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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 277 Results
Coghlan A, Turner S, Coverdale S. Intern Med J. 2023;53:550-558.
Use of abbreviations in electronic health records increases risk of misunderstandings, particularly between providers of different specialties. In this study, junior doctors and general practitioners were asked about their understanding of common, uncommon, and rare abbreviations used in hospital discharge notes. No abbreviation was interpreted in the same way by all respondents, and nearly all respondents left at least one abbreviation blank or responded that they didn't know.

Lai B, Horn J, Wilkinson J, et al. Fam Pract Manag. 2023;30(2):13-17.

Morbidity and mortality (M&M) conferences are an established mechanism used to facilitate discussion of errors to generate learning. This peer-reviewed article discusses how one organization implemented an M&M program. The authors share steps taken to support success which include case selection, nonjudgmental culture, and subject matter expert involvement.
Damiani G, Altamura G, Zedda M, et al. BMJ Open. 2023;13:e065301.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly used to identify and prevent patient safety threats. This review focuses on AI used to reduce medication errors in the primary care setting. Most studies targeted the prescribing stage, and the main category of AI was computerized decision support system.

Domdera J. Fam Pract Manag. 2023;30(2):24-28.

A large segment of patients receives outpatient care. This commentary suggests that high-reliability concepts be applied in the primary care environment to reduce the potential for mistakes and patient harm. The author shares tools to address communication and care coordination problems.
Darley S, Coulson T, Peek N, et al. J Med Internet Res. 2022;24:e37436.
Electronic communication between patients and clinicians has been increasing, with a rapid expansion of its use during the COVID-19 pandemic. This systematic review examined the types of online consultation available to patients in primary care and their impact on safety. Results reveal both positive and negative impacts, and the authors make recommendations to mitigate the negative impacts.

Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; October 2022.

Inappropriate antibiotic prescribing is associated with increased risk potential. This toolkit assists in simplifying the antibiotic decision-making process. It is organized around a four-point decision aide and contains resources on using a stewardship program, communicating about prescribing and applying best practices for common infectious diseases.
Lagu T, Haywood C, Reimold KE, et al. Health Aff (Millwood). 2022;41:1387-1395.
People with disabilities face barriers to safe, equitable care such as inaccessible equipment and facilities or provider bias. In this study, primary care and specialist physicians described challenges with caring for patients with disabilities. Many expressed explicit biases such as reluctance to care for people with disabilities, invest in accessible equipment, or obtain continuing education to provide appropriate care.
Fleming EA. JAMA. 2022;328:1297-1298.
Honest apology is known to support healing from medical error for clinicians, patients, and families. This essay shares the experience of one physician who missed signs of a heart attack, mislabeling the condition as fatigue, who then apologized for the mistake. The author highlights how openness about the error was crucial in the continuation of the care relationship.
Soled KRS, Dimant OE, Tanguay J, et al. BMC Health Serv Res. 2022;22:1134.
Transgender and gender-diverse people can face discriminatory behaviors when accessing health care services. This qualitative study explored clinician perspectives with regard to practicing transgender health care. Findings indicate that stigma, gatekeeping, and knowledge deficits are barriers to high-quality care delivery but respondents also highlighted strategies for successful care delivery, including mentorship and use of a person-centered approach to care.
Kraemer KL, Althouse AD, Salay M, et al. JAMA Health Forum. 2022;3:e222263.
Nudges (e.g., default order sets) in the electronic health record (EHR) have been shown to encourage safer prescribing of opioids in emergency departments. This study evaluated the effect of nudges to reduce opioid prescribing for opioid-naïve patients with acute pain. Primary care practices were cluster randomized to control, opioid justification in the EHR, peer comparison, or combined opioid justification and peer comparison groups. The three intervention groups showed reduced opioid prescribing compared to control.
Chang ET, Newberry S, Rubenstein LV, et al. JAMA Network Open. 2022;5:e2224938.
Patients with chronic or complex healthcare needs are at increased risk of adverse events such as rehospitalization. This paper describes the development of quality measures to assess the safety and quality of primary care for patients with complex care needs at high risk of hospitalization or death. The expert panel proposed three categories (assessment, management, features of healthcare), 15 domains, and 49 concepts.
Perspective on Safety August 5, 2022

The focus on patient safety in the ambulatory setting was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and appropriately shifting priorities to responding to the pandemic. This piece explores some of the core themes of patient safety in the ambulatory setting, including diagnostic safety and diagnostic errors. Ways to enhance patient safety in the ambulatory care setting and next steps in ambulatory care safety are addressed. 

The focus on patient safety in the ambulatory setting was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and appropriately shifting priorities to responding to the pandemic. This piece explores some of the core themes of patient safety in the ambulatory setting, including diagnostic safety and diagnostic errors. Ways to enhance patient safety in the ambulatory care setting and next steps in ambulatory care safety are addressed. 

Watson J, Salisbury C, Whiting PF, et al. Br J Gen Pract. 2022;72:e747-e754.
Failure to communicate blood test results to patients may result in delayed diagnosis or treatment. In this study, UK primary care patients and general practitioners (GPs) were asked about their experiences with the communication of blood test results. Patients and GPs both expected the other to follow up on results and had conflicting experiences with the method of communication (e.g., phone call, text message).
Jordan M, Young-Whitford M, Mullan J, et al. Aust J Gen Pract. 2022;51:521-528.
Interventions such as deprescribing, pharmacist involvement, and medication reconciliation are used to reduce polypharmacy and use of high-risk medications such as opioids. In this study, a pharmacist was embedded in general practice to support medication management of high-risk patients. This study presents perspectives of the pharmacists, general practitioners, practice personnel, patients, and carers who participated in the program.
Salema N-E, Bell BG, Marsden K, et al. BJGP Open. 2022;6:BJGPO.2021.0231.
Medication prescribing errors are common, particularly during medical training. This retrospective review of prescriptions from ten general practitioners in training in the United Kingdom identified a high rate of prescribing errors (8.9% of prescriptions reviewed) and suboptimal prescribing (35%).
Fontil V, Khoong EC, Lyles C, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2022;48:395-402.
Missed or delayed diagnosis in primary care may result in serious complications for patients. This prospective study followed adults presenting to primary care with new or unresolved symptoms for 12 months. 32% of patients received a diagnosis within one month; most of the rest still did not have a diagnosis at 12 months (50%). The authors suggest interventions aimed at improving diagnosis should be system-based, not specific to a single medical issue or population.
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.
Brady KJS, Barlam TF, Trockel MT, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2022;48:287-297.
Inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics to treat viral illnesses is an ongoing patient safety threat. This study examined the association between clinician depression, anxiety, and burnout and inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics for acute respiratory tract infections (RTIs) in outpatient care. Depression and anxiety, but not burnout, were associated with increased adjusted odds of inappropriate prescribing for RTIs.
Curated Libraries
January 14, 2022
The medication-use process is highly complex with many steps and risk points for error, and those errors are a key target for improving safety. This Library reflects a curated selection of PSNet content focused on medication and drug errors. Included resources explore understanding harms from preventable medication use, medication safety...