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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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Displaying 1 - 20 of 47 Results
Sun EC, Mello MM, Vaughn MT, et al. JAMA Intern Med. 2022;182:720-728.
Physician fatigue can inhibit decision-making and contribute to poor performance. This cross-sectional study examined surgical procedures performed between January 2010 and August 2020 across 20 high-volume hospitals in the United States to determine the association between surgeon fatigue, operating overnight and outcomes for operations performed by the same surgeon the next day. No significant associations were found between overnight surgeries and surgical outcomes for procedures performed the next day.
Mello MM, Frakes MD, Blumenkranz E, et al. JAMA. 2020;323:352-366.
This systematic review synthesized evidence from 37 studies to examine the association between malpractice liability risk and healthcare quality and safety. The review found no evidence of association between liability risk and avoidable hospitalizations or readmissions, and limited evidence supporting an association between risk and mortality (5/20 studies) or patient safety indicators or postoperative complications (2/6 studies).
Moore JS, Mello MM, Bismark M. Bioethics. 2019;33:948-957.
Patient engagement is now acknowledged as a cornerstone of patient safety, but the perspectives of patients who have experienced adverse events remain understudied. This interview study of 92 patients who had experienced iatrogenic injury identified several insights about the aftermath of adverse events. As with prior studies, researchers found that patients expressed a desire to be heard. Participants had positive perceptions of patient safety research and expressed a desire that others learn from the adverse event they experienced. The authors suggest that institutional review boards permit investigators to approach patients who have experienced adverse events to participate in studies, rather than prohibit such studies due to fear of causing further psychological harm. They also recommend that researchers discuss these adverse events with patients through a reciprocal lens, expressing support and sympathy rather than maintaining an emotionally distant stance. A previous PSNet interview with the lead author discussed disclosure and apology in health care.
Studdert DM, Spittal MJ, Zhang Y, et al. N Engl J Med. 2019;380:1247-1255.
Malpractice claims can shed light on patient safety hazards. This observational study examined how paid malpractice claims affected physicians' practice. Investigators found that a small proportion of physicians, about 10%, had one or more paid malpractice claims, consistent with prior studies. Approximately 2% of physicians accounted for nearly 40% of paid claims. Physicians with paid claims were more likely to leave clinical practice and more likely to move to smaller practice settings. The authors raise the concern that physicians who move to smaller practice settings may lack the institutional and peer support to remediate their clinical skills and behavior. A PSNet perspective explored the risk of recurring medicolegal events among providers who have received multiple malpractice claims.
Sun E, Mello MM, Rishel CA, et al. JAMA. 2019;321:762-772.
Scheduling overlapping surgeries has raised substantial patient safety concerns. However, research regarding the impact of concurrent surgery on patient outcomes has produced conflicting results. In this multicenter retrospective cohort study, researchers examined the relationship between overlapping surgery and mortality, postoperative complications, and surgery duration for 66,430 surgeries between January 2010 and May 2018. Although overlapping surgery was not significantly associated with an increase in mortality or complications overall, researchers did find a significant association between overlapping surgery and increased length of surgery. An accompanying editorial discusses the role of overlapping surgery in promoting the autonomy of those in surgical training and suggests that further research is needed to settle the debate regarding the impact of overlapping surgery on patient safety.
Gallagher TH, Mello MM, Sage WM, et al. Health Aff (Millwood). 2018;37:1845-1852.
Communication-and-resolution programs are designed to build healing relationships, offer appropriate compensation, and facilitate organizational learning after a harmful medical error. Although some success has been achieved, communication-and-resolution programs have yet to be widely implemented across the health system. This commentary discusses policy, safety outcome evidence, monetary, and program design weaknesses as prominent barriers to wide-scale implementation. The authors recommend aligning the programs to foundational concepts of safety and patient-centeredness to help drive progress.
Haffajee RL, Mello MM, Zhang F, et al. Health Aff (Millwood). 2018;37:964-974.
The opioid epidemic is a well-recognized national patient safety issue. High-risk opioid prescribing can contribute to misuse. Provider prescribing has come under increased scrutiny and several states have implemented prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs). Prior research suggests that such programs have the potential to reduce opioid-related harm. This study used commercial claims data to assess the impact of PDMPs implemented in four states in 2012–2013 on opioid prescribing. By the end of 2014, all four states with PDMPs demonstrated a greater reduction in the average amount of morphine-equivalents prescribed per person per quarter compared with states without these programs. One state demonstrated a decrease in the percentage of people who filled an opioid prescription. The authors conclude that PDMPs have the potential to reduce opioid use and improve prescribing practices. An Annual Perspective highlighted safety issues associated with opioid medications.
Moore J, Bismark M, Mello MM. JAMA Intern Med. 2017;177:1595-1603.
Communication-and-resolution programs have demonstrated declines in malpractice claims in early studies, but implementing these programs effectively has been a challenge. This study is the first to examine patient perspectives on communication-and-resolution programs. Investigators interviewed 30 patients, most of whom experienced harm. Respondents expressed a desire for providers to listen to their perspectives without interruptions, consistent with prior studies. Although patients wished for information regarding what hospitals planned to do to prevent similar events in the future, most reported that they did not receive such follow-up. The authors state that their findings represent opportunities to improve communication-and-resolution programs. A past PSNet interview discussed an organization's pioneering efforts to implement a communication-and-response system.
