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.
Bose S, Groat D, Dinglas VD, et al. Crit Care Med. 2023;51:212-221.
Medication discrepancies at discharge are a known contributor to hospital readmission, but nonmedication needs may also contribute. In this study, 200 survivors of acute respiratory failure were followed up 7-28 days post discharge to assess unmet nonmedication discharge needs (i.e., durable medical equipment, home health services, follow-up medical appointments). Nearly all patients had at least one unmet need, but this was not associated with hospital readmission or mortality within 90 days.
Gleason KT, Commodore-Mensah Y, Wu AW, et al. Nurse Educ Today. 2021;104:104984.
Massive online open courses (MOOCs) have the ability to reach a broad audience of learners. The Science of Safety in Healthcare MOOC was delivered in 2013 and 2014. At completion of the course, participants reported increased confidence on all six measured domains (teamwork, communication, managing risk, human environment, recognizing and responding, and culture). At 6 months post-completion, the majority agreed the content was useful and positively influenced their clinical practice, demonstrating that MOOCs are an effective interprofessional learning format.
Weingart SN, Nelson J, Koethe B, et al. Cancer Med. 2020;9:4447-4459.
Using a cohort of adults diagnosed with breast, colorectal, lung or prostate cancer, this study examined the relationship between oncology-specific triggers and mortality. It found that patients with at least one trigger had a higher risk of death than patients without a trigger; this association was strongest for nonmetastatic prostate cancer and nonmetastatic colorectal cancer. Triggers most commonly associated with increased odds of mortality were bacteremia, blood transfusion, hypoxemia and nephrology consultation. These findings support the validity of cancer-specific trigger tool but additional research is needed to replicate these findings.
Weingart SN, Nelson J, Koethe B, et al. Cancer Med. 2020;9:1462-1472.
Research has found that trigger tools perform poorly in cancer care. This cohort study comprised of adult patients undergoing treatment for breast, colorectal, lung or prostate cancer investigated the feasibility of a cancer-specific claims-based trigger tool to identify patients with potential adverse events. Results found that triggers affected 19% of patients during their initial year in treatment, and that trigger burden varied by disease, stage, and patient demographics. The most prevalent triggers were abnormal lab test results, blood transfusions, orders for non-contrast CT after chest radiation, and hypoxemia.
Dixon-Woods M, Campbell A, Martin G, et al. Acad Med. 2019;94:579-585.
Disruptive and unprofessional behaviors are known threats to safety culture and contribute to burnout among health professionals. In response to an episode of serious misconduct by a clinician, an academic hospital implemented a structured effort to address disruptive behavior by developing mechanisms for frontline staff to voice their concerns. This article reports on the development and implementation of the effort, which focused on addressing longstanding aspects of institutional culture that were perceived as tolerating—and providing tacit endorsement of—prominent leaders who engaged in disruptive behavior.
Dietz AS, Salas E, Pronovost P, et al. Crit Care Med. 2018;46:1898-1905.
This study aimed to validate a behavioral marker as a measure of teamwork, specifically in the intensive care unit setting. Researchers found that it was difficult to establish interrater reliability for teamwork when observing behaviors and conclude that assessment of teamwork remains complex in the context of patient safety research.
Hensley NB, Koch CG, Pronovost P, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2019;45:190-198.
Following a sentinel wrong-patient event, a multidisciplinary quality improvement team worked to enhance the safety of blood transfusion. The authors report significant improvement in protocol adherence following institution of barcoding and auditing via the electronic health record.
Overuse of tests and treatments can contribute to negative consequences for patients. This commentary suggests that clarification is required to engage clinicians in reducing overuse-related harm and proposes a six-domain framework that delineates areas of concern to target improvement strategies. A previous WebM&M commentary highlighted a case in which health care overuse resulted in a patient's death.
Rosen MA, DiazGranados D, Dietz AS, et al. Am Psychol. 2018;73:433-450.
Teamwork in health care has been embraced as a key element of patient safety. This review summarizes the evidence regarding teamwork, including strategies to measure team performance and the relationship between teamwork and outcomes.
This retrospective cohort study identified frequent treatment-related adverse events for patients with breast, colorectal, or lung cancer, with 34% of patients experiencing an adverse event during their treatment course. Advanced disease and chemotherapy conferred higher risk for adverse events, as did non-White race and Hispanic ethnicity. The authors suggest that such factors could be used for prospective identification of patients at highest risk for adverse events.
The patient safety community continues to struggle with implementation and sustainability of improvement programs. This commentary describes how one academic medical center used assessment tools to monitor, measure, and improve safety at the patient, provider, unit, and system levels in the organization.
Paine LA, Holzmueller CG, Elliott R, et al. J Healthc Risk Manag. 2018;38:36-46.
Health care executives and board members have a key role in safety improvement. This article describes the development of a tool and framework to assess the impact leadership decisions can have on organizational failure. The authors outline results and lessons learned from implementing the tool.
Martin G, Aveling E-L, Campbell A, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2018;27:710-717.
A work environment in which all team members feel comfortable speaking up about safety concerns is a key aspect of positive safety culture. Although formal mechanisms exist within health care institutions for raising safety issues, little is known about how such channels promote or discourage employees from speaking up. Researchers conducted interviews with 165 frontline staff and senior leaders working at three academic hospitals in two countries. They found that leaders viewed formal systems for raising concerns favorably, but other respondents felt uneasy reporting concerns through these channels. Such apprehension occurred especially if the concern was based on a general feeling that something might be wrong rather than hard evidence—what the authors refer to as "soft" intelligence. A PSNet perspective discussed how to change safety culture.
Mathews SC, Pronovost P, Biddison LD, et al. Am J Med Qual. 2018;33:413-419.
Organizational infrastructure is important to ensure sustainability of safety improvements. This commentary describes how one academic medical center integrated structures, processes, and frameworks to build connections within the organization and throughout the community to facilitate success of improvement initiatives.
Pitts SI, Maruthur NM, Luu N-P, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Saf. 2017;43:591-597.
Comprehensive unit-based safety programs have been shown to enhance safety in acute care settings. The investigators adapted this program for a primary care setting and report that safety culture improved following implementation of standard work and safety training. The authors did not report on patient outcomes.
Pauls LA, Johnson-Paben R, McGready J, et al. J Hosp Med. 2017;12:760-766.
The weekend effect refers to worse patient outcomes outside of usual business hours. This meta-analysis of 97 studies found that all-cause mortality is higher for patients hospitalized on the weekend compared to the workweek, even after adjustment for staffing, illness severity, and delays in procedures. A recent PSNet interview discussed the weekend effect in health care.
Lipitz-Snyderman A, Pfister D, Classen D, et al. Cancer. 2017;123:4728-4736.
Cancer care has been the setting for seminal, practice-changing errors. This retrospective study aimed to identify adverse events in cancer care through medical record review, using a random sample of breast, colorectal, and lung cancer cases from 2012. As with prior studies, physician investigators determined preventability and extent of harm. Over a third of patients experienced an adverse event, and about 32% of adverse events were deemed preventable. Most adverse events occurred in the inpatient setting. Adverse events included medication errors and hospital-acquired conditions, such as pressure ulcers and falls. The authors conclude that patient safety remains an important consideration for cancer care that merits further research and improvement efforts.