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Found 262 results
  1. Content Article
    The relationship between management and the workforce, in very simplistic terms, can be considered one of reward in return for effort. The contracted effort is communicated through a roster. In organisations that have a continuous operation, blocks of effort are distributed to maintain the flow of output. The organisation of effort, then, is a legitimate function of management.  Norman's previous blog looked at performance variability under normal conditions. In this blog, Norman looks at the impact of physiological states and how management’s organisation of effort degrades decision-making.
  2. Content Article
    The healthcare workplace is a high-stress environment. All stakeholders, including patients and providers, display evidence of that stress. High stress has several effects. Even acutely, stress can negatively affect cognitive function, worsening diagnostic acumen, decision-making, and problem-solving. It decreases helpfulness. As stress increases, it can progress to burnout and more severe mental health consequences, including depression and suicide. One of the consequences (and causes) of stress is incivility. Both patients and staff can manifest these unkind behaviours, which in turn have been shown to cause medical errors. The human cost of errors is enormous, reflected in thousands of lives impacted every year. The economic cost is also enormous, costing at least several billion dollars annually. The warrant for promoting kindness, therefore, is enormous. Kindness creates positive interpersonal connections, which, in turn, buffers stress and fosters resilience. Kindness, therefore, is not just a nice thing to do: it is critically important in the workplace. Ways to promote kindness, including leadership modelling positive behaviours as well as the deterrence of negative behaviours, are essential. A new approach using kindness media is described. It uplifts patients and staff, decreases irritation and stress, and increases happiness, calmness, and feeling connected to others.
  3. Content Article
    In a three-part series of blogs for the hub, Norman Macleod explores how systems behave and how the actions of humans and organisations increase risk.  In part 1 of this blog series, Norman suggested that measuring safety is problematic because the inherent variability in any system is largely invisible. Unfortunately, what we call safety is largely a function of the risks arising from that variability. In this blog, Norman explores how error might offer a pointer to where we might look. 
  4. Content Article
    In this article, Stephen Shorrock, Chartered Ergonomist and human factors specialist, shares some some insights on the concept of ‘human error and the idea of ‘honest mistakes’. He outlines the problem with thinking of errors as ‘causing’ unwanted events such as accidents, arguing that this approach ignores all of the other relevant ‘causes’, especially in high-hazard, safety-critical systems,
  5. Content Article
    Stephen Shorrock looks at how we use deficit-based taxonomies when describing incidents in healthcare and why neutralised taxonomies may be more flexible and useful.
  6. News Article
    A locum responsible pharmacist has been issued a warning after a patient died when he dispensed the wrong strength of oxycodone during a staffing crunch, the regulator has revealed. Paresh Gordhanbhai Patel supplied 120mg rather than the prescribed 20mg of oxycodone hydrochloride to an “elderly” patient while working two locum shifts as responsible pharmacist at Crompton Pharmacy at Whitley House Surgery in Chelmsford. After taking one tablet, the patient died from an “accidental” oxycodone “overdose”, the General Pharmaceutical Council’s (GPhC) fitness-to-practise (FtP) committee heard at a hearing held on 11-13 September. Mr Patel admitted that he was “stressed and overtired” when he failed to notice a “discrepancy” between the prescribed strength of oxycodone and what he ordered and dispensed, The regulator heard that Mr Patel was “over-conscientious” and felt compelled “at a human level” to help out at the under-staffed pharmacy, despite the fact that it was “not safe to do so”, it added. Mr Patel admitted that his errors “amounted to misconduct” and conceded to the committee that his fitness to practise was “impaired” because he “breached one of the fundamental principles of the pharmacy profession.” The regulator heard that Mr Patel had “immediately” admitted his mistake to the pharmacy and did so again at the coroner’s inquest, where he also publicly apologised to the patient’s family. Read full story Source: Chemist and Druggist, 12 October 2023
  7. Content Article
    Medication errors are a leading cause of patient harm globally. WHO launched the Global Patient Safety Challenge: Medication Without Harm, with the objective of preventing severe medication related patient harm globally. This publication is one of the documents in the WHO Technical Series on “Medication Safety Solutions” that the WHO is publishing, to address important aspects pertaining to medication safety.
