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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 204 Results
Gotlieb R, Praska C, Hendrickson MA, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5:e2242972.
Ensuring patients understand their diagnosis and care plan is important to achieving optimal outcomes. However, patients routinely report not understanding what their provider has told them. In this study, adults were asked for their understanding of jargon clinicians regularly use (“negative” test results, NPO) and a corresponding statement without jargon (“you do not have an infection”, “nothing by mouth”). Some jargon was better understood (“negative”) than other jargon (“occult infection”). Participant demographics were not significantly associated with understanding jargon.
Newman B, Joseph K, McDonald FEJ, et al. Health Expect. 2022;25:3215-3224.
Patient engagement focuses on involving patients in detecting adverse events, empowering patients to speak up, and emphasizing the patient’s role in a culture of safety. Young people ages 16-25 with experiences in cancer care, and staff who support young people with cancer were asked about their experiences with three types of patient engagement strategies. Four themes for engaging young people emerged, including empowerment, transparency, participatory culture, and flexibility. Across all these was a fifth theme of transition from youth to adult care.  

Eldeib D. ProPublica. November 13, 2022.

Pregnancy is recognized as a high-risk condition for both mother and infant. This news story examines the potential for stillbirth and its preventability. Lack of respect for the concerns of mothers, inadequate attention to research, and poor patient education are discussed as contributors to stillbirth.
Boisvert S. J Healthc Risk Manag. 2022;42:18-25.
Social determinants of health (SDOH) are non-medical factors that impact a person’s health and well-being. This commentary presents ways that risk managers can improve equity and patient safety by addressing two SDOH: health literacy and discrimination. The author recommends using existing risk management tools (e.g., error reporting, data collection) to develop strategies to address the negative impacts of SDOH.
WebM&M Case September 28, 2022

This case describes a 20-year-old woman was diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism and occlusive thrombus in the right brachial vein surrounding a  peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) line (type, gauge, and length of time the PICC had been in place were not noted). The patient was discharged home but was not given any supplies for cleaning the PICC line, education regarding the signs of PICC line infection, or referral to home health services.

Lear R, Freise L, Kybert M, et al. J Med Internet Res. 2022;24:e37226.
As patients increasingly access their electronic health records, they often identify errors requiring correction. This survey of 445 patients in the United Kingdom found that the majority of patients are willing and able to identify and respond to errors in their electronic health records, but information-related and systems-related barriers (e.g., limited understanding of medical terminology, poor information display) disproportionately impact patients with lower digital health literacy or language barriers.
Mercer AN, Mauskar S, Baird JD, et al. Pediatrics. 2022;150:e2021055098.
Children with serious medical conditions are vulnerable to medical errors. This prospective study examined safety reporting behaviors among parents of children with medical complexity and hospital staff caring for these patients in one tertiary children’s hospital. Findings indicate that parents frequently identify medical errors or quality issues, despite not being routinely advised on how to report safety concerns.
Khan A, Parente V, Baird JD, et al. JAMA Pediatr. 2022;176:776-786.
Parent or caregiver limited English proficiency (LPE) has been associated with increased risk of their children experiencing adverse events. In this study, limited English proficiency was associated with lower odds of speaking up or asking questions when something does not appear right with their child’s care. Recommendations for improving communication with limited English proficiency patients and families are presented.
Buitrago I, Seidl KL, Gingold DB, et al. J Healthc Qual. 2022;44:169-177.
Reducing hospital 30-day readmissions is seen as a way to improve safety and reduce costs. Baltimore City mobile integrated health and community paramedicine (MIH-CP) was designed to improve transitional care from hospital to home. After one year in operation, MIH-CP performed a chart review to determine causes of readmission among patients in the program. Root cause analysis indicated that at least one social determinant of health (e.g., health literacy) played a role in preventable readmissions; the program was modified to improve transitional care.
WebM&M Case March 31, 2022

This Spotlight Case describes an older man incidentally diagnosed with prostate cancer, with metastases to the bone. He was seen in clinic one month after that discharge, without family present, and scheduled for outpatient biopsy. He showed up to the biopsy without adequate preparation and so it was rescheduled. He did not show up to the following four oncology appointments.

