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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

July 6, 2022 Weekly Issue

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

Study
Akinyelure OP, Colvin CL, Sterling MR, et al. BMC Geriatr. 2022;22:476.
Frail older adults are at increased risk of adverse events including rehospitalization and overtreatment. In this study, researchers assessed the association of care coordination and preventable adverse events in frail older adults. Compared with non-frail older adults, frail older adults reported experiencing more adverse events they believed could have been prevented with better care coordination.
Study
Lawson MB, Bissell MCS, Miglioretti DL, et al. JAMA Oncol. 2022;Epub Jun 23.
Delays in breast cancer diagnosis and treatment can threaten patient safety. This study analyzed data from a large US breast cancer screening consortium to evaluate differences in diagnostic follow-up among racial and ethnic groups. Findings indicate that Black women were most likely to experience diagnostic delays (between receipt of abnormal screening result to biopsy) after adjusting for individual-, neighborhood-, and health care-level factor, emphasizing the need to address the potential for systemic racism in healthcare.
Study
Howell EA, Sofaer S, Balbierz A, et al. Obstet Gynecol. 2022;139:1061-1069.
Health equity in maternal safety is a major patient safety goal. Researchers interviewed health care professionals, including frontline nurses and physicians, chief medical officers, and quality and safety officers, from high- and low-performing hospitals. Six themes emerged differentiating high and low performers: 1) senior leadership involved in day-to-day quality activities and dedicated to quality improvement, 2) a strong focus on standards and standardized care, 3) strong nurse-physician communication and teamwork, 4) adequate physician and nurse staffing and supervision, 5) sharing of performance data with nurses and other frontline clinicians, and 6) explicit awareness that racial and ethnic disparities exist and that racism and bias in the hospital can lead to differential treatment. PSNet offers a Patient Safety Primer and Curated Library on maternal safety.
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Training and Education

Update Date: May 16, 2022

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.

Garima Agrawal, MD, MPH, and Mithu Molla, MD, MBA | May 16, 2022

This WebM&M describes two cases involving patients who became unresponsive in unconventional locations – inside of a computed tomography (CT) scanner and at an outpatient transplant clinic – and strategies to ensure that all healthcare teams are... Read More

Alexandria DePew, MSN, RN, James Rice, & Julie Chou, BSN | May 16, 2022

This WebM&M describes two incidences of the incorrect patient being transported from the Emergency Department (ED) to other parts of the hospital for tests or procedures. In one case, the wrong patient was identified before undergoing an... Read More

Have you encountered medical errors or patient safety issues?
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The Patient Safety Innovations Exchange highlights important innovations that can lead to improvements in patient safety.

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Create your own library to save and manage content on any topic of interest. You can start by searching for articles or by creating your library right here.