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Selection Criteria and Honorarium Information

Health care professionals may submit cases that highlight medical errors or other patient safety/quality issues. Note that you can choose to submit cases either as a guest or while logged in to a PSNet account. Either way, your name will not be publicly associated with the case. Submitters of selected cases will receive $300.

1. Write your case

This form should only be used to submit factual cases of medical errors or patient safety issues. Do not use this form to submit an article.

2. Review

You case will be reviewed by the PSNet editors team. You should expect an email reply regarding their submission (selected or not) within 10–12 weeks.

3. Decision

When a case is selected, the editors invite an expert author to write a commentary based on the case.

  • If you would like to contact the editors, send a question, comment, or suggestion, or provide feedback on this website, please contact us.
  • The content of case submissions is anonymous. Do not provide any personally identifiable (patient or provider) information, and do not use institution names or locations.
  • HIPAA Warning: Do NOT include any information in your submission that could identify the individuals involved or reveal Personal Health Information (PHI), which is a violation of HIPAA privacy rules. Any submission with such information relating to PHI is not the responsibility of AHRQ WebM&M this nor should be or any of its affiliates.

We are looking for interesting, provocative cases that illustrate key issues in patient safety and quality. Cases including complete information can be processed more quickly (but note the word limit for each section of the submission form).

When a case is selected, the editors invite an expert author to write a commentary based on the case. Note that if your case is selected, you will not receive any "authorship" because case submissions are anonymous. (Do not provide any personally identifiable information, and do not use institution names or locations.)

In general, case submitters should expect an email reply regarding their submission (selected or not) within 10–12 weeks.

How a case is selected

The editors review submitted cases regularly and judge cases using the following criteria:

  • How interesting is the case clinically?
  • How applicable is the case from a medical error/patient safety standpoint?
  • Is the case an important example of a common error, or is it unique but nevertheless raises some key issues of general interest?
  • Does the case have major educational value?
  • Does the case highlight important systems issues?
  • You may be contacted if further information is needed to judge your case submission.

Reasons a case is not selected:

  • Does not meet any of the criteria above.
  • Violates patient confidentiality.
  • No error occurred, or it is unclear whether an error occurred.
  • Incident not related to patient safety, as defined in the PSNet Glossary.
  • Insufficient clinical detail is available to assess what happened or to identify opportunities for prevention or mitigation.
  • The subject matter/issue closely relates to a current case.

Health care providers may anonymously submit cases that highlight medical errors or other patient safety/quality issues. It is preferred for case submitters to be physicians or practitioners to ensure that there is a depth of knowledge about medicine when they describe the case and the patient safety issue involved in the case.

When a case is selected, the editors typically invite an expert author to write a commentary based on the case. Although commentaries are generally invitation-only, our editors may consider your commentary if you contact us.

You do not receive any "authorship" because case submissions are anonymous. Do not provide any personally identifiable (patient or provider) information, and do not use institution names or locations when submitting a case.

Submitters of selected cases will receive a $300 honorarium paid anonymously through PayPal. If your case is selected, you will receive detailed instructions via email on how to collect payment.

To receive your honorarium, you will need an account with PayPal. Signing up is free, quick, and easy, and all necessary steps will be included in instructions that PayPal sends you via email. AHRQ WebM&M will pay any fees assessed for you to accept our payment, so the net payment to you will be $300. If you have an existing PayPal account with the same email address, please make sure you have, or upgrade to, an account. This is necessary because an account allows you to receive our payment.

If you have an existing PayPal account with a different email address, note that the email from PayPal contains a link whereby you can add another email address. Click on that link, sign in to your account, and add the email address you used to submit the case to AHRQ WebM&M.

Payments are processed anonymously. Our system processes awards confidentially; that is, we cannot in any way connect your name with the case you submitted. Once your payment is processed, we may be able to see the name associated with the PayPal account. Our payments are generated in a separate office and neither the editors nor the funder of AHRQ WebM&M have access to that information.