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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 48 Results
Hibbert PD, Stewart S, Wiles LK, et al. Int J Qual Health Care. 2023;Epub Oct 17.
Quality improvement and patient safety initiatives require incredible human and financial resources, they so must be selected carefully to achieve the greatest return on investment. This article describes important considerations for hospital leaders when selecting and implementing initiatives. Safety culture, policies and procedures, supporting staff, and patient engagement were notable themes. The included "patient safety governance model" provides a framework to develop patient safety policy.
Hibbert PD, Molloy CJ, Schultz TJ, et al. Int J Qual Health Care. 2023;35:mzad056.
Accurate and reliable detection and measurement of adverse events remains challenging. This systematic review examined the difference in adverse events detected using the Global Trigger Tool compared to those detected via incident reporting systems. In 12 of the 14 included studies, less than 10% of adverse events detected using the Global Trigger Tool were also found in corresponding incident reporting systems. The authors of the review emphasize the importance of using multiple approaches and sources of patient safety data to enhance adverse event detection.
Ellis LA, Falkland E, Hibbert P, et al. Front Public Health. 2023;11:1217542.
Safety culture is recognized as an essential component of reducing or preventing errors and improving overall patient safety. This commentary calls for greater consistency in defining and measuring safety culture across settings. The authors describe challenges faced by patient safety professionals and researchers, and offer recommendations on overcoming them.
Pavithra A, Mannion R, Sunderland N, et al. J Health Org Manag. 2022;36:245-271.
Speaking up behaviors among healthcare workers is indicative of psychological safety and a culture of safety. This survey of healthcare staff working at seven sites across one hospital network in Australia found that speaking up behaviors are influenced by whether staff feel empowered in their roles and supported by their peers and supervisors.
Ellis LA, Pomare C, Churruca K, et al. BMJ Open. 2022;12:e065320.
A strong safety culture encourages error reporting and supports a blame-free environment, and is frequently measured to develop appropriate interventions. This review identified nearly 900 studies that assessed hospital safety culture with response rates from 4% to 100%. The authors identify several factors that influence response rate: remote distribution (i.e., electronic or sent via mail), timing (e.g., beginning/end of resident rotations, COVID-19), and length of survey.
Ellis LA, Tran Y, Pomare C, et al. BMC Health Serv Res. 2021;21:1256.
This study investigated the relationship between hospital staff perceived sociotemporal structures, safety attitudes, and work-related well-being. The researchers identified that hospital “pace” plays a central role in understanding that relationship, and a focus on “pace” can significantly improve staff well-being and safety attitudes.
Churruca K, Ellis LA, Pomare C, et al. BMJ Open. 2021;11:e043982.
Safety culture has been studied in healthcare settings using a variety of methods. This systematic review identified 694 studies of safety culture in hospitals. Most used quantitative surveys, and only 31 used qualitative or mixed methods. Eleven themes were identified, with leadership being the most common; none of the methods or tools appeared to measure all 11 themes. The authors recommend that future research include both qualitative and quantitative methods.
Jones A, Blake J, Adams M, et al. Health Policy (New York). 2021;125:375-384.
A key component of patient safety culture is the ability of staff to speak up about patient safety concerns without fear of repercussions. An analysis of 34 studies on speaking-up behavior revealed two narrative themes on why interventions were or were not successful: hierarchical, interdisciplinary, and cultural relationships, and psychological safety. Although interventions varied, there were international similarities in workplace norms and culture. Improving speaking-up behavior in healthcare settings is complex and no intervention is one-size-fits-all.
Bion J, Aldridge CP, Girling AJ, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2021;30:536-546.
In 2013, the UK National Health Service (NHS) implemented 7-day services to ensure that patients admitted on weekends receive quality care. To examine the impact of the policy, this analysis compared error rates among patients admitted to the hospital as emergencies on weekends versus weekdays before and after policy implementation. Error rates were not significantly different on weekends compared to weekdays, but errors rates overall improved significantly after implementation of 7-day services.
