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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 1991 Results
Seidelman JL, Mantyh CR, Anderson DJ. JAMA. 2023;329:244-252.
Surgical site infections (SSIs) remain a significant cause of preventable post-operative morbidity and mortality. This narrative review summarizes modifiable and nonmodifiable patient-related factors. It also evaluates modifiable operation-related factors associated with surgical site infections, and highlights six pre-, intra-, and postoperative strategies to reduce surgical site infections, including use of the WHO surgical safety checklist.

ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute care edition. January 12, 2023;28(1):1-4.

The patient safety movement has raised awareness of the presence of multiple factors that align to result in patient harm, yet implementing processes to fully examine and change practice from that perspective is challenged. This article discusses this situation and provides recommendations to orient improvement efforts toward deeper investigation methods to identify latent contributors to care failure.
Krombach JW, Zürcher C, Simon SG, et al. Anaesth Crit Care Pain Med. 2022;42:101186.
Checklists have been highlighted as a cognitive aid to decrease omissions of care in surgery and other routine and critical events. This study evaluated a pre- and post-anesthesia induction checklist to determine the omission rate and impact on patient safety. Use of the checklist reduced omission rates significantly during both pre- and post-induction periods. However omission remained high at 32% and 40%, respectively and use of the checklists remained low.
Food and Drug Administration and Institute for Safe Medication Practices. Plymouth Meeting, PA; Institute for Safe Medication Practices; January 2023.
Mistakes associated with look-alike medication names are a safety concern in health care. Tall man, or mixed case, lettering is one recommended strategy to reduce confusion associated with similarities in drug names. This list includes medications recognized by clinicians and professional organizations as those suited for the application of mixed case lettering to make their use safer.
Kramer DB, Yeh RW. JAMA. 2023;329:136-143.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) plays an important role in ensuring the safety of medical devices. In this cross-sectional study, researchers identified a high risk of future Class 1 FDA recall (the most serious recall designation, indicating serious risks to patient safety) among previously authorized devices (predicates) with prior Class 1 recalls.
Dixit RA, Boxley CL, Samuel S, et al. J Patient Saf. 2023;19:e25-e30.
Electronic health records (EHR) may have unintended negative consequences on patient safety. This review identified 11 articles focused on the relationship between EHR use and diagnostic error. EHR issues fell into three general areas: information gathering, medical decision-making, and plan implementation and communication. The majority of issues were a related to providers’ cognitive processing, revealing an important area of research and quality improvement.
Greig PR, Zolger D, Onwochei DN, et al. Anaesthesia. 2022;Epub Dec 14.
Cognitive aids, such as checklists and decision aids, can reduce omissions in care and improve patient safety. This systematic review including 13 randomized trials found that cognitive aids in clinical emergencies reduced the incidence of missed care steps (from 43% to 11%) and medical errors, and improved teamwork, non-technical, and conflict resolution scores.
Erstad BL, Romero AV, Barletta JF. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2023;80:87-91.
Weight-based dosing is vulnerable to error due to inaccurate estimation of body weight, use of metric vs. non-metric units, or patients being underweight or overweight. This commentary suggests strategies for reducing weight- and size-based dosing errors including reduction in reliance on estimated body weight, standardizing descriptor (e.g., body mass index), limiting options in the electronic health record (EHR), and integrating complex calculations into the EHR.
Almqvist D, Norberg D, Larsson F, et al. Intensive Crit Care Nurs. 2022;74:103330.
Interhospital transfers pose a serious risk to patients. In this study, nurse anesthetists and intensive care nurses described strategies to ensure safe transport for patients who are intubated or who may require intubation. Strategies include clear and adequate communication between providers prior to transport, stabilizing and optimizing the patient’s condition, and ensuring that appropriate drugs and equipment are prepared and available.
Engel JR, Lindsay M, O'Brien S, et al. J Nurs Adm. 2022;52:511-518.
Alert fatigue occurs when healthcare workers become desensitized to alarms over time, especially when alarms tend to be clinically nonsignificant, and therefore, ignored or not responded to. This study reports on one health system’s redesign of cardiac monitoring structure to reduce alert fatigue. Through a four-phase quality improvement project, three hospitals were able to decrease alarms by 74-95% and sustained the results for 12 months.
Wani MM, Gilbert JHV, Mohammed CA, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e1150-e1159.
The WHO surgical safety checklist has been implemented in healthcare systems around the world. This scoping review identified five categories of barriers to successful implementation of the WHO checklist (organizational-, checklist-, technical-, and implementation barriers, as well as individual differences). The authors outline recommendations for researchers, hospital administrators, and operating room personnel to improve checklist implementation.  

ISMP Medication Safety Alert!: Acute Care Edition. December 1, 2022;27(24):1-3.

Look-alike medications are vulnerable to wrong route and other use errors. This article examines the potential for mistaken application of ear drops into eyes. Strategies highlighted to reduce this error focus on storage, dispensing, administration, and patient education.

Arna D, ed. Curr Opin Anaesthesiol. 2022;35(6):710-737.

Safety challenges in anesthesiology and perioperative care are high-risk situations. This segment of a reoccurring special section covers strategies for improvement such as use of databases to monitor safety, expansion of safety improvement efforts to perioperative care, and cognitive aid use enhancement.
Auschra C, Asaad E, Sydow J, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e1211-e1218.
Health systems are increasingly aiming to become high-reliability organizations, able to operate for an extended period without serious accidents. This systematic review identified 75 studies reporting on health systems’ interventions to improve reliability, the goals of the interventions, and how achievement of the goals was measured. The six goals of Crossing the Quality Chasm were used to categorize studies. Most studies focused solely or in part on safety; only ten focused solely on one of the other five goals.
Gogalniceanu P, Karydis N, Costan V-V, et al. J Am Coll Surg. 2022;235:612-623.
Safety strategies from high-reliability industries such as aviation and nuclear power are frequently adapted for healthcare. In this study, pilots described crisis preparedness strategies, which surgical safety experts then developed into a framework consisting of six behavioral interventions: anticipate threats, briefing, checklists, drill rehearsal, individual and team empowerment, and debriefing. An earlier study by the authors describes the second phase in managing crisis: crisis recovery.
Perspective on Safety November 16, 2022

Dr. Pascale Carayon, PhD, is a professor emerita in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering and the founding director of the Wisconsin Institute for Healthcare Systems Engineering (WIHSE). Dr. Nicole Werner, PhD, is an associate professor in the Department of Health and Wellness Design at the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington. We spoke with both of them about the role of human factors engineering has in improving healthcare delivery and its role in patient safety.

Angel M, Bechard L, Pua YH, et al. Age Ageing. 2022;51:afac225.
People taking medications at home may have difficulty opening packaging which can result in improper, dangerous storage practices. This review includes 12 studies where participants were observed opening a variety of medication packages (e.g., blister packs, child-resistant containers). While all studies reported participant difficulty, no consistent contributory factors were identified, and the methodological quality of all studies was typically low. Additional research is required to encourage improvement in medication packaging.