  8. News Article
    Doctors missed a man’s stroke which led him to suffer another one and go temporarily blind. The man said that the experience had changed him from ‘an outgoing social person, to a sheltered man living in fear that he is not being looked after competently’. The 75-year-old visited his GP in Darlington complaining of dizziness, light-headedness, and a numb foot. He had experienced a stroke and should have been immediately sent to hospital. But doctors missed the signs, diagnosed him with a ‘dropped foot’ and requested an urgent MRI scan. However, due to an administrative error the referral wasn’t made and the scan never happened. A month after visiting the GP, the man suffered a blinding headache and diminished vision. He saw an ophthalmologist who referred him to a specialist team. He had suffered another stroke. He also paid for a private scan which confirmed the first stroke happened a month earlier. Distressingly, the man lost vision in his right eye, which he was told could be permanent. Fortunately, his sight returned eight weeks later. His daughter, who described the experience as ‘horrendous’, complained to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) about her father’s care. The PHSO found that the initial symptoms were signs of a problem with nerve, spinal cord, or brain function. Doctors should have suspected a stroke and immediately sent him to hospital. If that had happened, the second stroke and sight loss would likely have been avoided. Ombudsman Rob Behrens said: “Having a stroke and then being told you could be permanently blind must have been incredibly frightening. The impact on the man, and his family who supported him through the ordeal, will have been deep and long-lasting. “Mistakes like these need to be recognised and acted upon so that they are not repeated.” Read full press release Read case file Source: PHSO, 4 October 2023
  9. Content Article
    Melissa Sheldrick is a Patient Safety Expert, Patient and Family Advisor at ISMP Canada and member of Patients for Patient Safety Canada. With a passion for improving medication safety for all, Melissa uses her unique perspective as a caregiver with lived experience to drive change and promote a culture of safety within the healthcare system. Her dedication to this work is inspired by her personal experience as a mother who lost her 8-year-old son Andrew to a medication error in 2016.  This is their story.
  10. Content Article
    The Patient Safety Network (PSNet) produces primers which provide guidance on  key topics in patient safety through context, epidemiology and relevant PSNet content. This primer focuses on nurse-related medication administration errors and highlights that despite error reduction efforts through implementing new technologies and streamlining processes, medication administration errors remain prevalent. It covers the background to the issue, low-tech and high-tech prevention strategies and the current context.
  11. News Article
    Sharri Shaw walked out of the CVS on Vermont Avenue in South Los Angeles in 2019 believing she had a prescription for the pain reliever acetaminophen. Instead the bottle held a medicine to treat high blood pressure, a problem she did not have. Shaw began taking the pills, not learning of the mistake until six days later when a CVS employee arrived at her home, according to a lawsuit she filed last year. The employee told her not to take the tablets, the lawsuit said, before leaving the correct prescription at her door. The mistake, she said, left her stunned. Shaw’s experience is far from an isolated event. California pharmacies make an estimated 5 million errors every year, according to the state’s Board of Pharmacy. Officials at the regulatory board say they can only estimate the number of errors because pharmacies are not required to report them. Most of the mistakes that California officials have discovered, according to citations issued by the board and reviewed by The Times, occurred at chain pharmacies such as CVS and Walgreens, where a pharmacist may fill hundreds of prescriptions during a shift, while juggling other tasks such as giving vaccinations, calling doctors’ offices to confirm prescriptions and working the drive-through. Christopher Adkins, a pharmacist who worked at CVS, and then at Vons pharmacies until March, said that management policies at the big chains have resulted in understaffed stores and overworked staff. “At this point it’s completely unsafe,” he said. Read full story Source: Los Angeles Times, 5 September 2023
  12. Content Article
    In this article in the Irish Times, Niall discusses his book, Oops! Why Things Go Wrong, and  explores why error is inevitable, how it affects many different industries and areas of society, sometimes catastrophically, and most importantly, what we can do about it. You can also listen to an interview with Niall on BBC Radio Ulster’s Talkback (Listen from 38 mins to 57 mins). Related reading on the hub: Oops! Why things go wrong – a blog by Niall Downey
  13. News Article
