Letter From the Editor
Today, September 17, 2021, is World Patient Safety Day. With a worldwide focus on safe maternal and newborn care, it is impossible not to think of the women in Afghanistan who now face unimaginable risks. I hope for a day when all women can live without fear and experience the freedoms to which each of us is entitled, and childbirth is universally joyful.
September also marks 18 months since COVID turned our world upside down. While the United States breathed a sigh of relief early this summer, many communities are once again facing record numbers of patients who are sick and hospitalized with COVID-19. Healthcare teams continue to face a scenario that once seemed reserved for doomsday science fiction.
The worst part may be the millions of people who still believe the pandemic is a hoax. Many ignore the reality and gravity of the situation we’re facing. We at the Patient Safety Authority (PSA) commend every healthcare worker who continues to go into work every day tired, angry, afraid, and disheartened to care for those we love. Thank you.
From our cover: Elizabeth Kukielka, patient safety analyst at the PSA, shares her first-of-its-kind analysis of events involving patients who experienced a motor vehicle crash. Ms. Kukielka categorizes the types of events reported and outlines where improvement efforts might be focused.
Also from our cover: A mixed methods study examines the experience of home care workers during COVID-19. Godwin K. Osei-Poku et al., describe their findings from focus groups and surveys. Not surprisingly, home care workers often prioritized the needs of their patients over their own, despite the high-risk, low-pay nature of the job. This study reaffirms the need for a focus on improved safety protocols for vulnerable home care patients and workers.
Simulation is an important part of resident training, and retaining those skills is critical. Authors Gaetan Sgro et al., set out to determine if adding live training to simulation in paracentesis prevented skill decline after six months.
Discover how a team of nurses is revolutionizing sepsis care at WellSpan Health. Sepsis is often challenging to diagnose because it can mimic many other illnesses; yet, timely recognition and treatment is critical. Managing Editor Caitlyn Allen interviewed members of WellSpan’s Central Alert Team on how their centralized model improved mortality rates systemwide and how to implement a similar approach elsewhere.
If you’d like to share your experience as a clinician or a patient through this pandemic, please consider submitting a perspective piece to our editorial team. Original research, quality improvement initiatives, and case studies are also always welcome.
Stay safe and stay well!