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For technical assistance, email us at psnet@silverchair.com

To contact us with other questions, e-mail us at webmm.psnet@medicine.ucsf.edu

Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

Redesign of AHRQ PSNet/WebM&M

AHRQ PSNet General Information

AHRQ PSNet Resources and Content

Finding Content on AHRQ PSNet

AHRQ WebM&M

AHRQ WebM&M Case Submission

Continuing Medical Education (CME)/Continuing Education Unit (CEU) Credit for AHRQ WebM&M Spotlight Cases


General Information

What are AHRQ PSNet and AHRQ WebM&M?

AHRQ PSNet (Patient Safety Network) offers weekly updates of patient safety literature, news, tools, and meetings ("Current Issue"), and a vast set of carefully annotated links to important research and other information on patient safety ("The Collection").

As of September 2015, AHRQ PSNet also hosts all previous AHRQ WebM&M (Morbidity and Mortality Rounds on the Web) content, including Cases and Commentaries as well as Perspectives on Safety. We have combined AHRQ PSNet and AHRQ WebM&M to streamline the user experience, since all content relates to patient safety

AHRQ PSNet is published weekly. AHRQ WebM&M Cases and Commentaries are published monthly and feature expert analysis of medical errors reported anonymously by our readers and interactive learning modules on patient safety ("Spotlight Cases"). Perspectives on Safety are published monthly on AHRQ PSNet.

How do I contact AHRQ PSNet?

You can contact the editors of AHRQ PSNet by visiting the "Contact Us" page. (This link is also available in the "Info" tab on the homepage and is labeled "Contact PSNet.") You may also send the editors an email directly.

How do I subscribe to the AHRQ PSNet/WebM&M newsletter?
How do I unsubscribe from the newsletter?
  • Select "Email Updates" in the "Info" tab on the homepage or visit the AHRQ PSNet subscriptions page.
  • Enter your email address where indicated.
  • Select "Subscriber Preferences."
  • The resulting "Subscriptions" page will show you the AHRQ newsletters to which you are subscribed. You can check the box for the newsletters you would like to delete and then select "Submit."
How do I update my email address for the newsletter?
  • Select "Email Updates" in the "Info" on the homepage or visit the AHRQ PSNet subscriptions page.
  • Enter your email address where indicated.
  • Select "Subscriber Preferences." then select "Preferences." In that tab, you can update your email address in the provided field and click on "Submit."
What is the difference between creating a PSNet account and just subscribing to the newsletter?

Creating a PSNet account allows you to view the latest resources available in your areas of interest. Once you have selected your topics of interest, you may access them each time you visit AHRQ PSNet by logging in. You may choose to receive the weekly AHRQ PSNet newsletter, or you may request email alerts when new content matching your areas of interest is added to the site. If you subscribe to the newsletter rather than creating a PSNet account, you will only receive the weekly newsletter.

How do I update my email address for topic alerts?

If you have a PSNet account, you can update your email address by logging in.

What should I do if I cannot sign in to my PSNet account?
  • Check your Caps Lock and Number Lock.
  • Double-check the email address used when registering for AHRQ PSNet.
  • If there is a server error, the server may be overloaded. Please wait a few moments and try again. If there is still an error, contact us.

Redesign of AHRQ PSNet/WebM&M

Why did AHRQ merge/redesign the PSNet and WebM&M sites?

AHRQ decided to merge the AHRQ PSNet (Patient Safety Network) and AHRQ WebM&M (Morbidity and Mortality Rounds on the Web) sites to streamline the user experience and unite our readership, since all content relates to patient safety. The site is called AHRQ PSNet and combines all the features of both sites including: PSNet weekly updates, The PSNet Collection, WebM&M Cases and Commentaries, continuing education credit, Perspectives on Safety (including podcasts), Patient Safety Primers, and more. The name "WebM&M" will live on as a feature on AHRQ PSNet, referring to just the Cases and Commentaries—both regular and Spotlight.

Are the same features of AHRQ PSNet and AHRQ WebM&M still available?

All the features of AHRQ PSNet and WebM&M are still available.

How do I directly access WebM&M Cases and Perspectives on Safety?

Previous and new WebM&M content can be accessed directly through the WebM&M Cases and Perspectives on Safety navigation links from the main menu on the home page.

Can I still submit cases to WebM&M anonymously?

Yes, please do! You can submit a case by selecting the Submit Case navigation from the main menu on the home page.

Who do I contact if I need more information on the redesigned site?

Contact the editors of AHRQ PSNet by visiting the "Contact Us" page. You may also send us an email directly.

AHRQ PSNet General Information

What is AHRQ PSNet?

AHRQ PSNet (Patient Safety Network) 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 ("Current Issue"), 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.

Who do I ask for permission to use a resource that I read on AHRQ PSNet?

The AHRQ PSNet Collection provides information and links to resources, reports, and journal articles on patient safety. Most of the time, we are not the publishers and cannot give permission to reprint or use articles or materials that are summarized on AHRQ PSNet. For permission, please contact the publisher or journal directly. (If you have any questions, contact us and we will help you find the publisher.)

How do I obtain permission to reprint a Patient Safety Primer, Perspective, or WebM&M Commentary?

