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The PSNet Collection: All Content

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.

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Displaying 1 - 20 of 119 Results
Lea W, Lawton R, Vincent CA, et al. J Patient Saf. 2023;19:553-563.
Organizational incident reporting allows for investigation of contributing factors and formation of improvement recommendations, but some recommendations are weak (e.g., staff training) and do not result in system change. This review found 4,579 recommendations from 11 studies, with less than 7% classified as "strong". There was little explanation for how the recommendations were generated or if they resulted in improvements in safety or quality of care. The authors contend additional research into how recommendations are generated and if they result in sustained improvement is needed.
Black GB, Lyratzopoulos G, Vincent CA, et al. BMJ. 2023;380:e071225.
Primary care often initiates a diagnostic process that is vulnerable to miscommunication, uncertainty, and delay. This commentary examines how cancer diagnosis delay in primary care occurs. The authors suggest a systems approach targeting interconnected process elements including enhanced use of information technology to help with monitoring and care coordination to realize and sustain improvement.
Averill P, Vincent CA, Reen G, et al. Health Expect. 2023;26:51-63.
Patient safety research on inpatient psychiatric care is expanding, but less is known about outpatient mental health patient safety. This review of safety in community-based mental health services revealed several challenges, including defining preventable safety events. Additionally, safety research has focused on harm caused by the patient instead of harm caused by mental health services, such as delays in access or diagnosis.
Wade C, Malhotra AM, McGuire P, et al. BMJ. 2022;376:e067090.
The role of healthcare disparities in patient safety is an emerging priority. This article summarizes disparities in preventable harm and outlines solutions to reducing inequalities in patient safety at the individual-, leadership-, and system-levels, such as identifying clear chains of accountability for adverse events and improving incident measurement and analysis specific to marginalized patient groups.
Amalberti R, Staines A, Vincent CA. Int J Qual Health Care. 2022;34:mzac006.
Leadership engagement is key to achieving patient safety goals. When it comes to improvement and innovation, healthcare organizations must balance multiple, sometimes conflicting, aims, such as cost, clinician wellbeing, and patient safety. This commentary outlines how healthcare organizations can manage multiple complex aims in relation to improvement and innovation projects. Four principles of managing multiple aims and five key strategies for practical action are described.
Wu AW, Vincent CA, Shapiro DW, et al. J Patient Saf Risk Manag. 2021;26:93-96.
The July effect is a phenomenon that presumably results in poor care due to the annual en masse introduction of new doctors into practice. This commentary outlines factors undermining the safe influx of these new clinicians into active, independent practice. The authors discuss how a systemic approach is required to situate these practitioners to provide the safest care possible.
Marang-van de Mheen PJ, Vincent CA. BMJ Qual Saf. 2021;30:525-528.
Research has shown that patients admitted to the hospital on the weekend may experience worse outcomes compared to those admitted on weekdays (the ‘weekend effect’). This editorial highlights the challenges to empirically evaluate the underlying mechanisms contributing to the weekend effect. The authors propose viewing the weekend effect as a proxy for staffing levels and the influence of other factors influencing outcomes for patients admitted on weekends, such as patient acuity, clinician skill-mix and access to diagnostic tests or other ancillary services.
Vincent CA, Mboga M, Gathara D, et al. Arch Dis Child. 2021;106:333-337.
In the second of a two-part series, using examples from newborn units, the authors present a framework for supporting practitioners in low-resource settings to improve patient safety across four areas: (1) prioritizing critical processes, (2) improving the organization of care, (3) control of risks, and (4) enhancing responses to hazardous situations.
English M, Ogola M, Aluvaala J, et al. Arch Dis Child. 2021;106:326-332.
Health systems are encouraged to proactively identify patient safety risks. In the first of a two-part series, the authors draw on the  Systems Engineering Initiative for Patient Safety (SEIPS) framework  to discuss the strengths and challenge of a low-resource newborn unit from a systems perspective and SEIPS’ implications for patient safety.
Braithwaite J, Vincent CA, Garcia-Elorrio E, et al. BMC Med. 2020;18:340.
Delivering high-quality, safe healthcare requires coordination and integration of complex systems and activities. The authors propose three initiatives to further practical opportunities for transforming health systems across the world – a country-specific blueprint for change, tangible steps to reduce inequities within and across health systems, and learning from both errors and successes to improve safe care delivery.  
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.
Wu AW, Buckle P, Haut ER, et al. J Patient Saf Risk Manag. 2020;25:93-96.
This editorial discusses priority areas for maintaining and promoting the well-being of the healthcare workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic. The authors discuss the importance of providing adequate personal protective equipment (PPE), supporting basic daily needs (e.g., provision of in-hospital food stores), ensuring frequent and visible communication, supporting mental and emotional well-being, addressing ethical concerns, promoting wellness, and showing gratitude for staff.
