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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 162 Results
Wells JM, Walker VP. Health Promot Pract. 2023:152483992211451.
Addressing racism in healthcare is a patient safety priority. This article discusses how an active presence by hospital threat management systems (e.g., hospital-employed security, local law enforcement personnel) in pediatric emergency departments (EDs) can help ensure patient safety but also contributes to unsafe care due to racial stereotypes and threat perception among minority patients and caregivers. The authors outline patient-centered strategies at the individual-, intra-organizational-, and extra-organizational levels for responding to disruptive and violent events.

Abelson R. New York Times. December 15, 2022.

Emergency department safety is challenged by factors such as production pressure, burnout, and overcrowding. This news article provides context for the 2022 AHRQ report Diagnostic Errors in the Emergency Department: A Systematic Review from the Johns Hopkins Medicine Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC) which synthesized the number of patients harmed while seeking emergency care.

Newman-Toker DE, Peterson SM, Badihian S, et al. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; December 2022. AHRQ Publication No. 22(23)-EHC043.

Although diagnostic accuracy in the emergency department (ED) is high, diagnostic errors still occur. This evidence review estimated that 1 in 18 ED patients receive an incorrect diagnosis, which translates to 7.4 million patients misdiagnosed every year (or 5.7% of all ED visits annually). Five conditions were found to be most vulnerable to misdiagnosis: stroke, heart attack, aortic aneurysm/ dissection, spinal cord injury and blood clots. The evidence review identified variation in diagnostic error rates across demographic groups; female sex and non-White race were often associated with increased risk for diagnostic errors. Serious misdiagnosis-related harms were often associated with clinician bedside judgement and other cognitive failures. 
Kam AJ, Gonsalves CL, Nordlund SV, et al. BMC Emerg Med. 2022;22:152.
Debriefing after significant clinical events facilitates team-based communication, learning, and support. This study compared two post-resuscitation debriefing tools (Debriefing In Situ Conversation after Emergent Resuscitation Now [DISCERN] and Post-Code Pause [PCP]) following any intubation, resuscitation, or serious/unanticipated patient outcome in a children’s hospital. PCP was found to provide more emotional support and clinical learning, but there were no differences in the remaining categories.
Michelson KA, McGarghan FLE, Patterson EE, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2022;Epub Sep 30.
Adverse events in pediatric emergency departments (ED) are rare, but largely preventable. This study examined characteristics and risk factors of patients with delayed diagnosis (i.e., presented to the ED within one week of a previous visit) and patients without delayed diagnosis of one of 7 serious medical conditions. Patients who were Hispanic or non-Hispanic Black, had public or other insurance, or non-English speaking were associated with delayed diagnosis.
Paydar-Darian N, Stack AM, Volpe D, et al. Pediatrics. 2022;150:e2021054307.
Errors during the discharge process can lead to return visits and adverse health outcomes. This article describes the implementation of a new standardized discharge process (including a new checklist, provider huddle, and scripted caregiver education) at one children’s hospital. Over a 19-month period, implementation of the revised discharge process led to the elimination of preventable, discharge-related serious safety events and did not result in increased length-of-stay or return visits.
Joseph MM, Mahajan P, Snow SK, et al. Pediatrics. 2022;150:e2022059673.
Children with emergent care needs are often cared for in complex situations that can diminish safety. This joint policy statement updates preceding recommendations to enhance the safety of care to children presenting at the emergency department. It expands on the application of topics within a high-reliability framework focusing on leadership, managerial factors, and organizational factors that support safety culture and workforce empowerment to support safe emergency care for children.
Koch A, Kozhumam A. Health Promot Pract. 2022;23:555-559.
Racial biases have been uncovered in pediatric emergency care; for example, Black children are less likely to receive pain medication for appendicitis. This article describes the use of the Racism as Root Cause (RRC) framework to identify and reduce adultification (when children are perceived or treated as being older than they are) of Black children in emergency departments. RRC calls for systemic, rather than individual, efforts.
WebM&M Case August 31, 2022

A 2-year-old girl presented to her pediatrician with a cough, runny nose, low grade fever and fatigue; a nasal swab for SARS-CoV-2 and influenza was negative and lung sounds were clear. The patient developed a fever and labored breathing and was taken to the Emergency Department (ED) before being admitted to the hospital. She developed respiratory distress and clinically worsened over time until she developed respiratory failure requiring air transportation to the pediatric intensive care unit at a children’s hospital.

