical disciplines, such as anaesthesia, obstetrics, critical care and emergency medicine. But rather than work piecemeal, we need a national effort; governments should require all healthcare organisations to have fatigue on the risk register, and to demonstrate how they are mitigating the impact of long hours and nightshift work. Driving to and from work should become part of ‘driving for work’ – the regulatory framework that covers lorry drivers and train drivers – so that the employer has a stake in the employee getting home safely. The employee would then get a power nap during a shift, which is known to drastically reduce the chance of having 'microsleeps' at the wheel. In a healthcare system that’s under huge strain, taking fatigue seriously is an easy win, it will make patients and staff safer and provide a much-needed boost to morale and wellbeing. References Kayser KC, Puig VA, Estepp JR. Predicting and mitigating fatigue effects due to sleep deprivation: A review. Front Neurosci 2022; 16. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2022.930280. Rittenschober-Böhm J, Bibl K, Schneider M, et al. The association between shift patterns and the quality of hand antisepsis in a neonatal intensive care unit: An observational study. Int J Nurs Stud 2020; 112:103686. doi: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2020.103686. Gurubhagavatula I, Barger L, Barnes C, et al. Guiding Principles For Determining Work Shift Duration And Addressing The Effects Of Work Shift Duration On Performance, Safety, And Health. Sleep 2021; 44(11). doi: 10.1093/sleep/zsab161. Linder JA, Doctor JN, Friedberg MW, et al.. Time of day and the decision to prescribe antibiotics. JAMA Intern Med 2014; 174(12):2029-31. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.5225. Papantoniou K, Castaño-Vinyals G, Espinosa A, et al. Shift work and colorectal cancer risk in the MCC-Spain case-control study. Scand J Work Environ Health 2017; 43(3): 250-259. doi: 10.5271/sjweh.3626. Park J, Shin SY, Kang Y, Rhie J. Effect of night shift work on the control of hypertension and diabetes in workers taking medication. Ann Occup Environ Med 2019; 31(27): e27. doi: 10.35371/aoem.2019.31.e27. Patterson PD, Weiss LS, Weaver MD, et al. Napping on the night shift and its impact on blood pressure and heart rate variability among emergency medical services workers: study protocol for a randomized crossover trial. Trials 2021; 22(1): 212. doi: 10.1186/s13063-021-05161-4. Ponsin A, Fort E, Hours M, Charbotel B, Denis MA. Commuting Accidents among Non-Physician Staff of a Large University Hospital Center from 2012 to 2016: A Case-Control Study. Int J Environ Res Public Health 2023; 17(9): 2982. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17092982. Further resources on fatigue Why we need to manage fatigue in the NHS – a blog from Nancy Redfern and Emma Plunkett Association of Anaesthetists fatigue resources. Fatigue resources on the hub.
  3. News Article
    NHS Highland has been reprimanded for a data breach which revealed the personal email addresses of people invited to use HIV services. The health board used CC (carbon copy) instead of BCC (blind carbon copy) to send an email to 37 people. The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) said the error amounted to a "serious breach of trust". It called for improvements to be made to data protection safeguards for HIV service providers. The mistake meant all recipients of the email could see the personal addresses of the others receiving it. One person said they recognised four other individuals, one of whom was a previous sexual partner. Read full story Source: BBC News, 30 March 2023
  4. Content Article
    Advice for healthcare professionals: be extra vigilant when prescribing and dispensing medicines with commonly confused drug names to ensure that the intended medicine is supplied if pharmacists have any doubt about which medicine is intended, contact the prescriber before dispensing the drug follow local and professional guidance in relation to checking the right medicine has been dispensed to a patient report suspected adverse drug reactions where harm has occurred as a result of a medication error on a Yellow Card or via local risk management systems that feed into the National Reporting and Learning System.
  5. News Article
    A misplaced medical tube contributed to the death of the first child in the UK to die after contracting Covid, a coroner has found. Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab, 13, of Brixton, south London, died of acute respiratory distress syndrome, caused by Covid-19 pneumonia, on 30 March 2020, three days after testing positive for coronavirus. He had a cardiac arrest before he died. Ismail’s death prompted widespread alarm about the potentially lethal impact of Covid on children. Hours before Ismail died, an endotracheal tube (ET) used to help patients breathe was found to be in the wrong position. A consultant in paediatric intensive care decided to leave it and monitor him. Giving his judgment on Thursday, senior coroner Andrew Harris said: “I am satisfied that he [Ismail] would not have died when he did were it not for the tube misplacement.” On Wednesday, the inquest at London Inner South London coroner’s court heard evidence from Dr Tushar Vince, a consultant in paediatric intensive care at King’s College hospital who treated Ismail on 29 March after he had been intubated. Asked by Harris if it would be reasonable to put the positioning of the ET on the death certificate as one of the causes, Dr Vince said: “I think it would be reasonable to consider it, yes.” She said: “I was so focused on the lungs I just didn’t see how high this tube was and I’m so sorry that I didn’t see it.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 2 March 2023
  6. Content Article
    The authors conducted a prospective observational time and motion study in the emergency department of a 400-bed teaching hospital. They found that doctors were interrupted 6.6 times/h. 11% of all tasks were interrupted, 3.3% more than once. Doctors multitasked for 12.8% of time. It appears that in busy interrupt-driven clinical environments, clinicians reduce the time they spend on clinical tasks if they experience interruptions, and may delay or fail to return to a significant portion of interrupted tasks. Task shortening may occur because interrupted tasks are truncated to ‘catch up’ for lost time, which may have significant implications for patient safety.
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