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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 99 Results
Moore T, Kline D, Palettas M, et al. J Nurs Care Qual. 2023;38:55-60.
Fall prevention is a safety priority in hospital settings. This study found that Smart Socks – socks containing pressure sensors that detect when a patient is trying to stand up – reduced fall rates among patients at risk of falls in one hospital’s neurological and neurosurgical department. Over a 13-month period, investigators observed a decreased fall rate (0 per 1000 patient days) among patients wearing Smart Socks compared to prior to intervention implementation (4 per 1000 patient days).
Ivanovic V, Assadsangabi R, Hacein-Bey L, et al. Clin Radiol. 2022;77:607-612.
Radiological interpretation errors can result in unnecessary additional tests, wrong treatment and delayed diagnosis. This study explored the correlation between neuroradiologists’ diagnostic errors and attendance at institutional tumor boards. Results show that higher attendance at tumor boards was strongly correlated with lower diagnostic error rates. The researchers recommend increased and continuous attendance at tumor boards for all neuroradiologists.

Lockhart B, Mascie-Taylor H. Crown Copyright: London, England; June 2022.  ISBN 9781912313631.

Misdiagnosis of neurological conditions, such as stroke, can lead to delays in treatment and patient morbidity and mortality. This report outlines findings from an inquiry into one misdiagnosis attributed to one neurologist in Ireland and discusses the leadership, system, process, and communication failures which permitted misdiagnoses to go unchecked.
WebM&M Case July 8, 2022

A 58-year-old man with a past medical history of seizures presented to the emergency department (ED) with acute onset of left gaze deviation, expressive aphasia, and right-sided hemiparesis. The patient was evaluated by the general neurology team in the ED, who suspected an acute ischemic stroke and requested an evaluation by the stroke neurology team but did not activate a stroke alert. The stroke team concluded that the patient had suffered a focal seizure prior to arrival and had postictal deficits.

Liberman AL, Cheng NT, Friedman BW, et al. Diagnosis (Berl). 2022;9:225-235.
Missed diagnosis of stroke in emergency medicine settings is an important patient safety problem. In this study, researchers interviewed emergency medicine physicians about their perspectives on diagnostic neurology and use of clinical decision support (CDS) tools. Themes emerged related to challenges in diagnosis, neurological complaints, and challenges in diagnostic decision-making in emergency medicine, more generally. Participating physicians were enthusiastic about the possibility of involving CDS tools to improve diagnosis for non-specific neurological complaints.
Nowak B, Schwendimann R, Lyrer P, et al. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022;19:2796.
Diagnostic error and misdiagnosis of stroke patients can lead to preventable adverse events, such as treatment delays and adverse outcomes. Researchers at a Swiss hospital retrospective reviewed patients admitted for transient ischemic attack (TIA) or ischemic stroke and found that a trigger tool could accurately identify preventable events among patients with adverse events and no-harm incidents. The most common preventable events were medication events, pressure injuries, and healthcare-associated infections.
Pinheiro LC, Reshetnyak E, Safford MM, et al. Med Care. 2021;59:901-906.
Prior research has found that racial/ethnic minorities may be at higher risk for adverse patient safety outcomes. This study evaluated racial disparities in self-reported adverse events based on cross-sectional survey data collected as part of a national, prospective cohort evaluating stroke mortality. Findings show that Black participants were significantly more likely to report a preventable adverse event attributable to poor care coordination (e.g., drug-drug interaction, emergency department visitor, or hospitalization) compared to White participants.
Vaghani V, Wei L, Mushtaq U, et al. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2021;28:2202-2211.
Based on the Safer Dx and SPADE frameworks, researchers applied a symptom-disease pair-based electronic trigger (e-trigger) to identify patients hospitalized for stroke who had been previously discharged from the emergency department with a diagnosis of headache or dizziness in the preceding 30 days. Analyses show that the e-trigger identified missed diagnoses of stroke with a modest positive predictive value.
Chang T-P, Bery AK, Wang Z, et al. Diagnosis (Berl). 2022;9:96-106.
A missed or delayed diagnosis of stroke increases the risk of permanent disability or death. This retrospective study compared rates of misdiagnosed stroke in patients presenting to general care or specialty care who were initially diagnosed with “benign dizziness”. Patients with dizziness who presented to general care were more likely to be misdiagnosed than those presenting to specialty care. Interventions to improve stroke diagnosis in emergency departments may also be successful in general care clinics.
Dancsecs KA, Nestor M, Bailey A, et al. Am J Emerg Med. 2021;47:90-94.
Alteplase and other thrombolytics are high-alert medications. This study compared error rates of alteplase administration in patients presenting with acute ischemic stroke at either a regional hospital or a Comprehensive Stroke Center (CSC) and found that community hospitals had over a 10 times greater number of errors leading to hemorrhage. The study recommend to put safeguards in place to decrease the risk of alteplase medication administration errors.
Mekonnen B, Wang G, Rajbhandari-Thapa J, et al. J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. 2020;29:105106.
The ”weekend effect” refers to worse patient outcomes occurring outside of usual business hours. The authors used national data to examine in-hospital mortality differences among patients experiencing stroke admitted on the weekend versus on a weekday. After adjusting for patient and hospital characteristics, in-hospital mortality among hemorrhagic stroke patients was significantly greater among weekend compared to weekday admissions. No weekend effect was found among ischemic stroke patients. Future research should explore the influence of additional factors, such as patient-level behavioral risk factors and the availability of care providers and stroke care centers, particularly in rural regions.  

