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.
Seys D, Panella M, Russotto S, et al. BMC Health Serv Res. 2023;23:816.
Clinicians who are involved in a patient safety incident can experience psychological harm. This literature review of 104 studies identified five levels of support that can be provided to healthcare workers after a patient safety incident – (1) prevention, (2) self-care of individuals and/or teams, (3) support by peers and triage, (4) structured professional support, and (5) structured clinical support.
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.
Seys D, De Decker E, Waelkens H, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:717-721.
Burnout and stress among healthcare workers can adversely impact patient safety. Using data from two cross-sectional surveys, this study found the COVID-19 pandemic had a larger impact on the mental health and well-being of healthcare workers compared to involvement in a patient safety incident. Negative psychological symptoms such as anxiety, sleep deprivation, and wanting to leave the profession were all significantly higher in COVID-19-related groups.
Van Slambrouck L, Verschueren R, Seys D, et al. J Prof Nurs. 2021;37:765-770.
An online survey of nursing students in Belgium found that about one in three students were involved in a patient safety incident during their clinical training, and the majority experienced emotional distress after the event. Medical and nursing curriculum should include opportunities for competency development to support peers involved in patient safety incidents.
Gleason KT, Commodore-Mensah Y, Wu AW, et al. Nurse Educ Today. 2021;104:104984.
Massive online open courses (MOOCs) have the ability to reach a broad audience of learners. The Science of Safety in Healthcare MOOC was delivered in 2013 and 2014. At completion of the course, participants reported increased confidence on all six measured domains (teamwork, communication, managing risk, human environment, recognizing and responding, and culture). At 6 months post-completion, the majority agreed the content was useful and positively influenced their clinical practice, demonstrating that MOOCs are an effective interprofessional learning format.
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.
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.
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.