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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 89 Results
Essex R, Weldon SM, Thompson T, et al. Health Serv Res. 2022;57:1218-1234.
A systematic review in early 2022 revealed healthcare worker strikes may negatively impact patient safety but also result in long-term benefits. This review by the same authors explores the impact of strikes on in-hospital and population mortality. None of the 11 studies examining in-hospital mortality reported a significant difference between mortality during the strike compared to the control period. Similarly, there was no difference in population mortality.
Rosen A, Carter D, Applebaum JR, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e1219-e1225.
The COVID-19 pandemic had wide-ranging impacts on care delivery and patient safety. This study examined the relationship between critical care clinician experiences related to patient safety during the pandemic and COVID-19 caseloads during the pandemic. Findings suggest that as COVID-19 caseloads increased, clinicians were more likely to perceive care as less safe.
Ibrahim M, Szeto WY, Gutsche J, et al. Ann Thorac Surg. 2022;114:626-635.
Reports of poor care in the media or public reporting systems can serve as an impetus to overhauling hospitals or hospital units. After several unexpected deaths and a drop in several rating systems, this cardiac surgery department launched a comprehensive quality improvement review. This paper describes the major changes made in the department, including role clarity and minimizing variation in 24/7 staffing.
Lauffenburger JC, Coll MD, Kim E, et al. Med Educ. 2022;56:1032-1041.
Medication errors can be common among medical trainees. Using semi-structured qualitative interviews, this study identified factors influencing suboptimal prescribing by medical residents during overnight coverage, including time pressures, perceived pressure and fear of judgement, clinical acuity, and communication issues between care team members.
Burns ML, Saager L, Cassidy RB, et al. JAMA Surg. 2022;157:807-815.
Anesthesiologists often must oversee multiple surgeries. This study evaluated adult patients from 23 US academic and private hospitals who underwent major surgery between 2010, and 2017, to examine anesthesiologist staffing ratios against patient morbidity and mortality. The authors categorized the staffing into four groups based on the number of operations the anesthesiologist was covering. The study found that increased anesthesiologist coverage was associated with greater risk-adjusted morbidity and mortality of surgical patients. Hospitals should consider evaluating anesthesiology staffing to determine potential increased risks.
Lou SS, Lew D, Harford DR, et al. J Gen Intern Med. 2022;37:2165-2172.
Cross-sectional research has suggested many physicians experience burnout which can negatively impact patient safety. This longitudinal study evaluated the effect of workload (collected via electronic health record audit) on burnout and medication errors (i.e., retract-and-reorder [RAR] events) of internal medicine interns. Higher levels of workload were associated with burnout; there was no statistically significant association between burnout and RAR events.
Essex R, Weldon SM. Nurs Ethics. 2022;29:1152-1173.
Appropriate staffing levels have been shown to impact patient safety and patient outcomes. This review of literature on healthcare worker strikes explores potential negative impacts, such as compromised patient safety due to decreased staffing levels, and justifications, such as long-term benefits.
Bernstein SL, Catchpole K, Kelechi TJ, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2022;48:309-318.
Maternal morbidity and mortality continues to be a significant patient safety problem. This mixed-methods study identified system-level factors affecting registered nurses during care of people in labor experiencing clinical deterioration. Task overload, missing or inadequate tools and technology, and a crowded physical environment were all identified as performance obstacles. Improving nurse workload and involving nurses in the redesign of tools and technology could provide a meaningful way to reduce maternal morbidity.
James L, Elkins-Brown N, Wilson M, et al. Int J Nurs Stud. 2021;123:104041.
Many hospitals have adopted a 12-hour work shift for nurses and some studies have shown a resulting increase in burnout and decrease in patient safety. In this study, researchers assessed simulated nursing performance, cognition, and sleepiness in day nurses and night nurses who worked three consecutive 12-hour shifts. Overall results indicated nurses on both shifts mostly maintain their abilities on the simulated nursing performance assessment despite reporting increased sleepiness and fatigue. However there was more individual variation in cognition and some domains of performance.

ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute care edition. October 7, 2021;26(20):1-4.