Farnborough, UK; Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch. October 13, 2020

Errors of omission in routine care can result in patient harm. This report discusses factors contributing to a pulmonary embolism in a recovering stroke patient acerbated by a lack of intended but omitted venous thromboembolism or VTE preventative care. The system improvement recommendations drawn from the incident analysis include that the UK National Health Service develop a standardized approach to VTE risk assessment and broad-based training to enable a cross-section of clinicians to use VTE prevention devices as required.

Horowitz SH. Washington Post. October 4, 2020.

The harm of misdiagnosis can be extended by lack of clinician recognition and acceptance of the error when a patient raises concerns. This news story shares the experience of a physician-patient whose recognition of a diagnostic mistake was initially dismissed. The author defines the repeated lack of organizational willingness to resolve the situation as a normalized deviance in health care.
Haslett JJ, Genadry L, Zhang X, et al. Stroke. 2019;50:2858-2864.
Delayed diagnosis and treatment are common patient safety issues with significant adverse outcomes for patients. Analyzing nearly 300 medical malpractice cases related to acute care of stroke patients, this review found that the majority of malpractice lawsuits alleged failure of timely diagnosis and treatment. The majority of cases resulted in no payout, but those that did result in payout saw an average settlement in excess of $1.8 million in settlements and $9.7 million in plaintiff verdicts. 
Armstrong D. ProPublica. August 23, 2019.
Implicit biases can affect communication, diagnosis, and treatment decisions. This news article reports the experience of a neurologist and the biases that negatively influenced her health care, such as lack of respect for women presenting with functional symptoms and premature closure.
WebM&M Case July 2, 2019
An elderly man admitted for agitation and suicidal ideation was prescribed clozapine by psychiatry. The clozapine Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) program requires both prescribers and patients to be registered in an online database. A REMS-registered attending psychiatrist entered the initial order (12.5 mg). During the hospitalization, the medicine intern, who was not registered with the REMS program, titrated the dose to 25 mg daily and also wrote the discharge prescription.
Iezzoni LI. N Engl J Med. 2019;380:2092-2093.
This commentary describes an incident involving diagnostic error and substandard care of a patient with disability. The author cautions against assumptions about individuals with disabilities that can compromise care. A PSNet commentary discussed the impact of diagnostic overshadowing on patient care.
Kaisey M, Solomon AJ, Luu M, et al. Mult Scler Relat Disord. 2019;30:51-56.
This retrospective study of patients with a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis found that nearly 20% had been misdiagnosed and did not have the disease. The authors highlight the risks from misdiagnosis including exposure to high-risk medications with resultant adverse drug events and delay in correct treatment for patient conditions.
Fitzsimons BT, Fitzsimons LL, Sun LR. Pediatrics. 2019;143:e20183458.
Rare diseases pose diagnostic challenges for physicians. This commentary offers insights from parents of a young child who died due to a delayed stroke diagnosis as well as from the patient's neurologist to raise awareness of childhood stroke and discuss the importance of partnership to heal from loss and advocate for improvement.