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.
Bell SK, Harcourt K, Dong J, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2023;Epub Aug 21.
Patient and family engagement is essential to effective and safe diagnosis. OurDX is a previsit online engagement tool to help identify opportunities to improve diagnostic safety in patients and families living with chronic conditions. In this study, researchers implemented OurDX in specialty and primary care clinics at two academic healthcare organizations and examined the potential safety issues and whether patient/family contributions were integrated into the post-visit notes. Qualitative analysis of 450 OurDX reports found that participants contributed important information about the diagnostic process. Participants with diagnostic concerns were more likely to raise concerns about the diagnostic process (e.g., access barriers, problems with tests/referrals, communication breakdowns), which may represent diagnostic blind spots.
Bell SK, Dong ZJ, DesRoches CM, et al. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2023;30:692-702.
… J Am Med Inform Assoc … Patients and families are encouraged … concern, mainly not feeling heard by their provider. … Bell SK, Dong ZJ, Desroches CM, et al. Partnering with … safety through OurDX: a previsit online engagement tool. J Am Med Inform Assoc. Epub 2023 Jan 24 10.1093/jamia/ocad003 …
Bell SK, Bourgeois FC, Dong J, et al. Milbank Q. 2022;100:1121-1165.
Patients who access their electronic health record (EHR) through a patient portal have identified clinically relevant errors such as allergies, medications, or diagnostic errors. This study focused on patient-identified diagnostic safety blind spots in ambulatory care clinical notes. The largest category of blind spots was diagnostic misalignment. Many patients indicated they reported the errors to the clinicians, suggesting shared notes may increase patient and family engagement in safety.
Stockwell DC, Kayes DC, Thomas EJ. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e877-e882.
Striving for “zero harm” in healthcare has been advocated as a patient safety goal. In this article, the authors discuss the unintended consequences of “zero harm” goals and provide an alternative approach emphasizing learning and resilience goals (leveled-target goal setting, equal emphasis goals, data-driven learning, and developmental – rather than performance – goals).
Navathe AS, Liao JM, Yan XS, et al. Health Aff (Millwood). 2022;41:424-433.
Opioid overdose and misuse continues to be a major public health concern with numerous policy- and organization-level approaches to encourage appropriate clinician prescribing. A northern California health system studied the effects of three interventions (individual audit feedback, peer comparison, both combined) as compared to usual care at several emergency department and urgent care sites. Peer comparison and the combined interventions resulted in a significant decrease in pills per prescription.
Nether KG, Thomas EJ, Khan A, et al. J Healthc Qual. 2022;44:23-30.
Medical errors in the neonatal intensive care unit threaten patient safety. This children’s hospital implemented a robust process improvement program (RPI, which refers to widespread dissemination of process improvement tools to support staff skill development and identify sustainable improvements) to reduce harm in the neonatal intensive care unit. The program resulted in significant and sustainable improvements to staff confidence and knowledge related to RPI tools. It also contributed to improvements in health outcomes, including healthcare-acquired infection.
Shafer GJ, Singh H, Thomas EJ, et al. J Perinatol. 2022;42:1312-1318.
… J Perinatol … Patients in the neonatal intensive care unit … seven days of admission was 6.2%. … Shafer GJ, Singh H, Thomas EJ, et al. Frequency of diagnostic errors in the … intensive care unit: a retrospective cohort study. J Perinatol. Epub 2022 Mar 4. doi: 10.1038/s41372-022-01359-9. …
Bell SK, Dong J, Ngo L, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2022;Epub Feb 4.
Limited English-language health literacy (LEHL) and disadvantaged socioeconomic position (dSEP) have been shown to increase risk of adverse events and near misses. Using data from the 2017 Institute for Healthcare Improvement-National Patient Safety Foundation study, researchers found, while respondents with LEHL or dSEP experienced diagnostic errors at the same rate as their counterparts, they were more likely to report unique contributing factors and more long-term emotional, physical, and financial harm.
Ottosen MJ, Sedlock E, Aigbe AO, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;17:e1145-e1151.
This qualitative study explored the long-term impacts experienced by patients and family members involved in medical harm events. Participants described psychological, social/behavioral, and financial impacts and more than half reported ongoing physical impacts.
Loren DL, Lyerly AD, Lipira L, et al. J Patient Saf Risk Manag. 2021;26:200-206.
Effective communication between patients and providers – including after an adverse event – is essential for patient safety. This qualitative study identified unique challenges experienced by parents and providers when communicating about adverse birth outcomes – high expectations, powerful emotions, rapid change and progression, family involvement, multiple patients and providers involved, and litigious environment. The authors outline strategies recommended by parents and providers to address these challenges.
Bell SK, Bourgeois FC, DesRoches CM, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2022;31:526-540.
Engaging patients and families in their own care can improve outcomes, safety, and satisfaction. This study brought patients, families, clinicians and experts together to identify patient-reported diagnostic process-related breakdowns. The group identified 7 categories, 40 subcategories, 19 contributing factors and 11 patient-reported impacts. Breakdowns were identified in each step of the diagnostic process.
Lam BD, Bourgeois FC, Dong ZJ, et al. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2021;28:685-694.
Providing patients access to their medical records can improve patient engagement and error identification. A survey of patients and families found that about half of adult patients and pediatric families who perceived a serious mistake in their ambulatory care notes reported it, but identified several barriers to reporting (e.g. no clear reporting mechanism, lack of perceived support).
Kesselheim JC, Shelburne JT, Bell SK, et al. Acad Pediatr. 2021;21:352-357.
This article reports findings from a survey of pediatric trainees at two large children’s hospitals on attitudes and behaviors in regard to speaking up about traditional safety threats and unprofessional behavior. While trainees more commonly observed unprofessional behavior than safety threats, they are less likely to speak up when presented with unprofessional behavior.
Bell SK, Delbanco T, Elmore JG, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3:e205867.
This study surveyed over 22,800 patients across three health care organizations to assess how often patients who read open ambulatory visit notes perceive mistakes in the notes. The analysis found that 4,830 patients (21%) perceived a mistake in one or more notes in the past 12 months and that 42% of those patients considered the mistake to be somewhat or very serious. The most common very serious mistakes involved incorrect diagnoses; medical history; allergy or medication; or tests, procedures, or results. Older and sicker patients were more likely to report a serious error compared to younger and healthier patients. Using open notes and encouraging patient engagement can improve record accuracy and prevent medical errors
Tannenbaum SI, Traylor AM, Thomas EJ, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2021;30:59-63.
This article summarizes evidence-based recommendations for team-based patient care during the COVID-19 pandemic. These recommendations focus on team functioning, safety culture, and resilience. The authors discuss how individual-, team-, and organizational-level stressors, as well as work-life stressors, can affect team performance.
Blease CR, Fernandez L, Bell SK, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2020;29:864–868.
Providing patients – particularly elderly, less educated, non-white, and non-English speaking patients – with access to their medical records via ‘open notes’ can improve engagement in care; however, these demographic groups are also less likely to take advantage of these e-tools. The authors summarize the preliminary evidence and propose steps to increasing use of open note portals among disadvantaged patients.