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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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Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2023;49(9):435-450.

The legacy of AHRQ leader John Eisenberg, MD, still inspires safety improvement work decades after his passing. This special issue highlights the efforts of the 2022 Eisenberg Award honorees and their impact on improving patient safety and quality. The 2022 award recipients coved here include Jason S. Adelman, MD, MS, and North American Partners in Anesthesia (NAPA).
Grauer A, Rosen A, Applebaum JR, et al. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2023;30:838-845.
Medication errors can happen at any step along the medication pathway, from ordering to administration. This study focuses on ordering errors reported to the AHRQ Network of Patient Safety Databases (NPSD) from 2010 to 2020. The most common categories of ordering errors were incorrect dose, incorrect medication, and incorrect duration; nearly 80% of errors were definitely or likely preventable.
Rosen A, Carter D, Applebaum JR, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e1219-e1225.
The COVID-19 pandemic had wide-ranging impacts on care delivery and patient safety. This study examined the relationship between critical care clinician experiences related to patient safety during the pandemic and COVID-19 caseloads during the pandemic. Findings suggest that as COVID-19 caseloads increased, clinicians were more likely to perceive care as less safe.
Grauer A, Kneifati-Hayek J, Reuland B, et al. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2022;29:909-917.
Problem lists, while an important part of high-quality care, are frequently incomplete or lack accuracy. This study examined the effectiveness of leveraging indication alerts in electronic health records (EHR) (medication ordered lacking a corresponding problem on the problem list) in two different hospitals using different EHRs. Both sites resulted in a proportion of new problems being added to the problem list for the medications triggered. Between 9.6% and 11.1% were abandoned (order started but not signed), which needs further study.
Kern-Goldberger AR, Kneifati-Hayek J, Fernandes Y, et al. Obstet Gynecol. 2021;138:229-235.
Patient misidentification errors can result in serious patient harm. The authors reviewed over 1.3 million electronic orders for inpatients at one New York hospital between 2016 and 2018 and found that wrong-patient order errors occurred more frequently on obstetric units than medical-surgical units. Medication errors were the largest source of order errors and commonly involved antibiotics and opioid and non-opioid analgesics.
Adelman JS, Gandhi TK. J Patient Saf. 2021;17:331-333.
The full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on patient safety in the healthcare system is still unknown. New patient safety concerns have been introduced, and existing concerns have been exacerbated. The authors suggest several high reliability strategies to prevent and learn from patient safety hazards, including transparency, a culture of safety, and continuous analysis of errors.
Dykes PC, Burns Z, Adelman JS, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3:e2025889.
… medical centers, this study evaluated the impact of a fall-prevention toolkit (Fall Tailoring Interventions for … After implementation of Fall TIPS toolkit, there was a 15% reduction in falls and a 35% reduction in falls with injuries. … Dykes  PC, Burns Z, Adelman J, et al. Evaluation of a patient-centered …
Salmasian H, Blanchfield BB, Joyce K, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3:e2019652.
Patient misidentification can lead to serious patient safety risks. In this large academic medical center, displaying patient photographs in the electronic health record (EHR) resulted in fewer wrong-patient order entry errors. The authors suggest this may be a simple and cost-effective strategy for reducing wrong-patient errors.  
Dadlez NM, Adelman JS, Bundy DG, et al. Ped Qual Saf. 2020;5:e299-e305.
Diagnostic errors, including missed diagnoses of adolescent depression, elevated blood pressure, and delayed response to abnormal lab results, are common in pediatric primary care. Building upon previous work, this study used root cause analyses to identify the failure points and contributing factors to these errors. Omitted process steps included failure to screen for adolescent depression, failure to recognize and act on abnormal blood pressure values, and failure to notify families of abnormal lab results. Factors contributing most commonly to these errors were patient volume, inadequate staffing, clinic environment, electronic and written communication, and provider knowledge.
Christiansen TL, Lipsitz S, Scanlan M, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2020.
The Fall TIPS (Tailoring Interventions for Patient Safety) program has been shown to be effective in preventing inpatient falls through formal risk assessment and tailored patient care plans. This study demonstrated that patients with access to the Fall TIPS program are more engaged and feel more confident in their ability to prevent falls than those who were not exposed to the program.
Adelman JS, Applebaum JR, Southern WN, et al. JAMA Pediatr. 2019;173:979-985.
