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About AHRQ PSNet
AHRQ Patient Safety Network (PSNet) is a national web-based resource featuring the latest news and essential resources on patient safety. The site offers weekly updates of patient safety literature, news, tools, and meetings ("What’s New"), and a vast set of carefully annotated links to important research and other information on patient safety ("The Collection"). Supported by a robust patient safety taxonomy and web architecture, AHRQ PSNet provides powerful searching and browsing capability, as well as the ability for diverse users to customize the site around their interests (My PSNet). It also is tightly coupled with AHRQ WebM&M, the popular monthly journal that features user-submitted cases of medical errors, expert commentaries, and perspectives on patient safety.

An Introduction to AHRQ PSNet
Robert M. Wachter, MD
Editor, AHRQ PSNet
AHRQ PSNet and AHRQ WebM&M are both funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and edited by a team at the University of California, San Francisco, with the technical support of Silverchair.

AHRQ PSNet was launched in April 2005. This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Daniel Stryer, the Director of AHRQ's Center for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety, who died at age 41 in May 2005.
AHRQ PSNet Collection
The AHRQ PSNet Collection comprises an extensive selection of resources relevant to the patient safety community. These resources come in a variety of formats, including literature, research, tools, and Web sites. Resources are identified using the National Library of Medicine’s Medline database, various news vendors and content aggregators, and the expertise of the AHRQ PSNet editorial and technical teams. Items are selected for inclusion on the site according to the following criteria:
  • They support a multidisciplinary, "systems" approach to minimizing errors in health care.
  • They come from a wide range of disciplines and sources, including clinical medicine, health care administration, engineering, general sciences, psychology, equipment and facility design, policy, law, and lay press.
  • They have been authored and/or sponsored by a credible source. The organization is an established entity and individuals have credentials that illustrate appropriate background.
  • They are of interest to the patient safety community at large, both expert and novice.
  • They are of value for gaining insight into and supporting patient safety.
AHRQ PSNet Classics Selection
To aid our readers in navigating through the tremendous breadth of literature, the AHRQ PSNet editors have selected a set of "Classics": review articles, empirical studies, reports, and books that have special relevance to our readers.
Although the selection of these "Classics" is subjective, and we welcome user input into the selection process, the editors, in conjunction with the Editorial Board, used the following criteria in making the selections:
  • The selection should be drawn from the peer-reviewed literature or from other reputable sources.
  • The selection should be regularly cited as a reference in other literature.
  • Theoretical pieces should articulate foundational concepts that help readers understand the methods and philosophies of patient safety.
  • Empirical studies should report results that materially advance the field of patient safety by creating new knowledge that influences the fundamental understanding of the field and/or results in significant changes in practice.
  • Review articles or books should present particularly eloquent or unique discussions of an issue (or issues) pertaining to patient safety.
  • Contributions by key figures (e.g., researchers, policymakers) in the patient safety field, if well executed, may be of particular impact, and thus are more likely to be included.
Selections may be designated as an "Instant Classic" in those (very unusual) circumstances in which a relatively new article, book, or report has a profound impact on understanding and practice, and which the editors believe will "stand the test of time."
Results Ranking in PSNet
Resources listed on AHRQ PSNet are sorted and displayed according to two specialized algorithms, one for "Browse the Collection" and one for "Search." These algorithms give display priority according to their relevance to the topic you have browsed or searched, and the importance of the resource as determined by our team of editors.
Browse the Collection
Four criteria determine how results are ranked when you browse AHRQ PSNet: (1) significance of the resource, as determined by the AHRQ PSNet editorial team, (2) relevance of the resource to the topic you are browsing, and (3) publication date, with more recent resources weighted higher. The combined score determines how results are displayed.
When you type a term into the Search function of AHRQ PSNet, the search algorithm searches resource titles, subject words, annotations, the author or publisher, and the full text of resources. The algorithm generates a score for each result based on where in the text a search term match is found. Matches to title words are given the highest score, followed by the annotations, subject categorization, and author or publisher. In the special case where your search term matches a topic in the PSNet categorization scheme (the taxonomy), you are taken directly to the page in the collection corresponding to that categorization.
This Web site contains links to other agencies and organizations. The inclusion of external hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the US Government, HHS, or AHRQ of the linked Web resources or the information, products, or services contained therein. The Agency does not exercise any control over the content on these sites. For more information, please click here.