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.
Pratt BR, Dunford BB, Vogus TJ, et al. Health Care Manage Rev. 2022;48:14-22.
Organizational pressures sometimes lead to redeployment or task reallocation such as shifting infusion tasks from specialty nurse teams to generalist nurses. This survey of nurses in the United States found that infusion task reallocation led to increased job demands and reduced resources, thereby contributing to lower perceived organizational safety.
Carlile N, Fuller TE, Benneyan JC, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e1142-e1149.
The opioid epidemic has prompted national and institutional guidelines for safe opioid prescribing. This paper describes the development, implementation, and sustainment of a toolkit for safer opioid prescribing for chronic pain in primary care. The authors describe organizational, technical, and external barriers to implementation along with attempted solutions and their effects. The toolkit is available as supplemental material.
Atkinson MK, Benneyan JC, Bambury EA, et al. Health Care Manage Rev. 2022;47:E50-E61.
Patient safety learning laboratories (PSLL) encourage a cross-disciplinary, collaborative approach to problem solving. This study reports on how a learning ecosystem supported the success of three distinct PSLLs. Qualitative and quantitative results reveal four types of alignment and supporting practices that contribute to the success of the learning laboratories.
Khan A, Baird JD, Kelly MM, et al. Pediatrics. 2022;149:e2021053913.
Patient and family engagement in safety efforts is supported in research but patients and clinicians still experience barriers in providing and accepting feedback. In this study, parents and caregivers of medically complex children reported uncertainty about whether and to whom to report concerns. Other themes included misalignment of staff and parent expectations of care and staff and leadership buy-in on the value of parent engagement.
Liu L, Chien AT, Singer SJ. Health Care Manage Rev. 2022;47:360-368.
Work conditions can impact clinician satisfaction and the quality and safety of the care they provide. This study sought to identify the combination of systems features (team dynamics, provider-perceived safety culture, patient care coordination) that positively impact work satisfaction in primary care practices. Results showed a strong culture of safety combined with more effective team dynamics were sufficient to lead to improved work satisfaction.
Implementing effective interventions supporting medication reconciliation is an ongoing challenge. Using qualitative data, the authors explored how different hospitals implemented one evidence-based medication reconciliation toolkit. Thematic analyses suggest that the most commonly used implementation strategies included restructuring (e.g., altered staffing, equipment, data systems); quality management tools (e.g., audit and feedback, advisory boards); thorough planning and preparing for implementation; and education and training with stakeholders.
Tawfik DS, Thomas EJ, Vogus TJ, et al. BMC Health Serv Res. 2019;19:738.
Prior research has found that perceptions about safety climate varies across neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). This large cross-sectional study examining the impact of caregiver perceptions of safety climate on clinical outcomes found that stronger safety climates were associated with lower risk of healthcare-associated infections, but climate did not affect mortality rates.
Berry WR, Edmondson L, Gibbons LR, et al. Health Aff (Millwood). 2018;37:1779-1786.
This study in the Health Affairs patient safety theme issue examines the implementation of surgical safety checklists. Checklists have been shown to improve patient outcomes in randomized control trials, but implementation studies have not consistently demonstrated similar improvements. In this statewide initiative, implementation of the checklist varied significantly among sites. Factors associated with more successful implementation included greater leadership participation, frontline engagement, and more frequent activities for all involved groups, including surgeons, nurses, technicians, and administrators. Sites that invested more funding and time also saw greater checklist implementation. The authors conclude that hospitals that participated more did better. Past PSNet interviews with Lucian Leape and David Urbach discussed their perspectives on surgical safety checklists.
Alidina S, Goldhaber-Fiebert SN, Hannenberg A, et al. Implement Sci. 2018;13:50.
Checklists have been shown to improve surgical outcomes in clinical trials, but their effectiveness in real-world settings is variable. This implementation study examined factors related to checklist use in the operating room for crises rather than routine practice. Investigators surveyed individuals who downloaded a checklist from two websites about whether they used a checklist regularly in specific clinical situations. Thorough checklist implementation, leadership support, and dedicated staff training time led to more regular use of the checklist. Conversely, frontline resistance and lack of clinical champions undermined checklist use. The authors conclude that optimizing organizational conditions should increase the use of checklists during crises in operating rooms. Past PSNet interviews with Lucian Leape and David Urbach discussed their perspectives on surgical safety checklists.
