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.
Paull DE, Newton RC, Tess AV, et al. J Patient Saf. 2023;19:484-492.
Previous research suggests that residents may underutilize adverse event reporting tools. This article describes an 18-month clinical learning collaborative among 16 sites intended to increase resident and fellow participation in patient safety event investigations. Researchers found the collaborative increased participation in event investigation and improved the quality of the investigation.
Wang Y, Eldridge N, Metersky ML, et al. Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes. 2023;16:e009573.
Unplanned hospital readmission and 30-day all-cause mortality rates are indicators of hospital safety. This study analyzed the association of these two indicators with in-hospital adverse events (AE) for patients admitted with heart failure. Results suggest patients with heart failure admitted to hospitals with high rates of 30-day all-cause mortality and readmission are at increased risk for in-hospital AE. The authors describe several possible explanations for these findings.
Peard LM, Teplitsky S, Annabathula A, et al. Can J Urol. 2023;30(2):11467-11472.
Root cause analysis (RCA) is one tool commonly used to identify factors contributing to adverse events. Using RCA data from the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), this study characterized adverse events occurring during urologic procedures. The most common causes of adverse events were improperly functioning equipment (e.g., broken scopes or smoking light cords), wrong site surgeries, and retained surgical items.
Riblet NB, Soncrant C, Mills PD, et al. Mil Med. 2023;188:e3173-e3181.
Patient suicide is a sentinel event, and suicide among veterans has gained attention. In this retrospective analysis of suicide-related events reported to the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) National Center for Patient Safety between January 2018 and June 2022, researchers found that deficiencies in mental health treatment, communication challenges, and unsafe environments were the most common contributors to suicide-related events.
Yackel EE, Knowles RS, Jones CM, et al. J Patient Saf. 2023;19:340-345.
The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically changed healthcare delivery and exacerbated threats to patient safety. Using Veterans Health Administration (VHA) National Center for Patient Safety data, this retrospective study characterized patient safety events related to COVID-19 occurring between March 2020 and February 2021. Delays in care and exposure to COVID-19 were the most common events and confusion over procedures, missed care, and failure to identify COVID-positive patients before exposures were the most common contributing factors.
Mills PD, Louis RP, Yackel E. J Healthc Qual. 2023;45:242-253.
Changes in healthcare delivery due to the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in delays in care that can lead to patient harm. In this study using patient safety event data submitted to the VHA National Center of Patient Safety, researchers identified healthcare delays involving laboratory results, treatment and interventional procedures, and diagnosis.
Charles MA, Yackel EE, Mills PD, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:686-691.
The first surge of the COVID-19 pandemic forced healthcare organizations to respond to patient safety issues in real-time. The Veterans Health Administration’s National Center for Patient Safety established two working groups to rapidly monitor quality and safety issues and make timely recommendations to staff. The formation, activities, and primary themes of safety issues are described.
Lester CA, Flynn AJ, Marshall VD, et al. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2022;29:1471-1479.
Although e-prescribing has improved the safety of medication ordering, preventable errors persist. This study analyzed product descriptions (ingredient, strength, dose form) of more than 10 million e-prescriptions. Results show a wide variety in the way drug product descriptions are entered into e-prescription programs (e.g., 707 variants for “oral tablet” such as tablet, tab, po tab). Poor standardization of terminology in e-prescription programs can lead to incorrect medication order and patient confusion.
Wang Y, Eldridge N, Metersky ML, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5:e2214586.
Hospital readmission rates are an important indicator of patient safety. This cross-sectional study examined whether patients admitted to hospitals with high readmission rates also had higher risks of in-hospital adverse events. Based on a sample of over 46,000 Medicare patients with pneumonia discharged between July 2010 and December 2019 and linked to Medicare adverse event data, researchers found that patients admitted to hospitals with high all-cause readmission rates were more likely to experience an adverse event during their admission.
Wells HJ, Raithatha M, Elhag S, et al. BMJ Open Qual. 2022;11:e001551.
Use of personal protective equipment is necessary to reduce the spread of infectious diseases, such as COVID-19, in healthcare settings. The alertness levels of ICU staff who regularly wore full personal protective equipment (FPPE), i.e., respirator mask, body covering suit, visor, gloves, and hat, were tested when not wearing FPPE and after two hours wearing FPPE. Results show health care worker alertness can be negatively impacted by wearing FPPE for as little as two hours.
Walton E, Charles M, Morrish W, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e620-e625.
Dialysis is a common procedure that carries risks if not performed correctly. This study analyzed dialysis-related bleeding events reported to the Veterans Health Administration Patient Safety Authority over an 18-year period. The analysis identified four areas of focus to reduce bleeding events – (1) the physical location and equipment used, (2) staff commitment to standardization and attention to detail (to reduce unwitnessed bleeding events), (3) mental status of the patient, and (4) the method for hemodialysis delivery.
Metersky ML, Eldridge N, Wang Y, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:253-259.
The July Effect is a belief that the quality of care delivered in academic medical centers decreases during July and August due to the arrival of new trainees. Using data from the Medicare Patient Safety Monitoring System, this retrospective cohort, including over 185,000 hospital admissions from 2010 to 2017, found that patients admitted to teaching hospitals in July and August did not experience higher rates of adverse events compared to patients admitted to non-teaching hospitals.
Kulju S, Morrish W, King LA, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e290-e296.
Patient misidentification can lead to serious patient safety risks. Researchers used patient safety reports and root cause analyses (RCA) to characterize patient misidentification events in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). The incidence of patient misidentification in inpatient and outpatient settings was similar and most commonly attributed to the absence of two unique patient identifiers. The authors identified three strategies to mitigate misidentification based on high-reliability principles: (1) develop policies for patient identification throughout the continuum of care, (2) develop policies to report and monitor patient misidentification measures, and (3) apply quality and process improvement tools to patient identification emphasizing use by front line staff.