To obtain permission to reprint AHRQ PSNet/WebM&M original content, such as WebM&M Cases and Commentaries, Perspectives on Safety, Patient Safety Primers, Annual Perspectives, or the Glossary, please contact us at webmm.psnet@medicine.ucsf.edu.

To grant permission, we will ask for three pieces of information: (1) which content you would like to use; (2) how you would like to use this material; and (3) whether you plan to use the piece in its entirety or an excerpt. We are happy to support your work, but require these details to provide reprint permission.

How do I recommend content for you to add to AHRQ PSNet?

Please contact us at webmm.psnet@medicine.ucsf.edu.

AHRQ PSNet Resources and Content

What kind of content is available on AHRQ PSNet?

There are several types of content available on AHRQ PSNet. Since the two sites have been combined, all previous content from both AHRQ PSNet (Patient Safety Network) and AHRQ WebM&M (Morbidity and Mortality Rounds on the Web) is now available in one place. Content includes: WebM&M Cases and Commentaries, Perspectives on Safety, Patient Safety Primers, Annual Perspectives, and The PSNet Collection.

What comprises the AHRQ PSNet Collection? How do you determine what is relevant?

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, news, reports, 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.
What are "Classics"? What makes them different from the other resources?

To aid our readers in navigating through the tremendous breadth of literature, the AHRQ PSNet editors have selected a set of Classics. Classics include: review articles, empirical studies, reports, and books that have special relevance to our readers.

Although the selection of these Classics is subjective, and user input into the selection process is welcome, the editors, in conjunction with the Technical Expert/Advisory Panel, use 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.
What are "Patient Safety Primers"?

Patient Safety Primers guide readers through key concepts in patient safety. Each Primer defines a topic, offers background information on its epidemiology and context, and highlights relevant content from both AHRQ PSNet and AHRQ WebM&M.

How was the glossary assembled?

Definitions abound in the medical error and patient safety literature, with subtle and not-so-subtle variations in the meanings of important terms. An effort was made to adopt the most straightforward terminology, with definitions that enjoy the widest use.

What are "Perspectives on Safety"?

Perspectives on Safety pieces address one topic per month. This topic is viewed as one of the most pressing issues in patient safety. The editors pick two of the most forward-thinking and respected experts on the topic. One of these experts is interviewed with an edited transcript published and an excerpt of the interview made available as a podcast. Another expert writes an essay on the topic. The site contains an archive where readers can find all perspectives paired by topic and arranged in reverse chronological order.

How do I access the "In Conversation With" podcasts?

Audio is posted with each interview at the top of each interview page. Readers can listen to older interviews by finding them through the main Perspectives on Safety page or by subscribing to the AHRQ PSNet/WebM&M Podcast.

Finding Content on AHRQ PSNet

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 AHRQ PSNet categorization scheme (the taxonomy), you are taken directly to the page in the collection corresponding to that topic.

How does the browse feature work?

Three criteria determine how results are ranked when you browse AHRQ PSNet: (1) the significance of the resource as determined by the AHRQ PSNet editorial team; (2) the relevance of the resource to the topic you are browsing; and (3) the publication date, with more recent resources weighted higher. The combined score determines how results are displayed.

How are the rankings of search results determined?

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 the team of editors.

Why do many of your links point to content that requires a subscription? Why don't more links have free full text?

The AHRQ PSNet Web site contains links to other agencies, organizations, and publications. We strive to provide our users with the best links available, but unfortunately not all vendors provide free full text. Even though many resources do not offer free full texts, most members of hospital or university faculty, staff, or students have access to the full texts since hospitals and campuses generally have subscriptions to these online journals. If so, you should be able to access these articles while you are using hospital or campus Internet access.

How can I gain access to articles that require a subscription?

First, always ask your hospital/school librarian how to gain access. If your hospital or school does not have a library, a public librarian can order materials for you from any library in the world. If the public library is not financially capable of fulfilling this request, you may also ask a librarian to help you identify the best local resource.

You may also contact university or medical school libraries in your area. In addition, you may have access to services via libraries at the college or university from which you graduated. There are also "resource libraries," which are a part of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM), that help health practitioners obtain the resources they need. Visiting the NNLM Web site may help you find the most appropriate local resource library.

I cannot find a journal online, but there should be access to it from your site. How do I find it?

You can almost always purchase directly from the publisher through an "Available at" link. Although the cost may seem high, you will receive access right away as opposed to having to wait for the article to get to you through the library system.

Another option is to utilize document delivery services. They are typically faster than the library process, but not necessarily cheaper than purchasing via the publisher's site.

AHRQ WebM&M

What is AHRQ WebM&M?

AHRQ WebM&M (Morbidity and Mortality Rounds on the Web) is an online journal on patient safety and health care quality founded in 2003. The journal features expert analysis of medical errors reported anonymously by our readers and interactive learning modules on patient safety ("Spotlight Cases"). Continuing Medical Education (CME) and Continuing Education Unit (CEU) credit are available.

What is a "Spotlight Case"?