    Making data on medical interventions easier to collect and collate would increase the odds of spotting patterns of harm, according to the panel of a recent HSJ webinar When Baroness Julia Cumberlege was asked to review the avoidable harm caused by two medicines and one medical device, she encountered no shortage of data. “We found that the NHS is awash with data, but it’s very fractured,” says Baroness Cumberlege, who chaired the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review and now co-chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group which raises awareness of and support for its findings. And it is that fracturing that can make patterns of harm difficult to spot. The report concluded that many women and children experienced avoidable harm through use of the hormone pregnancy test Primodos, the epilepsy drug sodium valproate, and the medical device pelvic mesh – simply because it hadn’t been possible to connect the dots. “It’s very hard to collect things together and to get an overall picture. And one of the things that we felt very strongly about was that data should be collected once, but used often,” said Baroness Cumberlege at a recent HSJ webinar. Run in association with GS1 UK, the event brought together a panel to consider how better data might help address patient safety challenges such as problems with implants. “But the big problem was they couldn’t identify who had which implants. No doubt somebody somewhere had written this down with a fountain pen and then someone spilt the tea over it and the unique information was lost,” recalled Sir Terence Stephenson , now Nuffield professor of child health at Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health and chair of the Health Research Authority for England. The review he chaired therefore suggested establishing a concept of person, product place – “for everybody who had something implanted in them, we should have their name, the identifier of what had been put in, and where it had been put in. And one of my panel members said: ‘Well, how are we going to record this? We don’t want the fountain pen and the teacup.’” Ultimately the answer suggested was barcode scanning. By scanning the wristband of a patient, that on the product being implanted, and one for the hospital theatre or department at which it was being implanted, the idea was to create an immediate and easy-to-create record. For those long convinced of the virtues of barcode scanning in health, it is a welcome development Two years later, the then Department of Health launched the Scan4Safety programme, in which six “demonstrator sites” implemented the use of scanning across the patient journey. At these organisations, barcodes produced to GS1 standards – meaning they are globally unique – are present on patient wristbands; on equipment used for care, including implantable medical devices; in locations; and sometimes on staff badges. Link to full article here (paywalled)
  14. Content Article
    It has become fashionable to purge the term ‘error’ from the safety narrative. Instead, we would rather talk about the ‘stuff that goes right’. Unfortunately, this view overlooks the fact that we depend on errors to get things right in the first place. We need to distinguish between an error as an outcome and error as feedback, writes Norman MacLeod in this blog for the hub.
  15. Content Article
    In a series of blogs for the hub, we will be highlighting the impact fatigue has on staff and patients. In their first blog, Emma Plunkett and Nancy Redfern, part of the Joint Working Group on Fatigue, shared how they became involved in investigating night shift fatigue, setting up the Joint Working Group on Fatigue and the aims of the #FightFatigue campaign. In this second blog, Emma and Nancy are joined by Roopa McCrossan to highlight how tiredness can impact on our performance, the patient and staff implications of fatigue, and the actions that need to be taken not only at an organisational level to improve culture, but the effort required at national level too.
  16. Event
    This one day masterclass is part of a series of masterclasses focusing on how to use Human Factors in your workplace. Leadership in the NHS is the responsibility of all staff. Understanding human factors will allow healthcare to enhance performance, culture and organisation. These masterclasses have been designed to align with the new Patient Safety Syllabus and subsequent Patient Safety Incident Response Framework (PSIRF). We will look at why things go wrong and how to implement change to prevent it from happening again or mitigate the risks. For further information and to book your place visit https://www.healthcareconferencesuk.co.uk/conferences-masterclasses/systems-based-solutions-patient-safety-masterclass or email frida@hc-uk.org.uk. hub members receive a 20% discount. Email info@pslhub.org
  17. Content Article
    Errors in patient identification have implications for patient care and safety, payment, as well as data sharing and interoperability. Different patient identification techniques ranging from unique patient identifiers and algorithms to hybrid models have been implemented worldwide. However, no current patient identification techniques have resulted in a 100% match rate. This study by Riplinger et al. identified some of the challenges associated with improper patient identification. The literature review showed six common patient identification techniques implemented worldwide ranging from unique patient identifiers, algorithmic approaches, referential matching software, biometrics, radio frequency identification device (RFID) systems, and hybrid models. The review revealed three themes associated with unresolved patient identification: 1) treatment, care delivery, and patient safety errors, 2) cost and resource considerations, and 3) data sharing and interoperability challenges.
