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.
Vanhaecht K, Seys D, Russotto S, et al. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022;19:16869.
‘Second victim’ is controversial term used to describe health care professionals who experience continuing psychological harm after involvement in a medical error or adverse event. In this study, an expert panel reviewed existing definitions of ‘second victim’ in the literature and proposed a new consensus-based definition.
Dixon-Woods M, Aveling EL, Campbell A, et al. J Health Serv Res Policy. 2022;27:88-95.
A key aspect of patient safety culture is the perception that all team members should speak up about safety concerns. In this study of 165 frontline and senior leader participants, deciding to report a safety event (referred to as a “voiceable concern”) is influenced by four factors: certainty that something is wrong and is an occasion for voice; system versus conduct concerns, forgivability, and normalization. Organizational culture and context effect whether an incident is considered a voiceable concern.
Busch IM, Moretti F, Campagna I, et al. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021;18:5080.
Clinicians involved in unexpected patient outcomes can experience negative emotions and frequently need access to second victim support programs. This systematic review describing 12 second victim support programs identifies staff benefits, implementation challenges, and experiences of peer supporters. Affected staff and peer supporters reported the benefits of the programs. Challenges included blame culture, limited awareness of program existence, and lack of financial resources. Findings indicate a need for implementing new second victim support programs, promoting current programs, and monitoring peer supporters’ well-being.
Wu F, Dixon-Woods M, Aveling E-L, et al. Soc Sci Med. 2021;280:114050.
Reluctance of healthcare team members to speak up about concerns can hinder patient safety. The authors conducted semi-structured interviews with 165 participants (health system leadership, managers, healthcare providers, and staff) about policies, practice, and culture around voicing concerns related to quality and safety. Findings suggest that both formal and informal hierarchies can undermine the ability and desire of individuals to speak up, but that informal organization (such as personal relationships) can motivate and support speaking up behaviors.
Connors C, Dukhanin V, Norvell M, et al. J Healthc Manag. 2021;66:19-32.
The Resilience in Stressful Events (RISE) program provides peer support for healthcare workers who are involved in an adverse event. RISE program volunteers surveyed in this study reported positive perceptions of program participation and personal empowerment.
Wu AW, Sax H, Letaief M, et al. J Patient Saf Risk Manag. 2020;25:137-141.
In this editorial, patient safety experts discuss threats to healthcare safety and quality due to the COVID-19 pandemic (e.g., failures in infection prevention and control, diagnostic errors, issues with laboratory testing) and highlight positive changes and opportunities, such as improved care coordination, supply chain innovations, accelerated learning, expansion of telemedicine, and prioritizing the safety and well-being of health care workers.
Bhasin S, Gill TM, Reuben DB, et al. N Engl J Med. 2020;383:129-140.
This study randomized primary care practices across ten health care systems to evaluate the effectiveness of a multifactorial intervention to prevent falls with injury, which included risk assessment and individualized plans administered by specially trained nurses. The intervention did not result in a significantly lower rate of serious fall injury compared to usual care.
Busch IM, Saxena A, Wu AW. J Patient Saf. 2021;17:358-362.
In this literature review, the authors identified patient-, clinician-, and institutional-level barriers to patient involvement in patient safety investigations. Potential strategies for overcoming barriers are also discussed, such as adopting a blame-free climate and enhancing clinician training in error disclosure and communication.
Wu AW, Connors C, Everly GS. Ann Intern Med. 2020;172:822-823.
To address the negative psychological impacts faced by healthcare workers during the COVID-19 crisis, the authors of this commentary recommend three strategic principles for healthcare institutions responding to the pandemic:
Encourage leadership to focus on resilience
Ensure that crisis communication provides both information and empowerment
Create a continuum of staff support within the organization to address a surge in mental health concerns among healthcare workers.
Connors C, Dukhanin V, March AL, et al. J Patient Saf Risk Manag. 2019;25:22-28.
Adverse events can have significant psychological impacts on the providers involved and involvement in medical errors can increase risk of burnout among second victims. This study describes the nurse utilization of the Resilience in Stressful Events (RISE) peer support program. The authors found high awareness of the program among nurses, but low utilization. Nurses who had used the program reported greater resilience, but more burnout than those who had not.
Hagley G, Mills PD, Watts B, et al. BMJ Open Qual. 2019;8:e000646.
Root cause analysis is a fundamental approach to understanding how failures occur, but some have questioned its effectiveness in health care. This review highlights alternative approaches to incident analysis that address some of the concerns with root cause analysis, such as time commitment and lack of follow up.
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.