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.
Tan GM, Murto K, Downey LA, et al. Paediatr Anaesth. 2023;33:609-619.
Blood management errors can lead to serious patient harm. This article highlights five patient safety risks during pediatric perioperative blood management (failure to recognize and treat preoperative anemia, failure to obtain informed consent regarding perioperative blood management, failure to consider specific intraoperative blood conservation techniques in children, failure to recognize massive hemorrhage, failure to prevent unnecessary transfusion). The authors discuss potential solutions to address these safety risks.
Wiggett A, Fischer G. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2023;147:933-939.
Miscommunication between pathologists and surgeons can lead to significant patient harm. This study identified multiple discrepancies between pathologist-listed diagnoses included in intraoperative consult notes compared to surgeon-dictated operative notes. Discrepancies were most common in multipart cases and those involving deferrals.
Grubenhoff JA, Bakel LA, Dominguez F, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2023;49:547-557.
Clinical care pathways (CP) standardize care to ensure evidence-based practices are consistently followed. This study analyzed missed diagnostic opportunities (MDO) of pediatric musculoskeletal infections that could have been mitigated had the CP recommendations been adhered to. Misinterpretation of laboratory results was a critical contributor to MDO by both pediatric emergency providers and orthopedic consultants.
Hooftman J, Dijkstra AC, Suurmeijer I, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2023;Epub Aug 9.
Diagnostic errors are common and have many contributing factors. This study analyzed more than 100 serious adverse event (SAE) reports in acute care using four investigation methods (e.g., Diagnostic Error Evaluation Research (DEER) taxonomy, Safer Dx Instrument) to identify common contributing factors. Transitions of care were particularly vulnerable to SAE, often due to incomplete communication between departments. Diagnostic errors occurred most often in the testing, assessment, and follow-up phases, with human factors as the most common contributing factor. Using multiple investigative methods supports more targeted interventions in each phase of diagnosis.
Murphy DR, Zimolzak AJ, Upadhyay DK, et al. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2023;30:1526-1531.
Measuring diagnostic performance is essential to identifying opportunities for improvement. In this study, researchers developed and evaluated two electronic clinical quality measures (eCQMs) to assess the quality of colorectal and lung cancer diagnosis. Each measure used data from the electronic health record (EHR) to identify abnormal test results, evidence of appropriate follow-up, and exclusions that signified unnecessary follow-up. The authors describe the measure testing results and outline the challenges in working with unstructured EHR data.
Flemming DJ, White C, Fox E, et al. Skeletal Radiol. 2023;52:493-503.
Radiologic diagnostic errors can result in delayed or unnecessary treatment. This paper describes five types of cognitive biases, with accompanying case study and images, that result in misdiagnosis. Both individual education and system-level solutions are described.
Incorrect patient registration, application of the wrong label, and blood draw from the wrong patient can all cause blood transfusion errors. This systematic review identified six studies related to nursing and blood transfusion safety. Errors fell into two broad categories - human and environmental factors, and education. Initial and continuing education for all members of the team, including registration staff, should be considered to improve and maintain transfusion safety.
Morgan DJ, Malani PN, Diekema DJ. JAMA. 2023;329:1255-1256.
The effective use of resources through stewardship initiatives can support error reduction through focusing actions of care. This commentary discusses how diagnostic stewardship can enhance diagnostic testing behaviors across the diagnostic process.
Jadwin DF, Fenderson PG, Friedman MT, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2023;49:42-52.
Blood transfusions errors can have serious consequences. In this retrospective study including 15 community hospitals, researchers identified high rates of unnecessary blood transfusions, primarily attributed to overreliance on laboratory transfusion criteria and failure to follow guidelines regarding blood management.
Clayton DA, Eguchi MM, Kerr KF, et al. Med Decis Making. 2023;43:164-174.
