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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 210 Results
WebM&M Case November 16, 2022

A 61-year-old women with a mechanical aortic valve on chronic warfarin therapy was referred to the emergency department (ED) for urgent computed tomography (CT) imaging of the right leg to rule out an arterial clot. CT imaging revealed two arterial thromboses the right lower extremity and an echocardiogram revealed a thrombus near the prosthetic heart valve. The attending physician ordered discontinuation of warfarin and initiation of a heparin drip.

US Senate Finance Committee. 117th Cong (2021-2022). August 3, 2022.

Organ transplantation processes require reliable communication and technical expertise to ensure safety for organ delivery and patient care. This hearing discussed the findings of a United States Senate investigation into waste and harm in the US organ transplant system. Blood-type mistakes, transport failures, and process challenges were amongst the problems discussed.
Doorey AJ, Turi ZG, Lazzara EH, et al. Catheter Cardiovasc Interv. 2022;99:1953-1962.
Closed loop communication (CLC) ensures a clear transfer of information by having the recipient repeat the order for verification.  In this study, procedures in the cardiac catheterization lab were observed to assess the frequency and accuracy of CLC. Despite three interventions over five years (education, on-going feedback, accountability), CLC remained suboptimal, with both incomplete orders given and incomplete responses.
WebM&M Case May 16, 2022

This WebM&M describes two cases involving patients who became unresponsive in unconventional locations – inside of a computed tomography (CT) scanner and at an outpatient transplant clinic – and strategies to ensure that all healthcare teams are prepared to deliver advanced cardiac life support (ACLS), such as the use of mock codes and standardized ACLS algorithms.

Mariyaselvam MZA, Patel V, Young HE, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e387-e392.
A retained foreign object can lead to serious clinical consequences and is considered a never event. Researchers analyzed a national patient safety incident database to identify factors contributing to guidewire retention and potential preventative measures. Findings indicate that most retained guidewires are identified after the procedure. The authors suggest that system changes or design modifications to central venous catheter equipment is one approach to prevent guidewire attention.
Gilmartin HM, Hess E, Mueller C, et al. Health Serv Res. 2022;57:385-391.
Ideal clinical learning environments (CLE) support employee engagement, satisfaction, and a culture of safety. The Learning Environment and High Reliability Practices Survey (LEHR) was used to determine the association between ideal CLE and job satisfaction, burnout, intent to leave, and staff turnover. Learning environments with higher average LEHR scores were associated with higher employee engagement, retention, and safety climate scores.
Morisawa T, Saitoh M, Otsuka S, et al. J Clin Med. 2022;11:640.
Hospital-acquired functional decline can lead to poor health outcomes for frail older adults. This multicenter, prospective cohort study set in Japan assessed the effect of hospital-acquired function decline on post-discharge outcomes among older adults who had undergone cardiac surgery. The study observed poor prognostic outcomes in one-third of patients. Hospital-acquired functional decline was an independent predictor of poor prognosis. The authors encourage hospitals to develop and implement approaches to preventing functional decline in older adults.
Brush JE, Sherbino J, Norman GR. BMJ. 2022;376:e064389.
Misdiagnosis of heart failure can lead to serious patient harm. This article reviews the cognitive psychology of diagnostic reasoning in cardiology. Strategies for educators, students, and researchers to reduce cardiovascular misdiagnosis are presented.
Fontil V, Pacca L, Bellows BK, et al. JAMA Cardiol. 2022;7:204-212.
Racial and ethnic inequities are increasingly being linked to health disparities. This study of more than 16,000 patients explored the association between race and ethnicity and blood pressure control. Findings suggest racial and ethnic inequities in treatment intensification may be associated with more than 20% of observed racial or ethnic disparities in blood pressure control.
Trenton, NJ: New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services.
Detailing results of an error reporting initiative in New Jersey, these reports explain how consumers can use this information and provides tips for safety when obtaining health care. A section highlights findings related to patient safety indicators.
Kwok CS, Bennett S, Azam Z, et al. Crit Pathw Cardiol. 2021;20:155-162.
Misdiagnosis of cardiovascular conditions can lead to serious patient harm. This systematic review found that misdiagnosis of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) occurs in approximately 1-2% of cases, and AMI is commonly diagnosed as other heart conditions, musculoskeletal pain, or gastrointestinal disease. The authors suggest that there are opportunities to reduce cases of missed AMI with better education about atypical symptoms and improved training of electrocardiogram interpretation.

