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.
Holland R, Bond CM, Alldred DP, et al. BMJ. 2023;380:e071883.
Careful medication management in long-term care residents is associated with improved hospital readmission rates and reduced fall rates. In the UK, pharmacist independent prescribers (PIP) can initiate, change, or monitor medications, and this cluster randomized controlled trial evaluated the effect of PIPs on fall rates. After six months of PIP involvement, fall rates (the primary outcome) were not statistically different than the usual care group, although drug burden was reduced.
This survey compared factors influencing opinions about patient-safety-related behaviors among medical students and physicians compared to the general public in Australia. Respondents had significantly different opinions on several of the hypothetical patient safety scenarios used in the survey. Findings suggest that physician and medical student opinions are often influenced by cognitive dissonance, biases, and heuristics.
Joseph K, Newman B, Manias E, et al. Patient Educ Couns. 2022;105:2778-2784.
Lack of patient engagement in care can place them at increased risk for safety events. This qualitative study explored ethnic minority stakeholder perspectives about patient engagement in cancer care. Focus groups consisting of participants from consumer and health organizations involved in cancer care in Australia identified three themes supporting successful engagement – consideration of sociocultural beliefs about cancer, adaptation of existing techniques tailored to stakeholders (e.g., culturally specific content), and accounting for factors such as cultural competence during implementation.
Potentially inappropriate prescribing in older adults can result in medication-related harm. This systematic review of 63 studies found that potentially inappropriate prescribing was significantly associated with several system-related and health-related outcomes for older adults, including mortality, readmissions, adverse drug events, and functional decline.
Manias E, Street M, Lowe G, et al. BMC Health Serv Res. 2021;21:1025.
This study explored associations between person-related (e.g., individual responsible for medication error), environment-related (e.g., transitions of care), and communication-related (e.g., misreading of medication order) medication errors in two Australian hospitals. The authors recommend that improved communication regarding medications with patients and families could reduce medication errors associated with possible or probable harm.
Newman B, Joseph K, Chauhan A, et al. Health Expect. 2021;24:1905-1923.
Patients and families are essential partners in identifying and preventing safety events. This systematic review characterizes patient engagement along a continuum of engagement that includes consultation (e.g., patients are invited to provide input about a specific safety issue), involvement (e.g., patients are asked about their preferences/concerns and given the opportunity to engage with practitioners about a specific issue), and partnership/leadership (e.g., patients ‘work’ with practitioners to improve the safety of their care, often using tools designed to empower patients to alert practitioners to concerns).
Medication safety, particularly among older adults who may have complex medication regimens, is an ongoing safety concern. This study explored medication safety behaviors among young-old (65-74 years), middle-old (75-84 years) and old-old (>85 years) adults. The authors found that older adults are willing to engage in medication safety behaviors, but that preferred behaviors (e.g., verbal behaviors, self-administering medication, reviewing medication charts) differed among the age groups.
Chauhan A, Walton M, Manias E, et al. Int J Equity Health. 2020;19:118.
In this systematic review, the authors characterized patient safety events affecting ethnic minority populations internationally. Findings indicate that ethnic minority populations experience higher rates of hospital-acquired infections, complications, adverse drug events, and dosing errors. The authors identified several factors contributing to the increased risk, including language proficiency, beliefs about illness and treatment, interpreter use, consumer engagement, and interactions with health professionals.
Koyama AK, Maddox C-SS, Li L, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2020;29:595-603.
Medication administration errors are common and account for a significant fraction of medication errors. This systematic review examined the effect of medication double-checks on medication administration errors. Investigators identified 13 studies (3 were considered high-quality) that demonstrated variable adherence to double-checking protocols. Only one high-quality study showed improvement in medication administration error rates when a double-check took place. No studies demonstrated differences in patient harm with double-checking compared to usual medication administration practice. The authors call for higher-quality studies to determine whether the time-intensive practice of double-checking medication administration confers a meaningful safety benefit. A previous WebM&M commentary discussed an incident involving a nurse who bypassed the double-check policy for verifying the order prior to administration, which led to a medication administration error.
Manias E, Bucknall T, Hughes C, et al. BMC Geriatr. 2019;19:95.
Transitions of care represent a vulnerable time for patients. Older adults in particular may experience a variety of challenges related to such transitions, including managing changes to their medications. This systematic review suggests that there is significant opportunity for health care providers to improve family engagement in managing medications of elderly patients during care transitions.
This retrospective cohort study of patients age 65 and older on chronic medications found that unintentional medication discontinuation does occur following hospitalization. As with prior studies, medication documentation in hospital discharge summaries remains highly variable.
This systematic review identified 25 randomized controlled trials of methods to improve medication reconciliation at the time of hospital discharge, most of which involved a pharmacist-mediated intervention. Overall, there was no clear evidence that medication reconciliation interventions reduced either medication discrepancies or adverse drug events. A previous commentary discussed the challenges in implementing effective medication reconciliation programs in real-world settings.
Guinane J, Hutchinson AM, Bucknall T. J Clin Nurs. 2018;27:1621-1631.
Rapid response teams are well established in adult and pediatric hospitals. As part of efforts to increase patient engagement in safety efforts, some hospitals allow patients to summon the team directly. This qualitative study of patients and caregivers at two Australian hospitals identified significant barriers to family-activated rapid response teams. Principally, patients did not feel they had the knowledge to make a clinical decision regarding their care and expressed concern about overriding the clinical staff's decisions.
Communication failures hinder safety of health care delivery and are particularly prevalent in medication errors. This review explores how interdisciplinary work can augment communication during medication processes and highlights interdisciplinary collaboration strategies such as pharmacist engagement in care teams.
Johnson M, Sanchez P, Langdon R, et al. J Nurs Manag. 2017;25:498-507.
Interruptions in nursing care are common and can contribute to errors. In keeping with prior research, this observational study of nurses found that interruptions in medication preparation and administration can compromise patient safety.
Ringdal M, Chaboyer W, Ulin K, et al. BMC Nurs. 2017;16:69.
This qualitative study of hospitalized patients in Sweden found that patients expressed interest in engaging in their care. Themes included shared decision-making and increasing patient understanding of health conditions. Patients also expressed concern about the power dynamic between patients and providers and uncertainty about how to best participate in their own hospital care.