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.
Liu Y, Jun H, Becker A, et al. J Prev Alz Dis. 2023;Epub Oct 24.
Persons with dementia are at increased risk for adverse events compared to those without dementia, highlighting the importance of a timely diagnosis. In this study, researchers estimate approximately 20% of primary care patients aged 65 and older are expected to have a diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment or dementia; however, only 8% have received such a diagnosis. Missed diagnosis prevents patients from receiving appropriate care, including newly FDA-approved medications to slow cognitive decline.
O’Leary KJ, Johnson JK, Williams MV, et al. Ann Intern Med. 2023;Epub Oct 31.
Teamwork is an essential component of ensuring high quality, safe healthcare. This article describes findings from the Redesigning SystEms to Improve Teamwork and Quality for Hospitalized Patients (RESET) study, which evaluated the impact of complementary interventions to redesign unit-based care (unit-based physician teams, nurse-physician co-leadership, interprofessional rounds, performance reports, patient engagement) on interprofessional teamwork and patient outcomes. Findings demonstrate improved teamwork climate scores among nurses (but not physicians), but researchers did not identify a significant impact on patient outcomes.
Jala S, Fry M, Elliott R. J Clin Nurs. 2023;32:7076-7085.
Cognitive biases can impact the type of care a patient receives and their subsequent outcomes, particularly in the emergency department which operates under time and resource constraints. This review identified 18 studies on cognitive biases in emergency physicians and nurses. Most studies focused on implicit bias and on physicians. Of the five studies focused solely on nurses, all assessed bias in emergency department triage.
Phillips KK, Mecca MC, Baim‐Lance AM, et al. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2023;71:2935-2945.
Polypharmacy is a common patient safety concern among veterans. In this study, 21 Veterans Health Administration (VA) sites developed their own deprescribing protocols and participated in a virtual deprescribing collaborative. Sites employed decision support tools, such as the VA VIONE tool, and other strategies, such as individualized medication review, to encourage deprescribing and reduce polypharmacy among its patients.
Ryan SL, Logan M, Liu X, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2023;19:689-697.
I-PASS is a structured tool to improve handoffs and communication between clinicians and promote patient safety. This study examined I-PASS implementation practices over a six-year period in 10 departments at one large academic medical center. Researchers found that most clinical services successfully implemented I-PASS and those using I-PASS conducted the most efficient handovers.
Wells M, Henry B, Goldstein L. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2023;38:471-484.
Inaccurate estimations of patient weight can lead to medication errors in the prehospital period. This systematic review of 9 studies concluded that there is insufficient evidence to assess the accuracy of weight estimation approaches used in the EMS setting or by paramedics, underscoring the need for additional, robust research in this area.
Stierman EK, O'Brien BT, Stagg J, et al. Qual Manag Health Care. 2023;32:177-188.
Maternal morbidity and mortality remain a significant problem in U.S. health care. This article describes Texas and Oklahoma’s adoption of a perinatal quality improvement initiative, including the implementation of the Alliance for Innovation of Maternal Health (AIM) patient safety bundles and use of teamwork and communication tools in obstetric units. Findings suggest that adoption of initiative components varies across obstetric units; the majority of units had standardized processes for serious events (obstetric hemorrhage, massive transfusion, severe hypertension) but fewer units offered regular training on effective teamwork and communication for their staff.
Schnipper JL, Reyes Nieva H, Yoon CS, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2023;32:457-469.
Implementing successful interventions to support effective medication reconciliation is an ongoing challenge. The MARQUIS2 study examined whether system- and patient-level interventions plus physician mentors can improve medication reconciliation and reduce medication discrepancies. This analysis based on patient exposure in the MARQUIS2 study found that patient receipt of a best possible medication history (BPMH) in the emergency department and medication reconciliation at admission and discharge were associated with the largest reductions in medication discrepancy rates.
Wong CI, Vannatta K, Gilleland Marchak J, et al. Cancer. 2023;129:1064-1074.
Children with complex home care needs, such as children with cancer, are particularly vulnerable to medication errors. This longitudinal study used in-home observations and chart review to monitor 131 pediatric patients with leukemia or lymphoma for six months and found that 10% experienced adverse drug events due to medication errors in the home and 42% experienced a medication error with the potential for harm. Failures in communication was the most common contributing factor. Findings underscored a critical need for interventions to support safe medication use at home. Researchers concluded that improvements addressing communication with and among caregivers should be co-developed with families and based on human-factors engineering.
