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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 74 Results
Varady NH, Worsham CM, Chen AF, et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2022;119:e2210226119.
Safe prescribing dictates that prescriptions should only be written for the patients who are intended to use the prescribed medications. Using claims data, this analysis identified a high rate of opioid prescriptions written for and filled by the spouses of patients undergoing outpatient surgery (who may be unable to fill prescriptions themselves after surgery). Findings suggest intentional, clinically inappropriate prescribing of opioids.
Burns ML, Saager L, Cassidy RB, et al. JAMA Surg. 2022;157:807-815.
Anesthesiologists often must oversee multiple surgeries. This study evaluated adult patients from 23 US academic and private hospitals who underwent major surgery between 2010, and 2017, to examine anesthesiologist staffing ratios against patient morbidity and mortality. The authors categorized the staffing into four groups based on the number of operations the anesthesiologist was covering. The study found that increased anesthesiologist coverage was associated with greater risk-adjusted morbidity and mortality of surgical patients. Hospitals should consider evaluating anesthesiology staffing to determine potential increased risks.
Sun EC, Mello MM, Vaughn MT, et al. JAMA Intern Med. 2022;182:720-728.
Physician fatigue can inhibit decision-making and contribute to poor performance. This cross-sectional study examined surgical procedures performed between January 2010 and August 2020 across 20 high-volume hospitals in the United States to determine the association between surgeon fatigue, operating overnight and outcomes for operations performed by the same surgeon the next day. No significant associations were found between overnight surgeries and surgical outcomes for procedures performed the next day.
Fleisher LA, Schreiber M, Cardo D, et al. N Engl J Med. 2022;386:609-611.
The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted many aspects of health care. This commentary discusses its impact on patient safety. The authors discuss how the pandemic response dismantled strategies put in place to prevent healthcare-associated infections and falls, and stressors placed on both patients and healthcare workers directed attention away from ongoing safety improvement efforts. They argue that more resilience needs to be built into the system to ensure safety efforts are sustainable in challenging times.
Neprash HT, Sheridan B, Jena AB, et al. Health Aff (Millwood). 2021;40:1321-1327.
The COVID-19 pandemic led to an increase in the use of telehealth in order to limit patient exposure to the virus. Findings from this study highlight the value of telehealth visits for patients with suspected respiratory infections to prevent further transmission. Researchers found that patients exposed to influenza-like illness in primary care office settings were more likely than nonexposed patients to return with a similar illness within two weeks.
Schulz-Moore JS, Bismark M, Jenkinson C, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2021;47:376-384.
… Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf … Error disclosure is critical to … and patient characteristics. … Schulz-Moore JS, Bismark M, Jenkinson C, et al. Assessing patients 2019 experiences … injury reconciliation processes: item generation for a novel survey questionnaire. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. …
Mello MM, Frakes MD, Blumenkranz E, et al. JAMA. 2020;323:352-366.
This systematic review synthesized evidence from 37 studies to examine the association between malpractice liability risk and healthcare quality and safety. The review found no evidence of association between liability risk and avoidable hospitalizations or readmissions, and limited evidence supporting an association between risk and mortality (5/20 studies) or patient safety indicators or postoperative complications (2/6 studies).
Jena AB, Farid M, Blumenthal D, et al. BMJ. 2019;366:l4134.
In 2003, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education limited resident physician work hours to 30 hours in 1 shift and 80 hours in 1 week. These duty hour reforms were intended to enhance patient safety and trainee physician well-being. However, some have expressed concern that physicians who train for fewer hours will leave residency less skilled and ultimately provide lower quality care. Investigators assessed whether attending internists who trained with duty hour restrictions differed after residency in terms of their Medicare patients' mortality, readmissions, or costs when compared with internists who trained with unlimited duty hours. They found no difference in quality or cost between the two physician groups. Although other studies have concluded that duty hours have not adversely affected clinical or safety outcomes in residency, this study extends that finding to physicians' subsequent practice. Duty hour restrictions have consistently been associated with improved resident physician well-being. A PSNet perspective reviewed changes to the ACGME requirements to create flexibility for work hours within the maximum 80-hour workweek.