WebM&M Case August 31, 2022

A 71-year-old man presented to a hospital-based orthopedic surgery clinic for a follow-up evaluation of his knee and complaints of pain and swelling in his right shoulder. His shoulder joint was found to be acutely inflamed and purulent fluid was aspirated from his shoulder. The patient was sent to the Emergency Department (ED) for suspected septic arthritis.

Griffey RT, Schneider RM, Todorov AA. Ann Emerg Med. 2022;80:528-538.
Trigger tools are a novel method of detecting adverse events. This article describes the location, severity, omission/commission, and type of adverse events retrospectively detected using the computerized Emergency Department Trigger Tool (EDTT). Understanding the characteristics of prior adverse events can guide future quality and safety improvement efforts.
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.
Plint AC, Newton AS, Stang A, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2022;31:806-817.
While adverse events (AE) in pediatric emergency departments are rare, the majority are considered preventable. This study reports on the proportion of pediatric patients experiencing an AE within 21 days of an emergency department visit, whether the AE may have been preventable, and the type of AE (e.g., management, diagnostic). Results show 3% of children experienced at least one AE, most of which were preventable.
Graham JMK, Ambroggio L, Leonard JE, et al. Diagnosis (Berl). 2022;9:216-224.
Timely and effective feedback regarding diagnostic errors can reduce future misdiagnosis and prevent overtreatment. Pediatric emergency clinicians were asked about their attitudes towards, and effectiveness of, three diagnostic feedback modalities. Case-based feedback from peers was rated as most likely to improve future practice and none of the modalities was rated as providing emotional support.
Devarajan V, Nadeau NL, Creedon JK, et al. Pediatrics. 2022;149:e2020014696.
Several factors contribute to the increased risk of prescribing errors for children, including weight-based dosing and drug formulation. This quality improvement project in one pediatric emergency department identified four key drivers and implemented four interventions to reduce errors. Prescribing errors were reduced across three plan-do-study-act cycles, and improvements were maintained six months after the final cycle.
Paterson EP, Manning KB, Schmidt MD, et al. J Emerg Nurs. 2022;48:319-327.
Automated dispensing cabinets (ADCs) can reduce medication dispensing errors by requiring pharmacist verification. This study found that medication overrides (i.e., bypassing pharmacist review before administration) in one pediatric emergency department were frequently not due to an emergent situation requiring immediate medication administration and could have been avoided.
Patel SJ, Ipsaro A, Brady PW. Hosp Pediatr. 2022;Epub Feb 28.
Diagnostic uncertainty can arise in complex clinical scenarios. This qualitative study explored how physicians in pediatric emergency and inpatient settings mitigate diagnostic uncertainty. Participants discussed common mitigation strategies, such as employing a “diagnostic pause.” The authors also noted outstanding gaps regarding communicating diagnostic uncertainty to families.
Staal J, Speelman M, Brand R, et al. BMC Med Educ. 2022;22:256.
Diagnostic safety is an essential component of medical training. In this study, medical interns reviewed six clinical cases in which the referral letters from the general practitioner suggested a correct diagnosis, an incorrect diagnosis, or lacked a diagnostic suggestion. Researchers found that diagnostic suggestions in the referral letter did not influence subsequent diagnostic accuracy but did reduce the number of diagnoses considered.  
Lam D, Dominguez F, Leonard J, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2022;31:735-743.
Trigger tools and incident reporting systems are two commonly used methods for detecting adverse events.  This retrospective study compared the performance of an electronic trigger tool plus manual screening versus existing incident reporting systems for identifying probable diagnostic errors among children with unplanned admissions following a prior emergency department (ED) visit. Of the diagnostic errors identified by the trigger tool and substantiated by manual review, less than 10% were identified through existing incident reporting systems.