A classic study found that the replacing the usual naming convention for newborns ("Babygirl" or "Babyboy") with one incorporating the mother's first name (e.g., "Marysgirl" or "Marysboy") reduced wrong-patient errors. Based on this finding, The Joint Commission issued a National Patient Safety Goal (NPSG) requiring the use of distinct naming systems for newborns. The authors of this study noted that the new standard would still leave multiple-birth infants vulnerable to wrong-patient errors, as most hospitals adopted naming standards that left room for confusion between infants (e.g., twin infants might be named "Marysgirl1" and "Marysgirl2"). Researchers examined the rate of wrong-patient errors in six neonatal intensive care units of two health systems that used the NPSG recommended naming conventions, comparing multiple-birth infants to singleton infants. They measured wrong-patient errors by tracking the rate of orders that were retracted and then immediately reordered for a different patient. The rate of wrong-patient errors was significantly higher among multiple-birth infants, most of which could be explained by intrafamilial errors (e.g., a medication was ordered for one twin when intended for another). The accompanying editorial points out that this study is an important example of carefully assessing the real-world impact of novel policies; in this case, the NPSG likely does protect against wrong-patient errors for singleton infants, but not for multiple-birth infants.
Adelman JS, Applebaum JR, Schechter CB, et al. JAMA. 2019;321:1780-1787.
Having multiple patient records open in the electronic health record increases the potential risk of wrong-patient actions. This randomized trial tested two different electronic health record configurations: one allowed up to four patient records to be open at a time, and the other allowed only one to be open. Among the 3356 clinicians with nearly 4.5 million order sessions, there were no significant differences in wrong-patient orders. However, the investigators noted that clinicians in the multiple records group placed most orders with just one record open. A post hoc analysis determined that the rate of errors increased when orders were placed with multiple records open. A related editorial highlights the tradeoffs between safety and efficiency and argues for examining the context of the two configurations, including throughput and clinician satisfaction. A previous PSNet perspective discussed assessing and improving the safety of electronic health records.
Duckworth M, Adelman JS, Belategui K, et al. J Med Internet Res. 2019;21:e10008.
Researchers sought to assess the effectiveness of a fall prevention toolkit in engaging patients and families in fall prevention. They used several different modalities to foster engagement including an electronic medical record version, a paper version, and a version displayed on the patient's bedside monitor. All three methods were effective.
Kannampallil TG, Manning JD, Chestek DW, et al. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2018;25:739-743.
Opening multiple patients' charts in the electronic medical record simultaneously may increase the risk of wrong-patient orders, a known patient safety hazard. Researchers analyzed intercepted wrong-patient medication orders in an emergency department over a 6-year period and found no significant reduction when the maximum number of charts allowed to be open at the same time decreased from 4 to 2. Similarly, there was no significant increase when the maximum number of charts permitted to be open simultaneously increased from 2 to 4.
Adelman JS, Aschner JL, Schechter CB, et al. Pediatrics. 2017;139.
Wrong-patient errors are a well-established risk in the health care setting. Research has shown that providers, often multitasking, may enter notes or medication orders for the wrong patient. A prior study touted point-of-care photographs as a helpful intervention for identifying and preventing wrong-patient errors in a cardiothoracic intensive care unit. However, less is known about wrong-patient errors in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) population and ways to prevent them. Researchers analyzed more than 850,000 NICU orders and more than 3.5 million non-NICU orders in pediatric patients over a 7-year period. At baseline, they found that wrong-patient orders occurred more frequently in the NICU population with an odds ratio of 1.56. Interventions included requiring reentry of patient identifiers prior to order entry as well as a new naming system for newborns. Implementation of both led to a 61.1% reduction in wrong-patient errors in the NICU population from baseline. A previous WebM&M commentary highlights a case of wrong-patient identification.
Adelman JS, Berger MA, Rai A, et al. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2017;24:992-995.
Wrong-patient errors can occur during computerized provider order entry, particularly if ordering clinicians have more than one patient record open. Experts have recommended that health systems allow only a single patient record to be open at a time to prevent these errors. This national survey of electronic health record leaders examined whether health systems permit records for multiple patients to be open simultaneously for electronic ordering and documentation. Nearly 200 health systems responded to the survey, and respondents described widely differing practices. Among health systems where clinicians could open multiple patient records at a time, the common justification was to support efficiency. A significant proportion did impose a restriction of working on one patient record at a time, and a smaller group limited clinicians to working with two open patient records only. These results suggest that further study of the optimal number of open patient records is needed to balance safety and efficiency in completing electronic health record work.
Dadlez NM, Azzarone G, Sinnett MJ, et al. Hosp Pediatr. 2017;7:134-139.
Interruptions are known to contribute to medication errors. This direct observation study found that resident physicians and physician assistants experienced 57 interruptions per 100 medication orders. The authors suggest that inpatient health systems should implement strategies to reduce interruptions during medication ordering.