Moore JS, Mello MM, Bismark M. Bioethics. 2019;33:948-957.
Patient engagement is now acknowledged as a cornerstone of patient safety, but the perspectives of patients who have experienced adverse events remain understudied. This interview study of 92 patients who had experienced iatrogenic injury identified several insights about the aftermath of adverse events. As with prior studies, researchers found that patients expressed a desire to be heard. Participants had positive perceptions of patient safety research and expressed a desire that others learn from the adverse event they experienced. The authors suggest that institutional review boards permit investigators to approach patients who have experienced adverse events to participate in studies, rather than prohibit such studies due to fear of causing further psychological harm. They also recommend that researchers discuss these adverse events with patients through a reciprocal lens, expressing support and sympathy rather than maintaining an emotionally distant stance. A previous PSNet interview with the lead author discussed disclosure and apology in health care.
Studdert DM, Spittal MJ, Zhang Y, et al. N Engl J Med. 2019;380:1247-1255.
Malpractice claims can shed light on patient safety hazards. This observational study examined how paid malpractice claims affected physicians' practice. Investigators found that a small proportion of physicians, about 10%, had one or more paid malpractice claims, consistent with prior studies. Approximately 2% of physicians accounted for nearly 40% of paid claims. Physicians with paid claims were more likely to leave clinical practice and more likely to move to smaller practice settings. The authors raise the concern that physicians who move to smaller practice settings may lack the institutional and peer support to remediate their clinical skills and behavior. A PSNet perspective explored the risk of recurring medicolegal events among providers who have received multiple malpractice claims.
Arriaga AF, Sweeney RE, Clapp JT, et al. Anesthesiology. 2019;130:1039-1048.
Debriefing after a critical event is a strategy drawn from high reliability industries to learn from failures and improve performance. This retrospective study of critical events in inpatient anesthesiology practice found that debriefing occurred in 49% of the incidents. Debriefs were less likely to occur when critical communication breakdowns were involved, and more than half of crisis events included at least one such breakdown. Interviews with care teams revealed that communication breakdowns present in some incidents impeded the subsequent debriefing process. The authors call for more consistent implementation of debriefing as a recommended patient safety process. A previous WebM&M commentary discussed an incident involving miscommunication between a surgeon and an anesthesiologist.
Sun E, Mello MM, Rishel CA, et al. JAMA. 2019;321:762-772.
Scheduling overlapping surgeries has raised substantial patient safety concerns. However, research regarding the impact of concurrent surgery on patient outcomes has produced conflicting results. In this multicenter retrospective cohort study, researchers examined the relationship between overlapping surgery and mortality, postoperative complications, and surgery duration for 66,430 surgeries between January 2010 and May 2018. Although overlapping surgery was not significantly associated with an increase in mortality or complications overall, researchers did find a significant association between overlapping surgery and increased length of surgery. An accompanying editorial discusses the role of overlapping surgery in promoting the autonomy of those in surgical training and suggests that further research is needed to settle the debate regarding the impact of overlapping surgery on patient safety.
Lane-Fall MB, Pascual JL, Peifer HG, et al. Ann Surg. 2020;271:484-493.
… Ann Surg … Handoffs represent a vulnerable time for patients in which inadequate … communication between providers can contribute to adverse outcomes. Research has shown that the use of standardized … In this prospective cohort study, researchers implemented a handoff protocol designed to improve handoffs between the …
Gallagher TH, Mello MM, Sage WM, et al. Health Aff (Millwood). 2018;37:1845-1852.
Communication-and-resolution programs are designed to build healing relationships, offer appropriate compensation, and facilitate organizational learning after a harmful medical error. Although some success has been achieved, communication-and-resolution programs have yet to be widely implemented across the health system. This commentary discusses policy, safety outcome evidence, monetary, and program design weaknesses as prominent barriers to wide-scale implementation. The authors recommend aligning the programs to foundational concepts of safety and patient-centeredness to help drive progress.
Lane-Fall MB, Pascual JL, Massa S, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Saf. 2018;44:514-525.
… Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf … Jt Comm J Qual Saf … Standardizing handoffs has been shown to improve … room to intensive care unit as well as the development of a standardized OR-to-ICU handoff protocol. …