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AHRQ’s Patient Safety Network (PSNet) features a collection of the latest news and resources on patient safety, innovations and toolkits, opportunities for free CME and trainings. The platform provides powerful searching and browsing capability, as well as the ability for users to customize the site around their interests (My Profile).

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What is Patient Safety?

The breadth of the field of patient safety is captured in various definitions. It has been defined as avoiding harm to patients from care that is intended to help them.1 It involves the prevention and mitigation of harm caused by errors of omission or commission in healthcare, and the establishment of operational systems and processes that minimize the likelihood of errors and maximize the likelihood of intercepting them when they occur.2

A nurse and her patient, a person washing their hands over a sink, and 2 medical professionals looking at a tablet.

The PSNet Collection

December 1, 2021 Weekly Issue

PSNet highlights the latest patient safety literature, news, and expert commentary, including Weekly Updates, WebM&M, and Perspectives on Safety.

Study
Ang D, Nieto K, Sutherland M, et al. Am Surg. 2021;Epub Nov 12.
Patient safety indicators (PSI) are measures that focus on quality of care and potentially preventable adverse events. This study estimated odds of preventable mortality of older adults with traumatic injuries and identified the PSIs that are associated with the highest level of preventable mortality.  Strategies to reduce preventable mortality in older adults are presented (e.g. utilization of national guidelines, minimization of central venous catheter use, addressing polypharmacy).
Study
Jessurun JG, Hunfeld NGM, Van Rosmalen J, et al. Int J Qual Health Care. 2021;33(4):mzab142.
Reducing medication administration errors (MAEs) is an ongoing patient safety priority. This prospective study assessed the impact of automated unit dose dispensing with barcode-assisted medication administration on MAEs at one Dutch hospital. Implementation was associated with a lower probability of MAEs (particularly omission errors and wrong dose errors), but impact would likely be greater with increased compliance with barcode scanning. 
Review
Theobald KA, Tutticci N, Ramsbotham J, et al. Nurse Educ Pract. 2021;57:103220.
Simulation training is often used to develop clinical and nontechnical skills as part of nursing education.  This systematic review found that repeated simulation exposures can lead to gains in clinical reasoning and critical thinking. Two emerging concepts – situation awareness and teamwork – can enhance clinical reasoning within simulation. With more nursing schools turning to simulation to replace clinical site placement, which is in short supply, understanding of simulation in training is critical.
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Training and Education

Update Date: November 30, 2021

WebM&M Case Studies & Spotlight Cases

WebM&M (Morbidity & Mortality Rounds on the Web) features expert analysis of medical errors reported anonymously by our readers. Spotlight Cases include interactive learning modules available for CME. Commentaries are written by patient safety experts and published monthly. Contribute by Submitting a Case anonymously.

Hannah Spero, MSN, APRN, Angela E. Usher, PhD, LCSW, Brian Howard MS1, and Frederick J. Meyers, MD | November 30, 2021

A 77-year-old man was diagnosed with a rectal mass. After discussing goals of care with an oncologist, he declined surgical intervention and underwent targeted radiotherapy before being lost to follow up. The patient subsequently presented to Emergency Department after a fall at home and was found to have new metastatic lesions in both lungs and numerous enhancing lesions in the brain. Further discussions of the goals of care revealed that the patient desired to focus on comfort and on maintaining independence for as long as possible. The inpatient hospice team discussed the potential role of brain radiotherapy for palliation to meet the goal of maintaining independence. The patient successfully completed a course of central nervous system (CNS) radiation, which resulted in improved strength, energy, speech, and quality of life. This case represents a perceived delay in palliative radiation, an “error” in care.

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Toolkits provide practical applications of PSNet research and concepts for front line providers to use in their day to day work.