Mello MM, Kachalia A, Roche S, et al. Health Aff (Millwood). 2017;36:1795-1803.
Communication-and-resolution programs, in which health systems and liability insurers disclose errors, apologize, and offer compensation to patients and families, led to declines in malpractice costs in prior studies. However, some have raised concerns that actual implementation of these programs may not have the same benefits. This prospective observational study reports results following implementation of a communication-and resolution-program at four hospitals in Massachusetts. Investigators report that the program was largely implemented as intended. Less than 10% of events met criteria for compensation, and the median payment was $75,000, allaying concerns about high costs of these programs. Lawsuits occurred in 5% of cases. The authors conclude that these results support further implementation and evaluation of communication-and-resolution programs. A recent PSNet interview with Michelle Mello, the lead author of this study, discussed legal issues in patient safety.
Moore J, Mello MM. BMJ Qual Saf. 2017;26:788-798.
Exploring patient-centered alternatives to traditional malpractice litigation is an ongoing patient safety consideration. Investigators conducted interviews with patients, health care administrators, and malpractice lawyers in New Zealand, where a no-fault scheme has superseded malpractice litigation. Several themes about postincident reconciliation emerged. Patients noted the importance of feeling listened to and the need for prompt apology from providers involved in the adverse event. All stakeholders supported the practice of direct engagement between the treating provider and patient or family as a critical step for reconciliation. Patients and lawyers reported benefits to early involvement from lawyers to support reconciliation. The authors conclude that reconciliation following adverse events requires approaches tailored to individual patient and family needs. An accompanying editorial discusses the importance of transparency for reconciliation and trust.
Mello MM, Livingston EH. JAMA. 2017;318:233-234.
Scheduling overlapping procedures is perceived as risky, despite lack of robust evidence regarding its impact on patient safety. This commentary explains that the practice is primarily detrimental to the physician–patient relationship and that building trust is a key strategy to manage this concern. The authors suggest transparency with patients about scheduling practices and hospital oversight to ensure accountability would assist in establishing the trust in overlapping surgeries.
Bilimoria KY, Chung JW, Minami CA, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2017;43:241-250.
Medical malpractice law is intended to foster high quality care and discourage negligence among health care providers. This observational study took advantage of differing malpractice laws by state and examined the extent to which the malpractice environment is associated with hospital quality. Investigators assessed quality using several measures: validated processes-of-care measures, such as whether evidence-based actions were appropriately taken for common conditions like myocardial infarction, pneumonia, heart failure, and surgical care; patient experience as measured by the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems; imaging efficiency as reported by Medicare's Hospital Compare website; AHRQ Patient Safety Indicators; and 30-day readmission and hospital mortality rates. There were no associations between any of these quality outcomes and the rate of paid claims per 100 physicians. Areas with a higher malpractice geographic cost index had lower 30-day mortality but higher readmission rates, and higher malpractice costs were correlated with more inefficiency in some types of imaging. The authors conclude that malpractice environment does not appear to be associated with quality, but higher malpractice costs may lead to overtreatment.
Mello MM, Greenberg Y, Senecal SK, et al. Health Serv Res. 2016;51 Suppl 3:2583-2599.
Communication-and-resolution programs underscore the importance of early disclosure of medical error to patients and families. Prior research highlights implementation challenges associated with these efforts. Investigators analyzed 125 adverse event cases from 5 New York City hospitals over a 22-month period following the implementation of communication-and-resolution programs. The majority of cases did not involve substandard care, and disclosure occurred in more than 90% of cases.
Mello MM, Armstrong S, Greenberg Y, et al. Health Serv Res. 2016;51 Suppl 3:2550-2568.
Implementation of communication-and-resolution programs remains challenging despite the demonstrated success of such programs. Using data obtained from sites implementing communication-and-resolution programs in Washington State, investigators identified numerous challenges including inadequate leadership support, physical distance of the liability insurer from the site of care, and a lack of trust among the organizations involved.
Gallagher TH, Farrell ML, Karson H, et al. Health Serv Res. 2016;51 Suppl 3:2569-2582.
Communication and resolution programs emphasize transparency through early disclosure of adverse events and expedite attempts to resolve incidents. This study examined whether collaboration of health care organizations and malpractice insurers with state regulators through the development of a communication and resolution program certification pilot would enhance health care quality. The authors concluded that the development of such a program can lead to improved patient-centered accountability following an adverse event. They suggest that when designing such a process, care must be given to ensure that regulators' responsibility to act in the public's best interest is not compromised.
Mello MM, Livingston EH. JAMA. 2016;315:1563-4.
Scheduling overlapping surgeries may improve operating room efficiency, but the practice can reduce safety. This perspective describes strategies to decrease risks associated with concurrent operations, including establishing policies to guide such practices, documenting when surgeons are present in the operating room, and explaining the procedure to patients before obtaining informed consent.