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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 57 Results
Wang Y, Eldridge N, Metersky ML, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5:e2214586.
Hospital readmission rates are an important indicator of patient safety. This cross-sectional study examined whether patients admitted to hospitals with high readmission rates also had higher risks of in-hospital adverse events. Based on a sample of over 46,000 Medicare patients with pneumonia discharged between July 2010 and December 2019 and linked to Medicare adverse event data, researchers found that patients admitted to hospitals with high all-cause readmission rates were more likely to experience an adverse event during their admission.
Schnock KO, Roulier S, Butler J, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e407-e413.
Patient safety dashboards are used to communicate real-time patient data to appropriately augment care. This study found that higher usage of an electronic patient safety dashboard resulted in lower 30-day readmission rates among patients discharged from adult medicine units compared to lower usage groups.
Butler JM, Gibson B, Schnock KO, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e563-e567.
Patient safety efforts increasingly seek patient input and engagement to improve care. In this qualitative study, patients and families reported on recent hospitalizations and their perceptions of their care and safety. Four main themes were elicited: (1) experiences with safety problems were not unusual, (2) patients and families developed “care stories” about their experiences, (3) there was a spectrum of trust between patients and providers, and (4) having someone advocate for them was important.
Mital R, Lovegrove MC, Moro RN, et al. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2022;31:225-234.
Accidental ingestion of over-the-counter (OTC) cold and cough medicines (CCMs) among children can result in adverse events. This study used national surveillance data to characterize emergency department (ED) visits for harms related to OTC CCM use and discusses differences by patient demographics, intent of use, and concurrent substance use.
Metersky ML, Eldridge N, Wang Y, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:253-259.
The July Effect is a belief that the quality of care delivered in academic medical centers decreases during July and August due to the arrival of new trainees. Using data from the Medicare Patient Safety Monitoring System, this retrospective cohort, including over 185,000 hospital admissions from 2010 to 2017, found that patients admitted to teaching hospitals in July and August did not experience higher rates of adverse events compared to patients admitted to non-teaching hospitals.
Geller AI, Conrad AO, Weidle NJ, et al. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2021;30:573-581.
The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) classifies insulin as a high-risk medication. This study examines insulin mix-up errors that resulted in emergency department visits or other serious adverse events. Most cases of medication mix-up involved rapid-acting insulin. Recommended prevention strategies include increased patient education and human factors engineering.
Agarwal M, Lovegrove MC, Geller RJ, et al. J Pediatr. 2020;219.
Parents are advised to keep medications inaccessible to young children to avoid accidental ingestions. This study prospectively enrolled nearly 4,500 individuals calling poison control centers about unsupervised solid dose medication exposure in young children (ages 5 years and younger) to identify the types of containers from which young children accessed these medications. The majority of incidents (71.6%) involved children 2 years and younger. Incidents were equally divided among calls involving prescription-only medications, over-the-counter (OTC) projects requiring child-resistant packaging, and OTC projects not requiring such packaging. One-third of all incidents involved medication that had been removed from the original container; this was more likely in incidents involving prescription drugs compared to OTC drugs (adjusted odds ratio, 3.39; 95% CI, 2.87-4.00).  These findings suggest that unsupervised medication exposures in young children are just as often the result of adults removing medications from original packaging as the result of improper use or failure of child-resistant packaging.
Gibson B, Butler J, Schnock KO, et al. Patient Educ Couns. 2019;103:741-747.
Patients and caregivers should be actively engaged in identifying and preventing patient safety events. This article describes the process of designing an app to engage patients and their caregivers in decision making that might impact safety.  The authors note important themes arising from this process, including appropriate messaging for patients, creating an app promotes actions (such as suggesting questions), and presenting information accessible for a lay audience.
Holmgren J, Co Z, Newmark L, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2020;29:52-59.
A key safety feature of electronic health records is computerized provider order entry, which can reduce adverse drug events. This retrospective multisite study used simulated medication orders to determine whether electronic health record decision support detected and alerted providers about possible adverse drug events. The proportion of potential adverse drug events increased over time. Electronic health record decision support identified 54% of adverse drug events in 2009; this increased to 61.6% in 2016. There was substantial variation among hospitals using the same commercial electronic health record vendor, demonstrating the importance of local implementation decisions in medication safety. These findings emphasize the need for further efforts to enhance safety of electronic health records.
Classen D, Li M, Miller S, et al. Health Aff (Millwood). 2018;37:1805-1812.