Bell SK, Dong ZJ, DesRoches CM, et al. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2023;30:692-702.
Patients and families are encouraged to play an active role in patient safety by, for example, reporting inaccurate or incomplete electronic health record notes after visits. In this study, patients and families at two US healthcare sites (pediatric subspecialty and adult primary care) were invited to complete a survey (OurDX) before their visit to identify their visit priority, recent medical history/symptoms, and potential diagnostic concerns. In total, 7.5% of patients and families reported a potential diagnostic concern, mainly not feeling heard by their provider.
Active errors are evident when they occur, yet systemic weaknesses, if not addressed, allow them to repeat. This story examines poor epidural methods of one clinician that coincided with lack of organizational practitioner monitoring, unequitable maternal care for black women and clinician COVID fatigue to contribute to patient death.
Huff NR, Liu G, Chimowitz H, et al. Int J Nurs Stud Adv. 2022;5:100111.
Negative emotions can adversely impact perception of both patient safety and personal risks. In this study, emergency nurses were surveyed about their emotions (e.g., afraid, calm), emotional suppression and reappraisal behaviors, and perceived risk of personal and patient safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nurses reported feeling both positive and negative emotions, but only negative emotions were significantly associated with greater perception of risk.
I-PASS is a structured handoff tool to enhance communication during patient transfers and improve patient safety. This study found that I-PASS implementation at 32 hospitals decreased major and minor handoff-related adverse events and improved key handoff elements (e.g., frequency of handoffs with high verbal quality) across provider types and settings.
Liu SI, Shikar M, Gante E, et al. Crit Care Nurse. 2022;42:33-43.
Lack of communication between providers can contribute to failure to rescue. Following a series of deaths due in part to not identifying clinical deterioration in a timely manner and/or not escalating care, this surgical intensive care unit (SICU) implemented an interdisciplinary quality improvement intervention. The intervention consisted of educating nurses on conditions necessitating escalation, multidisciplinary rounds with night staff, and an escalation document in the electronic health record (EHR).
Liu G, Chimowitz H, Isbell LM. Diagnosis (Berl). 2022;9:295-305.
Clinician’s emotions can influence their decision making, particularly with “difficult” patients. This article describes the role affect takes in clinical reasoning, including diagnosis. Strategies to counter the impact of emotional affect, such as emotional intelligence education, are presented.
Shiell A, Fry M, Elliott D, et al. Intensive Crit Care Nurs. 2022;73:103294.
Rapid response team (RRT) activations bring together a team of providers to immediately assess and treat a patient who is rapidly deteriorating. This mixed-methods study examined the characteristics of a collaborative RRT model in one Australian tertiary care hospital. The majority of activations occurred in general medicine units and some patients (approximately 5%) had more than five activations. Qualitative interviews with nurses and physicians highlighted how the collaborative RRT model improves patient safety and optimized early detection and management of patient deterioration.
Patel D, Liu G, Roberts SCM, et al. Womens Health Issues. 2022;32:327-333.
Obstetrics is a considered a high-risk care environment. This claims-based retrospective analysis found that abortion-related morbidity or adverse events occurred in nearly 4% of abortions but that event rates did not differ between OBGYNs or physicians of other specialties.
The memory of John Eisenberg, MD, continues to motivate patient safety improvement. The 2021 honorees for the award presented in Dr Eisenberg’s honor are Hardeep Singh, MD, MPH, Prime Healthcare Services, Ontario, California, Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Oakland, California, and Mark R. Chassin, MD, FACP, MPP, MPH.
Baim-Lance A, Ferreira KB, Cohen HJ, et al. J Gen Intern Med. 2023;38:399-405.
When serious adverse events such as death are reported, they are typically associated with poor patient safety. In some fields of care, however, such as palliative care, deaths are expected and not necessarily an indicator of poor quality. This commentary describes how serious and non-serious adverse events (SAEs/AEs) are currently defined and reported, the associated challenges, and proposes a new approach to reporting SAE/AE in clinical trials. A decision-tree to determine SAE/AE reporting based on the new proposed approach is presented.