Vogus TJ, Singer SJ. Med Care Res Rev. 2016;73:660-672.
High reliability is a goal throughout health care. This commentary describes how lessons from high reliability organizations can be applied to accountable care organizations to enhance quality, reduce costs, and support population health. The authors describe ways to engage organizations in this work through mindfulness, leadership, and research.
Molina G, Berry WR, Lipsitz S, et al. Ann Surg. 2017;266:658-666.
Establishing a robust culture of safety, in which all staff feel free to voice concerns without fear of reprisal and leadership explicitly prioritizes safety, is crucial to safety improvement efforts. The most successful safety improvement programs have all explicitly prioritized enhancing safety culture. This study reports on the baseline results of a program that sought to improve surgical safety at hospitals in South Carolina. Safety culture was assessed among operating room personnel in 31 hospitals using a validated instrument. The investigators found a relatively robust association between better perceived safety culture and lower 30-day postoperative mortality. Studies in other clinical settings have found similar results. The hospitals involved in this study subsequently participated in a program to implement the Surgical Safety Checklist, which resulted in a significant improvement in mortality among participating hospitals compared to nonparticipating hospitals. A recent PSNet interview with Dr. Mary Dixon-Woods discussed the evolving concept of safety culture.
Schiff G, Nieva HR, Griswold P, et al. Med Care. 2017;55:797-805.
A recent AHRQ technical brief on ambulatory safety found that evidence for effective interventions is lacking. This cluster-randomized controlled trial examined whether participation in a multimodal quality improvement intervention enhanced safety processes at primary care clinics compared to usual practice. Using chart review, investigators determined that clinics receiving the intervention—which included a learning network, webinars, in-person meetings, and coaching—improved documentation and patient notification for abnormal test results overall. Also, time between test date and treatment plan was shorter in intervention sites. Through pre–post surveys, they learned that patient perceptions of quality and safety improved modestly for coordination and communication but were otherwise similar between the sites. Staff perceptions of safety and quality were similar pre–post and between intervention and control sites. Barriers to improvement included time and resource constraints, staff turnover, health information technology, and local practice variation. The authors recommend further study to determine the potential for multimodal practice-level interventions to enhance outpatient safety.
Pakyz AL, Wang H, Ozcan YA, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;17:445-450.
Health care–associated infections (HAIs) are a preventable safety problem. This cross-sectional study looked at hospital factors related to HAI incidence. Investigators explored whether the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Score, a composite safety score calculated from publicly reported measures, is associated with HAIs. They also examined the incidence of HAIs in hospitals with Magnet status, conferred by a nurses' trade association in recognition of a positive nursing work environment. Lower Leapfrog safety scores were associated with more Clostridium difficile infections but no differences in other HAIs, and Magnet status was associated with lower rates of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection but worse than expected performance on C. difficile infections. These mixed results do not indicate a strong or consistent relationship between global measures of safety and quality and specific adverse events. A past PSNet interview with Leah Binder, President and CEO of The Leapfrog Group, discussed the development of the Hospital Safety Score.
Haynes AB, Edmondson L, Lipsitz S, et al. Ann Surg. 2017;266:923-929.
Checklists have been shown to reduce surgical morbidity and mortality in randomized trials, but results of implementation in clinical settings have been mixed. This study reports on a voluntary, statewide collaborative program to implement a surgical safety checklist in South Carolina hospitals. Participating sites undertook a multifaceted process to support checklist implementation and culture change. Cross-institutional educational activities were available to all hospitals in the collaborative. Investigators determined that rates of surgical complications declined significantly in hospitals involved in the collaborative compared with those that did not participate, which had no change in postsurgical mortality over the same time frame. Past PSNet interviews with Lucian Leape and David Urbach discussed their perspectives on surgical safety checklists.