Bell SK, Dong J, Ngo L, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2022;Epub Feb 4.
Limited English-language health literacy (LEHL) and disadvantaged socioeconomic position (dSEP) have been shown to increase risk of adverse events and near misses. Using data from the 2017 Institute for Healthcare Improvement-National Patient Safety Foundation study, researchers found, while respondents with LEHL or dSEP experienced diagnostic errors at the same rate as their counterparts, they were more likely to report unique contributing factors and more long-term emotional, physical, and financial harm.
Malevanchik L, Wheeler M, Gagliardi K, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2021;47:775-782.
Communication in healthcare is essential but can be complicated, particularly when there are language barriers between providers and patients. This study evaluated a hospital-wide care transitions program, with a goal of universal contact with discharged patients to identify and address care transition problems. Researchers found that the program reached most patients regardless of English proficiency, but that patients with limited English proficiency experienced more post-discharge issues, such as difficulty understanding discharge instructions, medication concerns and follow-up questions, and new or worsening symptoms.
WebM&M Case November 30, 2021

A 77-year-old man was diagnosed with a rectal mass. After discussing goals of care with an oncologist, he declined surgical intervention and underwent targeted radiotherapy before being lost to follow up. The patient subsequently presented to Emergency Department after a fall at home and was found to have new metastatic lesions in both lungs and numerous enhancing lesions in the brain. Further discussions of the goals of care revealed that the patient desired to focus on comfort and on maintaining independence for as long as possible. The inpatient hospice team discussed the potential role

Manias E, Street M, Lowe G, et al. BMC Health Serv Res. 2021;21:1025.
This study explored associations between person-related (e.g., individual responsible for medication error), environment-related (e.g., transitions of care), and communication-related (e.g., misreading of medication order) medication errors in two Australian hospitals. The authors recommend that improved communication regarding medications with patients and families could reduce medication errors associated with possible or probable harm.
Morrison AK, Gibson C, Higgins C, et al. Pediatr Qual Saf. 2021;6:e425.
Limited health literacy can lead to patients or caregivers misunderstanding care instructions. Researchers examined safety events occurring at one children’s hospital over a nine-month period and found that health literacy-related events accounted for 4% of all safety events. Health literacy-related events generally involved problems with medication (e.g., unclear discharge medication instructions, conflicting instructions), system processes (e.g.., failures to address language barriers), and discharge and transitions (e.g., unclear equipment information, unclear instructions about upcoming tests).

Patient Safety Movement. September 17, 2021. 

Patient safety is a global challenge for the health care community. This webinar coincided with World Patient Safety Day and presented two tracks for both the profession and the public that highlighted issues impacting maternal care safety and high reliability. Those who have lost their lives to medical error were also honored during the event. The session speakers included Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, MSc, Jeff Brady, MD, and Albert Wu, MD.  
Green AR, Aschmann H, Boyd CM, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4:e212633.
Effective communication between patient and provider is key to successful deprescribing.  Participants in this study were asked to rate potential phrases a clinician may use to explain why stopping or reducing a medication is important. The most preferred phrase involved an explanation of risk of side effects associated with the medications while the least preferred options focused on the effort involved in taking the medication and “this medication is unlikely to help you function better”. Understanding the patient’s priorities can help frame the conversation around deprescribing.

Kritz F. Shots. National Public Radio; May 24, 2021.

Health literacy efforts address challenges related to both language and effective communication tactics. This story discussed how lack of language and information clarity reduced patient education effectiveness during the pandemic and highlights several efforts to address them including information product translation services.
Thomas J, Dahm MR, Li J, et al. Health Expect. 2021;24:222-233.
Missed or failure to follow up on test results threatens patient safety. This qualitative study used volunteers to explore consumer perspectives related to test result management. Participants identified several challenges that patients experience with test-results management, including systems-level factors related to the emergency department and patient-level factors impacting understanding of test results.

Bebinger M. WBUR and Kaiser Health News. April 27, 2021.

Non-English-speaking patients experience barriers to safely navigating the American healthcare system. This story discusses the impact that language and disparities had on care during the pandemic at one health system, and shares outreach communication and translation strategies to improve care safety.