  18. Content Article
    Our heavily curated Instagram society has become very intolerant of error. In an era where everything we present is airbrushed, tweaked, filtered and polished before being released into the wild, we labour under the misapprehension that the real world is similar. We are sadly mistaken. The real world is messy, imperfect and error-prone. In this blog, Niall Downey talks about his book, Oops! Why Things Go Wrong, which explores why error is inevitable, how it affects many different industries and areas of society, sometimes catastrophically, how it is sometimes actually quite efficient from a physiological standpoint and, most importantly, what we can do about it.
  19. Content Article
    "I am thirty miles south of London’s Gatwick Airport, the world’s busiest single-runway airport, when one of the seven Flight Control computers in my Airbus A320 aircraft fails . . . ’ So begins this pioneering book by Niall Downey – a cardio-thoracic surgeon who retrained to become a commercial airline pilot – where he uses his expertise in medicine and aviation to explore the critical issue of managing human error. With further examples from business, politics, sport, technology, education and other fields, Downey makes a powerful case that by following some clear guidelines any organisation can greatly reduce the incidence and impact of making serious mistakes. While acknowledging that in our fast-paced world getting things wrong is impossible to avoid completely, Downey offers a strategy based on current best practice that can make a massive difference. He concludes with an aviation-style Safety Management System that can be hugely helpful in preventing avoidable catastrophes from occurring.
  20. Content Article
    Medication error may occur for a variety of reasons. One of the most common sources of medication error is related to look-alike and sound-alike (LASA) drugs as well as the often-similar appearances of the vials. LASA medications are typically thought of as medications that are similar in physical appearance related to packaging as well as medications whose names are similar in spelling or in the phonetic pronunciation.  Tricia A. Meyer looks at cases of LASA drugs and prevention techniques. She concludes that healthcare professionals, safety groups, and professional organisations should continue to work with manufacturers, regulators, and naming entities to explore opportunities to minimise the LASA risks for drugs that are either new to the market or in the pre-marketing stage. Further information on the hub Take a look at our Error traps gallery on the hub
  21. Content Article
    THE MIND FULL MEDIC PODCAST speaks with Professor Amy Edmondson, Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at the Harvard Business School. Amy is a world-renowned for her work in the area of psychological safety and team performance and author of The Fearless Organization. In this conversation, they discuss the origins of her research in healthcare teams and evolution over time.
  22. Content Article
    On Saturday 17 September 2022, the fourth annual World Patient Safety Day took place, established as a day to call for global solidarity and concerted action to improve patient safety. Medication safety was chosen as the focused for World Patient Safety Day 2022 due to the substantial burden of medication-related harm at all levels of care. In this report, the World Health Organization (WHO) provides an overview of activities in the countries that observed World Patient Safety Day 2022 to make this event.
  23. Event
    This one day masterclass is part of a series of masterclasses focusing on how to use Human Factors in your workplace. Leadership in the NHS is the responsibility of all staff. Understanding human factors will allow healthcare to enhance performance, culture and organisation. These masterclasses have been re-designed in line with the new Patient Safety Syllabus. It will look at why things go wrong and how to implement change to prevent it from happening again or mitigate the risks. This masterclass will focus on errors and designing system-based solutions to improve patient safety. Key learning objectives: Understand what Human Factors are Learning from incidents Designing system-based solutions Preventing human error Blame and psychological safety Just culture Register
  24. Community Post
    I was just listening to a podcast interview between Dr Rangan Chatterjee and Matthew McConaughey (In the series 'Feel better, live more'). Matthew M. mentioned that he came from a highly resilient family. If someone fell over, his mother would tell them to get right back up straight away and carry on. He added that he thought that while this resilience was generally a good thing, there should be (what he called) a 'loophole' in it so that there was time to learn why they have fallen over to begin with. Was there a crack in the pavement that needed to be avoided? That way, it wouldn't happen again in the future. This made me think about whether there really was a conflict between resilience in organisations and the need to learn from failure. What do you think??
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