Becker’s Releases Key Patient Safety Challenges for 2021

The Becker’s Clinical Leadership & Infection Control published 10 patient safety challenges currently at the forefront of care. These topics emerged from news, study findings and trends reported in 2020. To improve patient safety, healthcare leaders are advised to prioritize these issues in the coming year. Its recommendations include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • COVID-19: According to Johns Hopkins data from February 4, the virus has caused nearly 460,000 deaths in the United States and the count is rising. “Hospitals continue to grapple with capacity issues and supply shortages,” says Becker’s. “Many health systems are also facing staffing shortages amid rising COVID-19 hospitalizations, making it increasingly difficult to provide quality care for all patients.”
  • Missed and delayed diagnoses: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 safety concerns have delayed routine medical appointments and emergent visits, creating prolonged gaps in care. Care gaps span all specialties and include oncology screenings, cardiac care, emergency treatment, child well-visits and vaccinations and elective procedures.
  • Clinician burnout: With unprecedented pressure caused by the pandemic, physicians are experiencing higher rates of burnout than ever before. Becker’s explains this longstanding problem in healthcare prompts serious “concerns about how it affects patient safety and care quality.”
  • Healthcare-associated infections: A survey conducted by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology reveals that suspended monitoring and analysis of hospital acquired infections has led to a rise in these adverse occurrences at healthcare facilities since the onset of the pandemic.  
  • Surgical errors: Experts predict postponed elective surgeries due to COVID-19 will create an upcoming surge in procedures. Hospitals and healthcare organizations should anticipate increased pressure related to surgical safety protocols during this time.

The complete 10 top patient safety issues for 2021 list, which also includes details on standardized safety efforts, healthcare staffing, drug and medical equipment shortages and health equity, is available on the Becker’s website.

MLMIC policyholders are encouraged to monitor our resource page with ongoing guidance to support New York physicians as they navigate the pandemic. Additionally, the MLMIC blog and Risk Management Tips outline important information on minimizing risk associated with these topics.