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.
Seaman K, Meulenbroeks I, Nguyen A, et al. Int J Qual Health Care. 2023;35:mza080.
Patients in long-term or residential care facilities are at high risk of falls. In this study, researchers applied the International Classification for Patient Safety (ICPS) criteria to categorize types of falls occurring in residential aged care facilities in Australia. Falls requiring hospitalization more often occurred in residents’ bedrooms or communal areas. Resident pre-existing psychological or physical health were the most common contributing factor in falls that required a hospitalization.
Interdisciplinary rounds have been shown to improve patient outcomes such as shorter length of stay. In this study, more than 1,000 interdisciplinary rounds were observed to assess the extent and timing of physician-nurse communication. Results show attending physicians had longer interaction times with nurses than did residents or interns. Attendings were also more likely to elicit nurses' concerns rather than waiting for nurses to bring them up. These findings show the importance of including attendings in bedside rounds and medical schools could stress the importance of interdisciplinary rounds and teamwork.
Abraham J, Rosen M, Greilich PE eds. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2023;49(8):341-434.
Handoffs occur several times during a surgical procedure, increasing the risk of communication mistakes and misunderstandings. This special issue explores perioperative handoffs and strategies to improve them. Topics covered include information accuracy, teamwork science, and artificial intelligence.
Keebler JR, Lynch I, Ngo F, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2023;49:373-383.
Handoffs are an inevitable part of hospital care; clear communication between providers is required to ensure safe care. This quality improvement project aimed to improve handoffs between the cardiovascular (CV) operating room and CV intensive care unit by developing, implementing, and sustaining a structured handoff bundle. A participatory design was used to ensure that the tool contained only the key elements to support implementation without overburdening users.
Herasevich S, Soleimani J, Huang C, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2023;32:676-688.
Vulnerable populations, such as those with limited English proficiency, minoritized race or ethnicity, migrant populations, or patients qualifying for public insurance, may be at higher risk for adverse health events. In this review, researchers sought to identify frequency and causes of diagnostic error of vulnerable populations presenting to the emergency department with cardiovascular or cerebrovascular/neurological symptoms. Black patients presenting with cardiovascular symptoms had significantly higher odds of diagnostic error. Other demographic factors did not show similar associations, nor did studies of patients with cerebrovascular/neurological symptoms.
Previous research has identified racial and ethnic discrepancies in pulse oximetry measurement which can lead to delays in diagnosis or treatment. This editorial discusses racial and ethnic biases in clinical algorithms and devices and two emerging approaches – photoacoustic imaging and polarized light oximetry – that have potential to address the racial and ethnic biases in pulse oximetry.
Fischer SH, Shih RA, McMullen TL, et al. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2022;70:1047-1056.
Medication reconciliation (MR) occurs during transitions of care and is the process of reviewing a patient’s medication list and comparing it with the regimen being considered for the new setting of care. This study developed and tested standardized assessment data elements (SADE) for reconciliation of high-risk medications in post-acute care settings. The final set included seven elements; results demonstrate feasibility and moderate to strong reliability. The resulting seven data elements may provide the means for post-acute care settings to assess and improve this important quality process.
Domingo J, Galal G, Huang J. NEJM Catalyst. 2022;3.
Failure to follow up on abnormal diagnostic test results can cause delays in patients receiving appropriate care. This hospital used an artificial intelligence natural language processing system to identify radiology reports requiring follow-up. The system triggered automated notifications to the patient and ordering provider, and tracked follow-ups to completion. System development, deployment and next steps are detailed.
Huang C, Barwise A, Soleimani J, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e454-e462.
Identifying and reducing diagnostic errors remains a critical patient safety concern. This prospective study asked clinicians if they perceived that a diagnostic error played a part in rapid response team activations or unplanned admissions to the intensive care unit. Clinicians reported that 18% of acute care patients experienced diagnostic errors.
Fakih MG, Bufalino A, Sturm L, et al. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2021;43:26-31.