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press; 2021.

Misdiagnosis of severe cardiovascular events is a primary concern to the diagnostic safety community due to its prevalence and potential for harm. This report summarizes a session discussion on the existing evidence base on improving diagnosis for these conditions and explore opportunities for improvement.
Paradissis C, Cottrell N, Coombes ID, et al. Ther Adv Drug Saf. 2021;12:204209862110274.
Adverse drug events are a common source of harm in both inpatient and ambulatory patients. This narrative review of 75 studies concluded that cardiovascular medications are a leading cause of medication harm across different clinical settings, and that older adults are at increased risk. Medications to treat high blood pressure and arrhythmias were the most common cause of medication harm.
Hernández-Prats C, López-Pintor E, Lumbreras B. Res Social Adm Pharm. 2022;18:2748-2756.
Clinical pharmacists play an important role in ensuring patient safety, particularly in interventions aimed at reducing polypharmacy. This review focused on interventions involving pharmacists to reduce polypharmacy and inappropriate medications for patients with heart failure. Findings indicate interventions are most successful when specific guidelines or recommendations to assess appropriate prescribing of heart failure medications are followed.
Lalani C, Kunwar EM, Kinard M, et al. JAMA Intern Med. 2021;181:1217-1223.
Medical device-associated errors are common and often result in preventable patient harm. Based on medical device adverse event data reported to the FDA, this study used natural language processing to identify events not classified as deaths even though the patient died. Findings suggest that approximately 17% of medical device events that resulted in death were classified in other categories.
Wong CW, Tafuro J, Azam Z, et al. J Cardiac Failure. 2021;27:925-933.
Misdiagnosis of cardiovascular conditions can lead to serious patient harm. This systematic review explored misdiagnosis of heart failure. Based on 10 included studies, the rate of heart failure misdiagnosis ranged from 16.1% (in an inpatient setting) to 68.5% (when general practitioners referred patients to specialists). Included studies found that heart failure is frequently misdiagnosed as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
WebM&M Case June 30, 2021

Beginning in her teenage years, a woman began "feeling woozy" after high school gym class. The symptoms were abrupt in onset, lasted between 5 to 15 minutes and then subsided after sitting down. Similar episodes occurred occasionally over the following decade, usually related to stress. When she was in her 30s, she experienced a more severe episode of palpitations and went to the emergency department (ED). An electrocardiogram (ECG) was normal and she was discharged with a diagnosis of stress or possible panic attack.

Volpi E, Giannelli A, Toccafondi G, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;17:e143-e148.
Medication errors are a common and significant causes of patient harm. This retrospective study examined regional prescription registry (RPR) data at a single Italian hospital at 4 comparison points, pre-admission, admission, hospitalization, and post-discharge. Researchers identified 4,363 discrepancies among 14,573 prescriptions originating from 298 patients with a mean age of 71.2 years. Approximately one third of the discrepancies (1,310) were classified as unintentional and the majority (62.1%) of those were found when comparing the prescriptions during the transition from  hospital discharge and the 9-month follow up. The study points to the need for enhanced communication between hospitalists and primary care providers at the hospital-home interface.
Gurwitz JH, Kapoor A, Garber L, et al. JAMA Intern Med. 2021;181:610-618.
High-risk medications have the potential to cause serious patient harm if not administered correctly. In this randomized trial, a pharmacist-directed intervention (including in-home assessment by a clinical pharmacist, communication with the primary care team, and telephone follow-up) did not result in a lower rate of adverse drug events or medication errors involving high-risk drug classes during the posthospitalization period.