Each month, the editors select one particularly interesting and illustrative case to be the "Spotlight Case"—an interactive learning module featuring an expanded case and commentary, a PowerPoint presentation and a quiz. Continuing Medical Education (CME) and Continuing Education Unit (CEU) credits and trainee certification are available by reading the Spotlight case and taking the quiz. An electronic presentation version is also available to download for educational use, such as in student teaching conferences or residents' reports.

How do I obtain permission to reprint AHRQ WebM&M materials?

Please contact us, to obtain permission to reprint AHRQ WebM&M materials. To grant permission, we will ask for three pieces of information: (1) which Cases and Commentaries you would like to use; (2) how you would like to use this material; and (3) whether you plan to use the whole case or an excerpt. We are happy to support your work, but require these details to provide reprint permission.

AHRQ WebM&M Case Submission

Who can submit a case? Must I be a physician or practitioner to submit a 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.

How is a case selected?

Editors review submitted cases regularly and judge cases using the following criteria:

  • How interesting is the case clinically?
  • How interesting 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 in patient safety?
  • Does the case have major educational value?
  • Does the case highlight important systems issues?
I submitted a case. How long until I know if my case has been accepted?

Case submitters should expect a response within 10–12 weeks.

Can I submit a commentary?

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.

Do I receive authorship for my case submission?

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.

Do I receive any benefits for 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.

How do I get paid through PayPal?

To receive your honorarium, you will need a Premier 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, a Premier account. This is necessary because a Premier 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.

How is the payment anonymous?

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.

Continuing Medical Education (CME)/Continuing Education Unit (CEU) Credit for AHRQ WebM&M Spotlight Cases

Are credits available for all Spotlight Cases?

All AHRQ WebM&M CME courses currently available for credit are listed in the CME/CEU area of AHRQ PSNet. As a new course is posted, an older one expires.

How many credits do I earn per Spotlight case?

Each Spotlight case is worth one CME/CEU credit.

What is the fee for participating in the AHRQ WebM&M CME program?

There is no fee for participating in the program. AHRQ WebM&M CME activities are certified and accredited by the University of California, San Francisco, Office of Continuing Medical Education and are funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Physicians, nurses, and physician assistants can register for the CME program here.

Are CME and CEU the same for the AHRQ WebM&M Cases?

Yes. In most instances, CME credits are transferable for CEU credit requirements for multiple disciplines. University of California, San Francisco is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians (AMA Credit). For the purpose of recertification, the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) accepts AMA PRA Category 1 Credit issued by organizations accredited by the ACCME. Nursing professionals can submit our certificates directly to their respective board for inclusion in their credit requirements. The CME credits are one-to-one (i.e., if you earn 17.25 CMEs you will have one-to-one exactly 17.25 CEUs) acceptable by the CEU commission, the American Medical Association, and the American Nurses Association. The American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) accepts Category 1 credit from AOACCME, prescribed credit from AAFP, and AMA Category 1 credit for the PRA for organizations accredited by the ACCME. For more information on our CME/CEU, please visit our About CME page.

Can CME/CEU credit be emailed to users?

The University of California, San Francisco, CME office currently does not have the capacity to offer credits/certificates through email.

What should I do if I have not yet received my certificate for the CME quizzes that I took online?

If you have just completed the CME, your credits will post in 2–3 weeks.

AHRQ WebM&M CME certificates are available online. To access your certificates, please visit the UCSF CME Office Web Site and select the link labeled "CLICK HERE TO VIEW OUR CME CALENDAR." This link will take you to the eTrak online system.

Click on "My Profile" (top of the page) to log in to the account. The login is the email address you used to register for CME. The default password is your last name. Please update your password so no one else can log in to the account. You can make changes to your registration information, including your email or mailing address.

To access your certificates, please click on "CE Credit" on the right side of the screen. You may print your certificates from this screen.

How can I change my CME email address or mailing address?

Please go to http://www.cme.ucsf.edu and click on the link (in blue) "CLICK HERE TO VIEW OUR CME CALENDAR." This link will take you to the eTrak online system. Click on "My Profile" (top of the page) to log in to the account. The login is the email address you used to register for CME. The default password is your last name. Please update your password so no one else can log in to the account. You can make changes to your registration information, including your address.

What should I do if I am unable to log in to CME?

Please make sure that you are trying to login to the CME portion of the site. If you have forgotten your password, you can also request that your password be sent to you by clicking "Forgot your password?" If you are still having problems, please contact us at webmm.psnet@medicine.ucsf.edu.

Why is CME not available for my degree?

Credit is available for nurses, physicians, and physician assistants. Currently, our commentaries are not designated for pharmacy credit. However, we may add this option in the future.

Do these modules qualify for Pennsylvania patient safety credit (or ethics credit, or any other type of state board-specific credit)?

CME qualifies for California-specific requirements, so we do not know if we qualify for all states specific requirements. Please check with your state licensing organization for CME that qualifies for your state's specific requirements.

Can I apply the certificate to my state's licensure program, and how do I find out if I can?

Please check with your state's program to see if they will accept UCSF CME credits, which are approved by the American Medical Association (AMA) for PRA Category 1 Credit. Ask your state's program manager or director if your state accepts AMA-approved credits.

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