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.
Emani S, Rodriguez JA, Bates DW. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2023;30:995-999.
Electronic health records (EHR) are essential for recording patients' clinical data but may also perpetuate stigma, particularly for people of color. This article describes how the EHR can perpetuate individual, organizational, and structural racism and ways organizations, researchers, practitioners, and vendors can address racism.
Bates DW, Williams EA. J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2022;10:3141-3144.
Electronic health records (EHRs) are key for the collection of patient care data to inform overarching risk management and improvement strategies. This article discusses the adoption of EHRs as tools supporting patient safety and highlights the need for an expanded technology infrastructure to continue making progress.
Schnock KO, Garber A, Fraser H, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2023;49:89-97.
Reducing diagnostic errors is a primary patient safety concern. This qualitative study based on interviews with 17 providers and two focus group with seven patient advisors found broad agreement that diagnostic errors pose a significant threat to patient safety, as participants had difficulty defining and describing, and correctly identifying. the frequency of diagnostic errors in acute care settings. Participants cited issues such as communication failures, diagnostic uncertainty, and cognitive load as the primary factors contributing to diagnostic errors.
Dykes PC, Curtin-Bowen M, Lipsitz S, et al. JAMA Health Forum. 2023;4:e225125.
Patient falls are associated with poorer clinical outcomes, and increased costs to the health system. This study describes the economic costs of implementing the Fall Tailoring Interventions for Patient Safety (Fall TIPS) Program in eight American hospitals. Results show the Fall TIPS program reduced falls by 19%, avoiding over $14,000 of costs per 1,000 patient days.
Bates DW, Levine DM, Salmasian H, et al. New Engl J Med. 2023;388:142-153.
An accurate understanding of the frequency, severity, and preventability of adverse events is required to effectively improve patient safety. This study included review of more than 2,800 inpatient records from 11 American hospitals with nearly one quarter having at least one preventable or not preventable adverse event. Overall, approximately 7% of all admissions included at least one preventable event and 1% had a severity level of serious or higher. An accompanying editorial by Dr. Donald Berwick sees the results of this study as a needed stimulus for leadership to prioritize patient safety anew.
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.
Apathy NC, Howe JL, Krevat S, et al. JAMA Health Forum. 2022;3:e223872.
Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems are required to meet meaningful use and certification standards to receive incentive payments from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This study identified six settlements reached between EHR vendors and the Department of Justice for misconduct related to certification of meaningful use. Certification of EHR systems that don’t meet HHS meaningful use requirements may have implications for patient safety.
Malik MA, Motta-Calderon D, Piniella N, et al. Diagnosis (Berl). 2022;9:446-457.
Structured tools are increasingly used to identify diagnostic errors and related harms using electronic health record data. In this study, researchers compared the performance of two validated tools (Safer Dx and the DEER taxonomy) to identify diagnostic errors among patients with preventable or non-preventable deaths. Findings indicate that diagnostic errors and diagnostic process failures contributing to death were higher in preventable deaths (56%) but were also present in non-preventable deaths (17%).
Phadke NA, Wickner PG, Wang L, et al. J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2022;10:1844-1855.e3.
Patient exposure to allergens healthcare settings, such as latex or certain medications, can lead to adverse outcomes. Based on data from an incident reporting system, researchers in this study developed a system for classifying allergy-related safety events. Classification categories include: (1) incomplete or inaccurate EHR documentation, (2) human factors, such as overridden allergy alerts, (3) alert limitation or malfunction, (4) data exchange and interoperability failures, and (5) issues with EHR system default options. This classification system can be used to support improvements at the individual, team, and systems levels.
Patient safety dashboards are used to communicate real-time patient data to appropriately augment care. This study found that higher usage of an electronic patient safety dashboard resulted in lower 30-day readmission rates among patients discharged from adult medicine units compared to lower usage groups.
Patient safety efforts increasingly seek patient input and engagement to improve care. In this qualitative study, patients and families reported on recent hospitalizations and their perceptions of their care and safety. Four main themes were elicited: (1) experiences with safety problems were not unusual, (2) patients and families developed “care stories” about their experiences, (3) there was a spectrum of trust between patients and providers, and (4) having someone advocate for them was important.
Alsabri M, Boudi Z, Lauque D, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e351-e361.
Medical errors are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality, and frequently result from potentially preventable human errors associated with poor communication and teamwork. This systematic review included 16 studies that were examined for assessment tools, training interventions, safety culture improvement, and teamwork intervention outcomes. The authors conclude that training staff on teamwork and communication improve the safety culture, and may reduce medical errors and adverse events in the Emergency Department.
Dixon-Woods M, Aveling EL, Campbell A, et al. J Health Serv Res Policy. 2022;27:88-95.
A key aspect of patient safety culture is the perception that all team members should speak up about safety concerns. In this study of 165 frontline and senior leader participants, deciding to report a safety event (referred to as a “voiceable concern”) is influenced by four factors: certainty that something is wrong and is an occasion for voice; system versus conduct concerns, forgivability, and normalization. Organizational culture and context effect whether an incident is considered a voiceable concern.
Kuznetsova M, Frits ML, Dulgarian S, et al. JAMIA Open. 2021;4:ooab096.
Dashboards can be used to synthesize data and visualize patient safety indicators and metrics to facilitate decision-making. The authors reviewed design features of patient safety dashboards from 10 hospitals and discuss the variation in the use of performance indicators, style, and timeframe for displayed metrics. The authors suggest that future research explore how specific design elements contribute to usability, and which approaches are associated with improved outcomes.
Diagnostic errors in the acute care setting can result in increased morbidity and mortality. Using the Diagnostic Error Evaluation and Research (DEER) taxonomy, researchers reviewed 16 records of patients whose deaths were associated with at least one medical error. Most (81.3%) patients had at least one diagnostic error and a total of 113 failure points and 30 significant failure points.
Schnock KO, Biggs B, Fladger A, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;17:e462-e468.
Hospitals have implemented radiofrequency identification (RFID) technology to improve patient safety. This systematic review of 5 studies suggests that use of RFID can lead to rapid, accurate detection of retained surgical instruments (RSIs) and reduced risk of counting errors.
Wu F, Dixon-Woods M, Aveling E-L, et al. Soc Sci Med. 2021;280:114050.
Reluctance of healthcare team members to speak up about concerns can hinder patient safety. The authors conducted semi-structured interviews with 165 participants (health system leadership, managers, healthcare providers, and staff) about policies, practice, and culture around voicing concerns related to quality and safety. Findings suggest that both formal and informal hierarchies can undermine the ability and desire of individuals to speak up, but that informal organization (such as personal relationships) can motivate and support speaking up behaviors.