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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 397 Results
WebM&M Case February 1, 2023

These cases describe the rare but dangerous complication of hematoma following neck surgery. The first case involves a patient with a history of spinal stenosis who was admitted for elective cervical discectomy and cervical disc arthroplasty who went into cardiopulmonary arrest three days post-discharge and could not be intubated due to excessive airway swelling and could not be resuscitated. Autopsy revealed a large hematoma at the operative site, causing compression of the upper airway, which was the suspected cause of respiratory and cardiac arrest.

Alqahtani N. J Eval Clin Pract. 2022;28:1037-1049.
Insulin-related errors result in nearly 100,000 emergency department visits annually in the United States, with 30% resulting in hospitalization. It is unclear if published guidelines and strategies for reducing these errors have been effective; therefore, this review sought to identify interventions to reduce insulin errors in home and hospital settings. Three themes emerged: technology, education, and policy. Understanding these findings may help clinicians and patients to decrease insulin administration errors and help researchers develop and evaluate future studies targeting insulin-related errors.

Boston, MA; Institute for Healthcare Improvement: December 2022.

Systemic efforts to improve health equity support patient safety. This announcement highlights an initiative for collective work to address four areas of effort to reduce inequity in health care: access, workforce, social and structural drivers, and quality and safety.

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.

Healthcare Excellence Canada. 2022.

After a patient safety incident, effective discussions are critical for healing and improvement. This website houses collections of materials to support constructive communication should a failure or near-miss occur. There are two distinct sections of materials: one for established healthcare professionals, and another for patients, students, and caregivers.
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.  

Meyer DB. Boca Raton, FL: Universal Publishers; 2022. ISBN:‎ 9781627344067

Individual commitment to patient safety can motivate change. This book highlights an advocacy action by a patient safety leader to generate awareness, engagement, and action using personal, professional, and patient stories of error.
Tubic B, Finizia C, Zainal Kamil A, et al. Nurs Open. 2022;Epub Oct 31.
Interventions to increase patient engagement in safety are receiving increasing attention. In this study, patients were given a safety leaflet containing information about the patient can avoid adverse events during their hospital stay. Participants were overall satisfied about receiving information about their care but noted a lack of communication between healthcare personnel and patients regarding the safety leaflet.
Curated Libraries
October 10, 2022
Selected PSNet materials for a general safety audience focusing on improvements in the diagnostic process and the strategies that support them to prevent diagnostic errors from harming patients.
Reeve J, Maden M, Hill R, et al. Health Technol Assess. 2022;26:1-148.
Deprescribing is a strategy to reduce potential harms associated with polypharmacy. This scoping review synthesized the evidence about how physicians and patients feel about deprescribing and how deprescribing can be done safely. Shared decision making was identified as an essential component for building trust in the process and for keeping it patient-centered.
Whatley C, Schlogl J, Whalen BL, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2022;48:521-528.
Newborn falls or drops are receiving increasing attention as a patient safety issue. This article discusses a quality improvement initiative launched at one hospital aimed to decrease newborn falls through new parent education materials, a nursing risk assessment tool, and standardized reporting system. Three years after implementation, the hospital achieved one year without any newborn falls and there were no fall-related injuries over the three-year period.
Quesenberry M. Patient Safety. 2022;4:6-9.
Medical devices intended to improve patient safety can unintentionally lead to patient harm. This patient safety alert draws attention to the risk of injury when hospital wheelchairs are used by staff, patients, or visitors who may not have training in safe use. Understanding the proper use of the wheelchair, particularly folding wheelchairs, is crucial to ensuring safety.
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.

Soto C, Dixon-Woods M, Tarrant C. Arch Dis Child. 2022;107:1038-1042.
Children with complex medical needs are vulnerable to patient safety threats. This qualitative study explored the perspectives of parents with children living at home with a central venous access device (CVAD). Parents highlight the persistent fear of central line-associated blood stream infections as well as the importance of maintaining a sense of normalcy for their children.
Wallace W, Chan C, Chidambaram S, et al. NPJ Digit Med. 2022;5.
Patient use of digital and online symptom checkers is increasing, but formal validation of these tools is lacking. This systematic review identified ten studies assessing symptom checkers evaluating a variety of conditions, including infectious diseases and ophthalmic conditions. The authors concluded that the diagnostic and triage accuracy of symptom checkers varies and has low accuracy.

Raffel K, Ranji S. UpToDate. July 25, 2022.

Diagnostic mistakes are common contributors to preventable patient harm. This review highlights primary areas of diagnostic error concerns (vascular events, infections, and cancers) and summarizes evidence related to their measurement and error reduction.
Olans RD, Olans RN, Marfatia R, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2022;48:552-558.
Inadequate or incorrect documentation of patient allergies can lead to patient harm. This commentary discusses factors contributing to penicillin allergy documentation errors within electronic heath record systems (EHRs) and how EHR alerts can be used to improve safety around penicillin allergies.
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.