Metacognition (e.g., when one reflects on one’s own decision and decision making) is an approach to reducing diagnostic errors. Using data from the Melanoma Pathology Study (M-PATH) and Breast Pathology Study (B-PATH), researchers assed pathologists’ metacognition by examining their diagnostic accuracy and self-confidence. Results showed pathologists with increased metacognition sensitivity were more likely to request a second opinion for incorrect diagnosis than they were for a correct diagnosis.
Harris CK, Chen Y, Yarsky B, et al. Acad Pathol. 2022;9:100049.
Physicians, including resident physicians, report safety events at lower rates than nurses and other staff. This study analyzed adverse event and near miss reporting by residents in one American hospital. Although pathology residents accounted for more than 5% of residents in the hospital, they only accounted for 0.5% of all reports.
Poor usability of electronic health record (EHR)-based computerized provider order entry (CPOE) can lead to adverse events. Using a newly developed self-administered assessment tool, researchers identified several EHR usability and safety issues across medication, laboratory, and radiology CPOE functions.
Packer MDC, Ravinsky E, Azordegan N. Am J Clin Pathol. 2022;157:767-773.
Studies have shown diagnostic discordance in evaluation of surgical pathology specimens. In this study, pathologists and pathology residents were asked to diagnose surgical pathology or cytopathology cases and provide a diagnosis. Most respondents provided the correct diagnosis for most of the cases; 35% of cases were wholly or partially misdiagnosed. Educational and process changes (e.g., requiring subspecialist over-read for some diagnoses) were implemented in the pathology department in response, resulting in substantial improvement in error rates.
Ostrow O, Prodanuk M, Foong Y, et al. Pediatrics. 2022;150:e2021055866.
Appropriate antibiotic prescribing is a core component of antibiotic stewardship programs to reduce the risk of antibiotic-resistant microbes. This study assessed the rate of misdiagnosed pediatric urinary tract infections (UTI) and associated antibiotic use following implementation of a quality improvement intervention. Using three interventions (diagnostic algorithm, callback system, standardized discharge antibiotic prescription), misdiagnosis of UTI decreased by half, and 2,128 antibiotic days were saved.
Farrell C‐JL, Giannoutsos J. Int J Lab Hematol. 2022;44:497-503.
Wrong blood in tube (WBIT) errors can result in serious diagnostic and treatment errors, but may go unrecognized by clinical staff. In this study, machine learning was used to identify potential WBIT errors which were then compared to manual review by laboratory staff. The machine learning models showed higher accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity compared to manual review.
Bender JA, Kulju S, Soncrant C. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2022;48:326-334.
Healthcare organizations use multiple proactive and reactive methods of investigating and preventing adverse events. This study combined proactive and reactive risk assessments into a Combined Proactive Risk Assessment (CPRA) to identify risks not detected by one method on its own. The four steps of CPRA are illustrated using the example of outpatient blood draws in the Veterans Health Administration.
Meyer AND, Scott TMT, Singh H. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5:e228568.
Delayed communication of abnormal test results can contribute to diagnostic and treatment delays, patient harm, and malpractice claims. The Department of Veterans Affairs specifies abnormal test results be communicated to the patient within seven days if treatment is required, and within 14 days if no treatment is required. In the first full year of the program, 71% of abnormal test results and 80% of normal test results were communicated to the patient within the specified timeframes. Performance varied by facility and type of test.
Frisch NK, Gibson PC, Stowman AM, et al. Am J Emerg Med. 2022;158:18-26.
Electronic health records (EHR) can improve patient care and safety but are not without potential risks. A cyberattack led to a 25-day shutdown of a hospital’s EHR that necessitated a rapid shift to manual processes. This article outlines the laboratory service’s processes during the shutdown, including patient safety and error reduction, billing, and maintaining compliance with regulatory policies.
Rajan SS, Baldwin J, Giardina TD, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e262-e266.
Radiofrequency identification (RFID) technology has been most commonly used in perioperative settings to improve patient safety. This study explored whether RFID technology can improve process measures in laboratory settings, such as order tracking, specimen processing, and test result communication. Findings indicate that RFID-tracked orders were more likely to have completed testing process milestones and were completed more quickly.