Braithwaite J, Vincent CA, Garcia-Elorrio E, et al. BMC Med. 2020;18:340.
Delivering high-quality, safe healthcare requires coordination and integration of complex systems and activities. The authors propose three initiatives to further practical opportunities for transforming health systems across the world – a country-specific blueprint for change, tangible steps to reduce inequities within and across health systems, and learning from both errors and successes to improve safe care delivery.  
Staines A, Amalberti R, Berwick DM, et al. Int J Qual Health Care. 2021;33:mzaa050.
The authors of this editorial propose a five-step strategy for patient safety and quality improvement staff to leverage their skills to support patients, staff, and organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic. It includes (1) strengthening the system and environment, (2) supporting patient, family and community engagement and empowerment, (3) improving clinical care through separation of workflows and development of clinical decision support, (4) reducing harm by proactively managing risk for patients with and without COVID-19, and (5) enhancing and expanding the learning system to develop resilience.
Hibbert PD, Thomas MJW, Deakin A, et al. Int J Qual Health Care. 2020;32:184-189.
Based on 31 root cause analysis reports of surgical incidents in Australia, this study found that the most commonly retained surgical items were surgical packs (n=9) and drain tubes (n=8). While most retained items were detected on the day of the procedure (n=7), about 16% of items were detected 6-months or later post-procedure. The study found that complex or lengthy procedures were more likely to lead to a retained item, and many retained items, such as drains or catheters, occur in postoperative settings where surgical counts are not applicable.
Blenkinsopp J, Snowden N, Mannion R, et al. J Health Org Manag. 2019;33:737-756.
Staff willingness to report threats to patient safety is critical to preventing errors and improving safety and is an indicator of an organization’s safety culture. The authors discuss studies exploring what factors influence whistleblowing, organizational responses, and implications for practice or policy. The authors concluded that the existing literature focuses on the decision to speak up. There is limited evidence discussing organizational responses or systems-level changes, yet these actions influence whether the patient safety threats are addressed and if future events will be reported.
Mannion R, Davies H. BMJ. 2019;366:l4944.
Psychological safety empowers staff to speak up about problems. This commentary highlights how senior managers can help ensure that departmental-level conditions facilitate the reporting of concerns. The authors call for organizations and managers to encourage speaking up and to respond appropriately.
Mannion R, Davies H, Powell M, et al. J Health Organ Manag. 2019;33:221-240.
Organizational acceptance of accountability for failures and implementation of solutions are critical to improve safety. This review explores the impact of investigations focused at the individual, practice, and system levels. The authors describe design and operational failings at each level that enable purposeful or accidental patient harm.
Braithwaite J. BMJ. 2018;361:k2014.
In learning organizations, leadership behavior creates a supportive learning environment where concrete processes are in place to facilitate learning and encourage creativity among employees. Published in a series of quality improvement articles, this commentary suggests that a commitment to systems thinking and innovation is needed to achieve progress. Elements of a changed approach include a reduced focus on rules and policies and an enhanced effort to consider system interactions.
Churruca K, Ellis LA, Braithwaite J. BMC Health Serv Res. 2018;18:201.
Unit-level dysfunction creates observable violations that, once normalized, can result in organizational failure. This article explains how applying the broken windows theory in health care can enable understanding of workarounds that may escalate from helpful adjustments in practice to a manifestation of conditions that contribute to patient harm.
Braithwaite J, Herkes J, Ludlow K, et al. BMJ Open. 2017;7.
This systematic review found that despite the lack of randomized trials, there is a consistent association between safety culture and patient outcomes such as falls, hospital-acquired infections, and mortality. The authors conclude that efforts to enhance safety culture are likely to improve patient outcomes.
Mannion R, Braithwaite J. Int J Health Policy Manag. 2017;6.
Patient safety has been a persistent goal in health care for nearly two decades, but reductions in preventable patient harm remain challenging to sustain. This commentary explores limitations in current system-focused approaches to improvements and advocates for deeper exploration and adoption of strategies that recognize the complexity of the health care environment.