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 and content aggregators, and the expertise of the AHRQ PSNet editorial and technical teams.
Tabaie A, Sengupta S, Pruitt ZM, et al. BMJ Health Care Inform. 2023;30(1):e100731.
Analyzing patient safety incident reports is essential to organizational learning, but comes with both a time and financial burden. This study found that natural language processing can be used to process unstructured patient safety event reports and reduce the burden of manually identifying and extracting factors contributing to the event.
Usability concerns continue to affect the safe use of electronic health information systems. This commentary describes the role of vendors in improving usability, how regular testing can ensure safety, and the impact of organizational culture on the safe use of information technology over time.
Krevat S, Samuel S, Boxley C, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2023;6:e238399.
The majority of healthcare providers use electronic health record (EHR) systems but these systems are not infallible. This analysis used closed malpractice claims from the CRICO malpractice insurance database to identify whether the EHR contributes to diagnostic error, the types of errors, and where in the diagnostic process errors occur. EHR contributed to diagnostic error in 61% of claims, the majority in outpatient care, and 92% at the testing stage.
Taft T, Rudd EA, Thraen I, et al. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2023;30:809-818.
Medication administration errors are major threats to patient safety. This qualitative study with 32 nurses from two US health system explored medication administration hazards and inefficiencies. Participants identified ten persistent safety hazards and inefficiencies, including issues with communication between safety monitoring systems and nurses, alert fatigue, and an overreliance on medication administration technology. These findings highlight the importance of developing medication administration technology in collaboration with frontline nurses who are tasked with medication administration.
Dixit RA, Boxley CL, Samuel S, et al. J Patient Saf. 2023;19:e25-e30.
Electronic health records (EHR) may have unintended negative consequences on patient safety. This review identified 11 articles focused on the relationship between EHR use and diagnostic error. EHR issues fell into three general areas: information gathering, medical decision-making, and plan implementation and communication. The majority of issues were a related to providers’ cognitive processing, revealing an important area of research and quality improvement.
Apathy NC, Howe JL, Krevat S, et al. JAMA Health Forum. 2022;3:e223872.
Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems are required to meet meaningful use and certification standards to receive incentive payments from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This study identified six settlements reached between EHR vendors and the Department of Justice for misconduct related to certification of meaningful use. Certification of EHR systems that don’t meet HHS meaningful use requirements may have implications for patient safety.
Boxley C, Krevat SA, Sengupta S, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e1196-e1202.
COVID-19 changed the way care is delivered to hospitalized patients and resulted in new categories and themes in patient safety reporting. This study used machine learning to group of more than 2,000 patient safety event (PSE) reports into eight clinically relevant themes, including testing delays, diagnostic errors, pressure ulcers, and falls.
Bocknek L, Kim T, Spaar P, et al. Patient Safety. 2022;4:39-47.
Duplicate medication orders, defined as orders for two or more identical medications or same therapeutic class, can result in serious complications if they reach the patient. This study examined the error type (same medication, therapeutic class, or order), when they were recognized, and factors contributing to the error. Importantly, of duplicate orders in the same therapeutic class, the three most common medications were anti-coagulants, a high-risk medication.
Despite widespread implementation of computerized provider order entry (CPOE) for medication ordering, some orders may be submitted wholly or in part using the free-text field. This study analyzed CPOE orders that included medication information in the free text field. High-risk medications (e.g., insulin, heparin) were frequently mentioned and the most common expected action was to discontinue. Despite using the same CPOE software, there were wide variations between the six included hospitals in the rates of orders in free text and the types of medications mentioned.
Poor usability of electronic health record (EHR)-based computerized provider order entry (CPOE) can lead to adverse events. Using a newly developed self-administered assessment tool, researchers identified several EHR usability and safety issues across medication, laboratory, and radiology CPOE functions.
Hurley VB, Boxley C, Sloss EA, et al. J Patient Saf Risk Manag. 2022;27:181-187.
Research has shown wide variation in error reporting by profession, with nurses reporting substantially more often than physicians. This study explored not only report rates by profession, but also across departments and event types. Results indicate physicians and technicians are more likely to report errors from across departmental boundaries , while nurses and physicians report a wider variety of error types.
Iqbal AR, Parau CA, Kazi S, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2021;47:793-801.
The electronic medication administration record (eMAR) is one technologic strategy to improve medication safety. In this study, usability issues related to eMAR contributed to 473 patient safety event reports. Eight usability challenge categories were identified (e.g. alerts and interoperability). Among these usability challenges, special attention should be paid to workflow and display/visual clutter.
Adams KT, Pruitt Z, Kazi S, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;17:e988-e994.
It is important to consider unintended consequences when implementing new tools, such as health information technology (HIT). This study reviewed 2,700 patient safety event reports to identify the type of medication error, the stage in the process in which the error occurred, and how HIT usability issues contributed to the errors. Errors in dosing were the most frequent type, and occurred during ordering or reviewing. Most errors described usability issues which should be considered and addressed to improve medication safety.
Pruitt ZM, Howe JL, Hettinger AZ, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;17:e983-e987.
Electronic health record (EHR) usability can affect clinicians’ ability to provide safe patient care. Thematic analysis of interviews with emergency medicine physicians reveal that the most common perceived usability strength was visual display of the EHR system, and the most common shortcoming was lack of workflow support (e.g., a workflow mismatch between the EHR system and how clinicians use the system to accomplish tasks).
Kandaswamy S, Hettinger AZ, Hoffman DJ, et al. JAMIA Open. 2020;3:154-159.
The authors analyzed 26,000 communication for non-medication orders (CNMOs, a type of free-text communication order used to communicate information that does not align with structured medication orders) and found that over 42% of non-medication orders contain medication information, which may result in delayed, missed or inaccurate medications.
Fong A, Behzad S, Pruitt Z, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;17:e829-e833.
Health systems rely on accurate event reporting to monitor patient safety, but most reporting systems face limitations. This pilot study reported generally positive user feedback on a machine learning approach to reclassifying “miscellaneous” patient safety reports to a specific event-type category.
Fortman E, Hettinger AZ, Howe JL, et al. J Am Med Info Assoc. 2020;27:924-928.
Physicians from different health systems using two computerized provider order entry (CPOE) systems participated in simulated patient scenarios using eye movement recordings to determine whether the physician looked at patient-identifying information when placing orders. The rate of patient identification overall was 62%, but the rate varied by CPOE system. An expert panel identified three potential reasons for this variation – visual clutter and information density, the number of charts open at any given time, and the importance placed on patient identification verification by institutions.
Benda NC, Wesley DB, Nare M, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e1-e9.
To determine whether language barriers contribute to patient safety events, the authors analyzed near-miss and adverse event reports occurring in patients with a preferred language other than English. Of 1,553 included reports, 13% were likely or plausibly related to a patient’s language barrier. The most common strategy for preventing future events cited in these reports involved use of interpreter services.