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.
Ly DP, Shekelle PG, Song Z. JAMA Intern Med. 2023;183:818-823.
Anchoring bias is the tendency to focus on an initial diagnosis despite later evidence to the contrary. This study measured physicians’ potential anchoring bias regarding patients with congestive heart failure (CHF) with shortness of breath presenting to the emergency department. When the patient’s initial triage note included CHF, physicians were less likely and/or slower to test for pulmonary embolism (PE) than when the triage note did not mention CHF. This suggests physicians may have been subject to anchoring bias.
A common type of diagnostic error is availability bias, or diagnosing a patient based on experiences with past similar cases. This study examined whether an emergency physician’s recent experience of a patient presenting with shortness of breath and diagnosed with pulmonary embolism increased subsequent pulmonary embolism diagnoses. While pulmonary embolism diagnosis did increase over the following ten days, that effect did not persist over the 50 days following the first 10 days.
Ly DP, López L, Isaac T, et al. Med Care. 2010;48:1133-1137.
Hospitals that serve a higher proportion of African American patients had consistently higher rates of patient safety events (as measured by the AHRQ Patient Safety Indicators). The safety events occurred at higher rates in both black and white patients at these hospitals. An AHRQ WebM&M interview discusses the unique challenges of patient safety in safety net hospitals.