Staines A, Amalberti R, Berwick DM, et al. Int J Qual Health Care. 2021;33:mzaa050.
The authors of this editorial propose a five-step strategy for patient safety and quality improvement staff to leverage their skills to support patients, staff, and organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic. It includes (1) strengthening the system and environment, (2) supporting patient, family and community engagement and empowerment, (3) improving clinical care through separation of workflows and development of clinical decision support, (4) reducing harm by proactively managing risk for patients with and without COVID-19, and (5) enhancing and expanding the learning system to develop resilience.
Nawaz RF, Page B, Harrop E, et al. Arch Dis Child. 2020;105:446-451.
This analysis of 220 national incident data from England and Wales’ National Reporting and Learning System  sought to identify safety concerns experienced by children on long-term ventilation at home. The most common problems were with the equipment and devices (e.g., faulty or damaged equipment) or procedures and treatment (e.g. tracheostomy tube becomes dislodged). The reports clearly stated harm to the child in 41% of incidents, such as emergency tracheostomy change or hospital admission. Identified contributory factors involved the patients, staff performance, family caregivers, equipment, organizational, and environmental features.
Amelung D, Whitaker KL, Lennard D, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2019;29:198-208.
Despite many advances in cancer treatment, delays in cancer diagnosis cause substantial morbidity and mortality. System factors like difficulty obtaining appointments contribute to late cancer diagnoses. Timely cancer diagnosis also requires that patients and physicians communicate effectively about next steps in the workup of symptoms. This qualitative study recorded videos of patient–physician interactions and found that 31% of the time, doctors and patients did not align in their perception of the seriousness of a given symptom. The authors theorized that misalignment leads to missed follow-up testing and deterioration in patient–physician trust. A WebM&M commentary described how the cost of a diagnostic test led to a late diagnosis of colon cancer.
Amalberti R, Vincent CA. BMJ Qual Saf. 2020;29:60-63.
Health care is considered a high-risk industry due to clinical, administrative, economic, and regulatory stressors. This review explores a range of approaches to managing the safety of patients in this complex environment. The authors suggest that acceptance of the inability to eliminate all risk, focus on known problems, and engagement of all managerial levels is required to improve reliability.
Higham H, Greig PR, Rutherford J, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2019;28:672-686.
Nontechnical skills, such as teamwork and communication, are critical to safe care delivery, but can be difficult to measure. This systematic review examined validated approaches for assessing nontechnical skills using direct observation. Researchers analyzed 118 articles that discussed 76 unique tools for measuring nontechnical skills. This wide range of instruments assessed individuals or teams in various health care settings, either in simulation or actual clinical practice. They identified substantial variability in how these approaches were validated and whether individual studies reported the usability of each tool. The authors spotlight the need for standardization in how to develop, test, and implement assessments of nontechnical skills. A related editorial discusses the findings of this systematic review in the context of previous research and advocates for future work to standardize assessment of nontechnical skills in health care.
Gandhi TK, Kaplan GS, Leape L, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2018;27:1019-1026.
Over the last decade, the Lucian Leape Institute has explored five key areas in health care to advance patient safety. These include medical education reform, care integration, patient and family engagement, transparency, and joy and meaning in work and workforce safety for health care professionals. This review highlights progress to date in each area and the challenges that remain to be addressed, including increasing clinician burnout and shortcomings of existing health information technology approaches. The authors also suggest opportunities for further research such as measuring the impact of residency training programs. In a past PSNet interview, Dr. Tejal Gandhi, president of the IHI/NPSF Lucian Leape Institute, discussed improving patient safety at a national level.
Cecil E, Bottle A, Esmail A, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2018;27:965-973.
Measuring hospital quality remains challenging, despite numerous public efforts. Inpatient mortality represents one measure of hospital quality. Researchers sought to assess the association between alerts generated by the Imperial College Mortality Surveillance System (a national hospital mortality surveillance system that generates monthly mortality alerts) and trends in the relative risk of mortality across National Health Service hospital trusts. On average, mortality risk decreased after a trust received a mortality alert. However, the authors conclude that random variation could account for the alerts and that a causal relationship cannot be determined. A past PSNet perspective discussed the use of risk-adjusted mortality as part of a safety measurement program.
Chatburn E, Macrae C, Carthey J, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2018;27:818-826.
This study examined the impact of a safety assessment intervention across nine public health care systems in the United Kingdom. Understanding of patient safety concepts improved, but implementation of safety principles varied. The intervention was implemented more completely in settings with more committed leadership.