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.
McMullen S, Panagioti M, Planner C, et al. Health Expect. 2023;26:2064-2074.
Caregivers and family members offer a unique perspective on patient safety. In this study, patient and caregiver stakeholders outlined the safety threats affecting patients discharged from mental health services and the well-being of caregivers as well as potential solutions. Participants highlighted approaches to improve caregiver involvement, patient and caregiver wellness and education, and the policy and system environments.
Ayre MJ, Lewis PJ, Keers RN. BMC Psychiatry. 2023;23:417.
Medication safety in inpatient and outpatient settings is a major focus of patient safety efforts. This review included 79 studies on epidemiology, etiology, or interventions related to psychiatric medication safety in primary care (e.g., general practice, community pharmacy, long-term care). Most studies focused on older adults and potentially inappropriate prescribing. The authors recommend future research on wider age groups and underrepresented mental health diagnosis, such as attention deficient hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Alqenae FA, Steinke DT, Carson-Stevens A, et al. Ther Adv Drug Saf. 2023;14:204209862311543.
Medication errors and adverse drug events (ADE) are unfortunately common at hospital discharge. This study used the National Reporting and Learning System (NRLS) in England and Wales to identify contributing causes to medication errors and ADE. Patients over 65 were the most common age group and, of incidents with a stated level of harm, most did not result in any harm. Overall, most incidents occurred at the prescribing stage, but varied by patient age group. Most contributory factors were organizational (e.g., continuity of care between provider types), followed by staff, patient, and equipment factors.
Bourne RS, Jeffries M, Phipps DL, et al. BMJ Open. 2023;13:e066757.
Patients transitioning from the intensive care unit (ICU) to the general ward are vulnerable to medication errors. This qualitative study included medical staff and clinical pharmacists from hospital wards and ICUs to identify factors that contribute to medication safety or adverse events at times of transition. Lack of communication between provider types (e.g., nurse and pharmacist) and time pressure considerations had negative effects on medication safety. Ward rounds and safety culture had positive effects.
Jeffries M, Salema N-E, Laing L, et al. BMJ Open. 2023;13:e068798.
Clinical decision support (CDS) systems were developed to support safe medication ordering, alerting prescribers to potential unsafe interactions such as drug-drug, drug-allergy, and dosing errors. This study uses a sociotechnical framework to understand the relationship between primary care prescribers’ safety work and CDS. Prescribers described the usefulness of CDS but also noted alert fatigue.
Prisons present unique challenges in providing, as well as in measuring, safe patient care. This article describes structures and processes within prison systems that may contribute to avoidable harm, such as limited staffing and security to travel to healthcare appointments. The result is a two-tier definition taking into consideration the unique context of prison healthcare.
Rodgers S, Taylor AC, Roberts SA, et al. PLoS Med. 2022;19:e1004133.
Previous research found that a pharmacist-led information technology intervention (PINCER) reduced dangerous prescribing (i.e., medication monitoring and drug-disease errors) among a subset of primary care practices in the United Kingdom (UK). This longitudinal analysis examined the impact of the PINCER intervention after implementation across a large proportion of general practices in one region in the UK. Researchers found the PINCER intervention decreased dangerous prescribing by 17% and 15% at 6-month and 12-month follow-ups, particularly among dangerous prescribing related to gastrointestinal bleeding.
Sheikh A, Coleman JJ, Chuter A, et al. Programme Grants Appl Res. 2022;10:1-196.
Electronic prescribing (e-prescribing) is an established medication error reduction mechanism. This review analyzed experiences in the United Kingdom to understand strengths and weaknesses in e-prescribing. The work concluded that e-prescribing did improve safety in the UK and that the implementation and use of the system was a complex endeavor. The effort produced an accompanying toolkit to assist organizations in e-prescribing system decision making.
Laing L, Salema N-E, Jeffries M, et al. PLoS ONE. 2022;17:e0275633.
Previous research found that the pharmacist-led IT-based intervention to reduce clinically important medication errors (PINCER) can reduce prescription and medication monitoring errors. This qualitative study explored patients’ perceived acceptability of the PINCER intervention in primary care. Overall perceptions were positive, but participants noted that PINCER acceptability can be improved through enhanced patient-pharmacist relationships, consistent delivery of PINCER-related care, and synchronization of medication reviews with prescription renewals.
Hodkinson A, Zhou, A, Johnson J, et al. BMJ. 2022;378:e070442.
Clinician burnout is a significant issue that can impact patient safety. This systematic review and meta-analysis showed physicians with burnout were significantly more dissatisfied with their jobs, were more regretful of their chosen career path, and had higher intention to leave their jobs. The association between burnout and patient satisfaction, patient safety, and professionalism is also discussed.
Bourne RS, Jennings JK, Panagioti M, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2022;31:609-622.
Patients transferring from the intensive care unit (ICU) to the hospital ward may experience medication errors. This systematic review examined medication-related interventions on the impact of medication errors in ICU patients transferring to the hospital ward. Seventeen studies were included with five identified intervention components. Multi-component studies based on staff education and guidelines were effective at achieving almost four times more deprescribing on inappropriate medications by the time of discharge. Recommendations for improving transfers are included.
Khawagi WY, Steinke DT, Carr MJ, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2022;31:364-378.
Patient safety indicators (PSIs) can be used to identify potential patient safety hazards. Researchers used the Clinical Practice Research Datalink GOLD database to examine prevalence, variation, and patient- and practice-level risk factors for 22 mental health-related PSIs for medication prescribing and monitoring in primary care. The authors found that potentially inappropriate prescribing and inadequate medication monitoring commonly affected patients with mental illness in primary care.
Alshehri GH, Keers RN, Carson-Stevens A, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;17:341-351.
Medication errors are common in mental health hospitals. This study found medication administration and prescribing were the most common stages of medication error. Staff-, organizational-, patient-, and equipment-related factors were identified as contributing to medication safety incidents.
Tyler N, Wright N, Panagioti M, et al. Health Expect. 2021;24:185-194.
Transitions of care represent a vulnerable time for patients. This survey found that safety in mental healthcare transitions (hospital to community) is perceived differently by patients, families, and healthcare professionals. While clinical indicators (e.g., suicide, self-harm, and risk of adverse drug events) are important, patients and families also highlighted the social elements of transitional safety (e.g., loneliness, emotional readiness for change).
Avery AJ, Sheehan C, Bell BG, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2021;30:961-976.
Patient safety in primary care is an emerging focus for research and policy. The authors of this study retrospectively reviewed case notes from 14,407 primary care patients in the United Kingdom. Their analysis identified three primary types of avoidable harm in primary care – problems with diagnoses, medication-related problems, and delayed referrals. The authors suggest several methods to reduce avoidable harm in primary care, including optimizing existing information technology, enhanced team communication and coordination, and greater continuity of care.
Alqenae FA, Steinke DT, Keers RN. Drug Saf. 2020;43:517-537.
This systematic review of 54 studies found that over half of adult and pediatric patients experienced a medication error post-discharge, and that these errors regularly involved common drug classes such as antibiotics, antidiabetics, analgesics, and cardiovascular drugs. The authors suggest that future research examine the burden of post-discharge medication errors, particularly in pediatric populations.