Letter From the Editor
First, I would like to wish all our readers, authors, reviewers, and staff a happy holiday season!
Here at Patient Safety, we have many reasons to celebrate. Did you know that Patient Safety articles have been viewed and or downloaded over 285,000 times since we launched in September 2019? Or that we are read in 175 countries?! While being read around the world is in itself an amazing accomplishment, knowing that our collective work and passion for patient safety is impacting real lives around the world leaves me without words.
In the following pages, don’t miss a safety alert issued by the Patient Safety Authority and ECRI. This short but critical piece describes an event where a patient experienced an air embolism (life-threatening emergency) during a cardiac ablation procedure. Michelle Bell and Bruce Hansel describe the issue and steps healthcare providers can take to mitigate this risk.
Poor communication is a well-recognized cause for many disconnects in healthcare, and because it is so well recognized, many hospitals have programs for improvement—though most don’t focus on the continuum from one point of care to the next. Abigail Baluyot et al. looked beyond their institution and identified vulnerabilities within hospital and skilled nursing facility hand-offs. The team implemented an improvement program that resulted in significantly reduced wait times for important treatments, such as intravenous medications, in the post-acute setting.
You may remember the article on perioperative delirium and agitation published in our December 2021 issue that brought to light the patient and staff safety issues surrounding delirium in the perioperative setting. In a follow-up manuscript, Taylor et al. outline a patient safety initiative that one Veterans Affairs hospital implemented to minimize its occurrence. Their manuscript invites the opportunity for further study on this important safety topic.
Our future depends on the next generation of healthcare providers. This issue includes a small but crucial study by Toothaker et al. that describes the transition of our next generations of nurses into the workforce and the safety challenges they face, and an interview by managing editor, Caitlyn Allen, with longtime nursing professor Eileen Fruchtl, who discusses what the future of nursing education may hold.
Other features in this issue include an update to acute care reporting rates in Pennsylvania by data editor and data scientist Shawn Kepner; a discussion with Erica Benning, Bureau of Healthcare director, Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, for an inside look of healthcare in the prison system; and an interview with John Olsen, et al. that tells us how a team from Jefferson Health implemented RISE: a formal peer support program that has only become more valuable following the pandemic.
This journal was designed for our authors to freely share the important work they do to improve patient safety, and for our readers to freely receive the information, strategies, and lessons learned to make the care they provide and receive safer. Thank you to our authors, reviewers, staff, editorial board, and readers for your continued contributions.
Stay safe and stay well!