Most health care organizations primarily rely on retrospective techniques such as incident reporting systems to detect and respond to patient harm. Retrospective techniques do not capture a substantial proportion of patient safety events and are not effective for real-time feedback or safety incident prevention. By contrast, electronic health record–based trigger tools detect safety incidents in real time. Investigators developed and piloted the patient safety active management (PSAM) at two large community hospitals. The PSAM employed machine learning and expert clinician review of years of adverse event data to refine the Institute for Healthcare Improvement Global Trigger Tool and distilled this into a real-time risk score for patient safety incidents. The PSAM identified 10 times more safety incidents than were detected through retrospective techniques. It reliably predicted both serious adverse events and mortality. A prior PSNet perspective explored how to leverage electronic health records to enhance safety. The Moore Foundation provides free access to this article.
Stockwell DC, Landrigan CP, Toomey SL, et al. Pediatrics. 2018;142:e20173360.
… in adverse event rates at 16 randomly selected children's hospitals. Adverse event rates did not significantly change … reductions in hospital-acquired conditions at children's hospitals and speculates that these discordant findings … discussed a preventable medication error at a children's hospital. …
Stockwell DC, Landrigan CP, Schuster MA, et al. Pediatr Qual Saf. 2018;3:e081.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has successfully reduced preventable harm from hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) through financial penalties to hospitals. Hospitals nationwide have invested substantial resources in reducing the HACs on the CMS nonpayment list, raising concern about whether institutions may be neglecting other types of preventable harm. Researchers used an all-cause harm trigger tool to assess what proportion of harms that occurred at six children's hospitals were HACs versus harms excluded from the CMS list. Only 58 of 240 harms were considered HACs. Some common harms identified outside the scope of HACs were intravenous catheter infiltration, surgical complications, and pain. Prior WebM&M commentaries have discussed harms from hospital-acquired infections as well as the unintended consequences of public hospital quality reporting.
Weingart SN, Atoria CL, Pfister D, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;17:e701-e707.
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.
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.
Lipitz-Snyderman A, Classen D, Pfister D, et al. J Oncol Pract. 2017;13.
Trigger tools are an increasingly important method to detect adverse events. A trigger is a finding identified through structured data that signals a potential adverse event that should be examined by a member of the health care team. In this retrospective cohort study of patients treated for breast, lung, or colorectal cancer, investigators tested a trigger tool with 76 components. After narrowing it to the 49 best-performing triggers, the tool had a positive predictive value of 0.48, meaning that nearly half of the triggers truly represented adverse events. Almost 20% of the triggers represented preventable events. The authors suggest that automation of their trigger tool could lead to real-time identification of adverse events in oncology. A past PSNet interview featured David Classen, one of the pioneers of the trigger tool methodology for detecting adverse events.
Sammer C, Miller S, Jones C, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2017;43:155-165.
Trigger tools seek to identify adverse events by flagging cases for review based on a particular data point (the "trigger"). Investigators, working through a Patient Safety Organization, sought an alternative to the widely used Institute for Healthcare Improvement Global Trigger Tool, one that would require less time and fewer resources. They developed a single, automated trigger encompassing a multitude of possible harms that could be implemented in real time. The most common harm identified by the novel trigger tool was hypoglycemia. The authors note that their tool detected more adverse events than the AHRQ Patient Safety Indicators. An accompanying editorial lauds this study as a step forward in efforts to harness the electronic health records to enhance patient safety through data analysis.
Stockwell DC, Bisarya H, Classen D, et al. J Patient Saf. 2016;12:180-189.
Detecting and measuring patient safety hazards remains challenging, but assessing the potential for a given safety problem to cause harm is even more difficult. Experts therefore sought to achieve consensus around an all-cause pediatric harm measurement tool using a modified Delphi process. They vetted 108 possible trigger tools that can indicate an incipient safety risk, including use of reversal agents for high-risk medications and diagnosis of health care–associated infections. After multiple rounds of discussion and evidence review, investigators produced a list of 51 triggers, which they plan to pilot test. The authors assert that this work is the first step toward identifying harm to pediatric patients in real-time.
Shehab N, Lovegrove MC, Geller AI, et al. JAMA. 2016;316:2115-2125.
Adverse drug events (ADEs) in outpatient settings can cause significant morbidity and mortality. Updating a prior study, this surveillance study identified more than 40,000 ADEs among 58 emergency departments in the United States. Investigators estimated that 4 emergency department visits for ADEs occurred per 1000 patients annually during the study period, with more than one-quarter of these visits resulting in hospitalization. Antibiotic reactions were the most common ADE for children. Among patients age 65 or older, anticoagulants, diabetes medications, and opioids were most commonly implicated in ADEs, as seen in a previous study. Medications considered inappropriate for older adults according to Beers criteria were involved in less than 2% of ADEs. The authors conclude that preventing ADEs requires attention to older adults and to antibiotic, anticoagulant, diabetes, and opioid medications, consistent with recommendations from the 2014 National Action Plan for Adverse Drug Event Prevention.