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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 127 Results
Ivanovic V, Broadhead K, Beck R, et al. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2023;221:355-362.
Like many clinical areas, a variety of system factors can influence diagnostic error rates in neuroradiology. This study included 564 neuroradiologic examinations with diagnostic error and 1,019 without error. Diagnostic errors were associated with longer interpretation times, higher shift volume, and weekend interpretation.
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.
Patient Safety Innovation July 31, 2023

Concern over patient safety issues associated with inadequate tracking of test results has grown over the last decade, as it can lead to delays in the recognition of abnormal test results and the absence of a tracking system to ensure short-term patient follow-up.1,2 Missed abnormal tests and the lack of necessary clinical follow-up can lead to a late diagnosis.

Hovda T, Larsen M, Romundstad L, et al. Eur J Radiol. 2023;165:110913.
Timely cancer diagnosis remains an important area for improvement. Using a national breast cancer registry, researchers reread negative screening mammograms of women diagnosed with breast cancer in the two years following the screening. Screening mammograms were then rated as true negative (i.e., no cancer could be detected) or missed (i.e., signs of cancer were visible but missed). Among women with screen-detected or interval cancer, most initial screening mammograms did not show visible signs of cancer.
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.
Staal J, Zegers R, Caljouw-Vos J, et al. Diagnosis (Berl). 2022;10:121-129.
Checklists are increasingly used to support clinical and diagnostic reasoning processes. This study examined the impact of a checklist on electrocardiogram interpretation in 42 first-year general practice residents. Findings indicate that the checklist reduced the time to diagnosis but did not affect accuracy or confidence.
Gefter WB, Hatabu H. Chest. 2023;163:634-649.
Cognitive bias, fatigue, and shift work can increase diagnostic errors in radiology. This commentary recommends strategies to reduce these errors in diagnostic chest radiography, including checklists and improved technology (e.g., software, artificial intelligence). In addition, the authors offer practical step-by-step recommendations and a sample checklist to assist radiologists in avoiding diagnostic errors.
Curated Libraries
January 19, 2023
The Primary-Care Research in Diagnosis Errors (PRIDE) Learning Network was a Boston-based national effort to improve diagnostic safety. Hosted by the State of Massachusetts’ Betsy Lehman Center, it was led by the Harvard Brigham and Women’s Center for Patient Safety Research and Practice with funding from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. ...
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.
Harsini S, Tofighi S, Eibschutz L, et al. Diagnostics (Basel). 2022;12:1761.
Incomplete or delayed communication of imaging results can result in harm to the patient and have legal ramifications for the providers involved. This commentary presents a closed-loop communication model for the ordering clinician and radiologist. The model suggests the ordering clinician categorize the radiology report as “concordant” or “discordant”, and if discordant, provide an explanation.
Li W, Stimec J, Camp M, et al. J Emerg Med. 2022;62:524-533.
While pediatric musculoskeletal radiograph misinterpretations are rare, it is important to know what features of the image area are associated with false-positive or false-negative diagnoses. In this study, pediatric emergency medicine physicians were asked to interpret radiographs with and without known fractures. False-positive diagnosis (i.e., a fracture was identified when there was none) were reviewed by an expert panel to identify the location and anatomy most prone to misdiagnosis.
Alexander R, Waite S, Bruno MA, et al. Radiology. 2022:212631.
To reduce medical errors caused by fatigue, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) adopted duty hour restrictions for ACGME-accredited residency programs; however, other healthcare fields have not yet done so. This review presents the limited existing evidence for regulating duty hours for radiologists and proposes that additional research needs to be completed before implementing restrictions.
Branch F, Santana I, Hegdé J. Diagnostics (Basel). 2022;12:105.
Anchoring bias is relying on initial diagnostic impression despite subsequent information to the contrary. In this study, radiologists were asked to read a mammogram and were told a random number which researchers claimed was the probability the mammogram was positive for breast cancer. Radiologists' estimation of breast cancer reflected the random number they were given prior to viewing the image; however, when they were not given a prior estimation, radiologists were highly accurate in diagnosing breast cancer.
Rosenkrantz AB, Siegal D, Skillings JA, et al. J Am Coll Radiol. 2021;18:1310-1316.
Prior research found that cancer, infections, and vascular events (the “big three”) account for nearly half of all serious misdiagnosis-related harm identified in malpractice claims. This retrospective analysis of malpractice claims data from 2008 to 2017 found that oncology-related errors represented the largest source of radiology malpractice cases with diagnostic allegations. Imaging misinterpretation was the primary contributing factor.
Kim S, Goelz L, Münn F, et al. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2021;22:589.
Late diagnosis of upper extremity fractures can lead to delays in treatment. When two radiologists reviewed whole-body CT scans, each missed known fractures and identified previously unknown fractures. Slice thickness was not significantly associated with missed fractures; however, missed and late diagnosis occurred more often between the hours of 5pm and 1am.
WebM&M Case August 25, 2021

A 31-year-old woman presented to the ED with worsening shortness of breath and was unexpectedly found to have a moderate-sized left pneumothorax, which was treated via a thoracostomy tube. After additional work-up and computed tomography (CT) imaging, she was told that she had some blebs and mild emphysema, but was discharged without any specific follow-up instructions except to see her primary care physician.

Miller-Kleinhenz JM, Collin LJ, Seidel R, et al. J Am Coll Radiol. 2021;18:1384-1393.
Delayed diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer can lead to poor outcomes. Based on multi-year data from one health system, the authors of this cohort study found that black women with screen-detected breast cancers were more likely than white women to experience diagnostic delays, including delays in diagnostic evaluation and biopsy. The delay in diagnosis was also associated with an increase in breast cancer mortality.
Bulliard J‐L, Beau A‐B, Njor S, et al. Int J Cancer. 2021;149:846-853.
Overdiagnosis of breast cancer and the resulting overtreatment can cause physical, emotional, and financial harm to patients. Analysis of observational data and modelling indicates overdiagnosis accounts for less than 10% of invasive breast cancer in patients aged 50-69. Understanding rates of overdiagnosis can assist in ascertaining the net benefit of breast cancer screening.
Alexander RG, Yazdanie F, Waite S, et al. Front Neurosci. 2021;15:629469.
Incorrect interpretation of radiologic images can result in delayed diagnosis or unneeded additional tests and treatment. This commentary describes the visual illusions radiologists use in detecting and categorizing abnormalities, and recommends further research into the ways visual illusions are used in order to improve diagnostic safety.