Central line-associated blood steam infection (CLABSI) and catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) prevention were an important part of patient safety prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. This study compared CLABSI and CAUTI rates in 78 hospitals during the 12-month period prior to the pandemic and the first 6 months of the pandemic. CLABSI rates increased by 51% during the pandemic period, mainly in the ICU. CAUTI rates did not show significant changes.
Deprescribing is one intervention to reduce the risk of adverse drug events, particularly in older adults and people taking five or more medications. In this cluster randomized trial, older adults (≥65 years) taking at least five medications at hospital admission were randomly assigned to intervention (personalized reports of deprescribing opportunities) or control. Despite an increase in deprescribing in both groups, there was no difference in adverse drug events or adverse drug withdrawal events.
Vaughan CP, Hwang U, Vandenberg AE, et al. BMJ Open Qual. 2021;10:e001369.
Prescribing potentially inappropriate medications (such as antihistamines, benzodiazepines, and muscle relaxants) can lead to adverse health outcomes. The Enhancing Quality of Prescribing Practices for Older Adults in the Emergency Department (EQUIPPED) program is a multicomponent intervention intended to reduce potentially inappropriate prescribing among older adults who are discharged from the emergency department. Twelve months after implementation at three academic health systems, the EQUIPPED program significantly reduced overall potentially inappropriate prescribing at one site; the proportion of benzodiazepine prescriptions decreased across all sites.
Sharma AE, Huang B, Del Rosario JB, et al. BMJ Open Qual. 2021;10:e001421.
Patients and caregivers play an essential role in safe ambulatory care. This mixed-methods analysis of ambulatory safety reports identified three themes related to patient and caregivers factors contributing to events – (1) clinical advice conflicting with patient priorities, (2) breakdowns in communication and patient education contributing to medication adverse events, and (3) the fact that patients with disabilities are vulnerable to due to the external environment.
Klatt TE, Sachs JF, Huang C-C, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2021;47:759-767.
This article describes the implementation of a peer support program for “second victims” in a US healthcare system. Following training, peer supporters assisted at-risk colleagues, raised awareness of second victim syndrome, and recruited others for training. The effectiveness of the training was assessed using the Second Victim Experience Support Tool. The most common event supported was inability to stop the progress of a medical condition, including COVID-19.
Barwise A, Leppin A, Dong Y, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;17:239-248.
Diagnostic errors and delays continue to be a widespread patient safety concern in hospitalized patients. Researchers conducted focus groups with key clinician stakeholders to determine factors that contribute to diagnostic error and delay. Clinicians indicated that organizational, interactional, clinician, and patient factors all interact to cause errors and delays. These diverse factors must be considered when implementing interventions to reduce diagnostic errors and delays.
Vandenberg AE, Kegler M, Hastings SN, et al. Int J Qual Health Care. 2020;32:470-476.
This article describes the implementation of the Enhancing Quality of Prescribing Practices for Older Adults in the Emergency Department (EQUIPPED) medication safety program at three academic medical centers. EQUIPPED is a multicomponent intervention intended to reduce potentially inappropriate prescribing among adults aged 65 and older who are discharged from the Emergency Department. The authors discuss lessons learned and provide insight which can inform implementation strategies at other institutions.
This study examined variation in operative technical skills among patients undergoing colorectal and non-colorectal procedures and the association with patient outcomes. Higher technical skills were significantly associated with lower rates of complications, unplanned reoperations, and death or serious morbidity. The findings suggest that this skill variation accounts for more than 25% of the variation in patient outcomes.
Sunkara PR, Islam T, Bose A, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2020;29:569-575.
This study explored the influence of structured interdisciplinary bedside rounding (SIBR) on readmissions and length of stay. Compared to the control group, the odds of 7-day readmission were lower among patients admitted to a unit with SIBR (odds ratio=0.70); the intervention did not reduce length of stay or 30-day readmissions.