Production pressure and low staff coverage can result in medication mistakes in community pharmacies. This article shares  errors reported to the ISMP Vaccine Errors Reporting Program and factors contributing to mistaken administration of flu and COVID vaccines. Storage, staffing and collaboration strategies are shared to protect against vaccine mistakes.
Awan M, Zagales I, McKenney M, et al. J Surg Educ. 2021;78:e35-e46.
In 2011, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) updated the duty hour restrictions (DHR) for medical residents to increase resident well-being. This review focused on surgical patient outcomes, resident case volume, and resident quality of life following the implementation of the 2011 update. Results showed DHR did not improve patient safety or surgical resident quality of life. The authors suggest future revisions meant to improve resident well-being not focus solely on hours worked in a single shift or week.
Bae S‐H. J Clin Nurs. 2021;30:2202-2221.
The relationship between resident and physician duty hours and patient safety has been the focus of a lot of research. The relationship between nurse work schedules and patient safety is less explored. This review investigated the effect of extended or excessive nurse schedules on patient outcomes. Findings conclude that working more than 12 hours daily or more than 40 hours weekly may contribute to adverse patient outcomes. The authors recommend creating policies restricting nurse shifts to no more than 12 hours per day and 40 hours per week.
Althoff FC, Wachtendorf LJ, Rostin P, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2020;30:678-688.
Prior research suggests that patients undergoing surgery at night are at greater risk for intraoperative adverse events. This retrospective cohort study including over 350,000 adult patients undergoing non-cardiac surgery found that night surgery was associated with an increased risk of postoperative mortality and morbidity. The effect was mediated by potentially preventable factors, including higher blood transfusion rates and more frequent provider handovers.
Salvador RO, Gnanlet A, McDermott C. Personnel Rev. 2020;50:971-984.
Prior research suggests that functional flexibility has benefits in several industries but may carry patient safety risks in healthcare settings. Using data from a national nursing database, this study examined the effect of unit-level nursing functional flexibility on the incidence of hospital-acquired pressure ulcers. Results indicate that higher use of functionally flexible nurses was associated with a higher number of pressure ulcers, but this effect was moderated when coworker support within the unit was high.
Watterson TL, Look KA, Steege LM, et al. Res Social Adm Pharm. 2021;17:1282-1287.
Fatigue has been linked to safety-related outcomes among many types of healthcare providers and settings. Using exploratory factor analysis, this study found physical and mental fatigue were the primary drivers of occupational fatigue in pharmacists. To increase safety, organizational interventions should strive to prevent burnout among pharmacists.
Kolla BP, Coombes BJ, Morgenthaler TI, et al. J Gen Intern Med. 2020;36:51-54.
This observational study observed nonsignificant increases in patient safety incidents in the week following the transition into and out of daylight savings time (DST) over an eight-year period. The authors suggest policymakers and health system leadership evaluate risk mitigation strategies such as delayed shift start times during the transition to and from DST.
Patel AG, Pizzitola VJ, Johnson CD, et al. Radiology. 2020;297:374-379.
The authors analyzed CT interpretation errors committed by radiology fellows working off-hours over a four-year period and found that interpretation errors occurred more frequently at night and in the latter half of night assignments.  

Stimpfel AW, Fatehi F, Kovner C. Sleep Health. 2020;6(3):314-320.

Research provides evidence that sleep deprivation among nurses is a threat to patient safety. Using observational data, this study assessed the association between sleep duration among nurses and patient safety. On average, nurses reported less than 7 hours of sleep before a shift. Less sleep was associated with lower ratings on patient safety culture measures.
Neprash HT, Barnett ML. JAMA Netw Open. 2019;2:e1910373.
The root causes of the opioid epidemic are complex, but inappropriate prescribing of opioids (which includes both prescribing opioids in situations where they are not indicated as well as excessive prescribing for appropriate indications) is a major contributor. Prior studies of outpatient antibiotic prescribing have shown that rates of inappropriate prescribing rise toward the end of clinicians' clinic sessions. This cross-sectional study used data from 5603 primary care physicians for acute painful conditions to analyze whether a similar relationship exists for opioid prescribing. Investigators found that the likelihood of opioid prescribing rose considerably as the workday progressed; clinicians were also more likely to prescribe opioids if their appointments were running late. In contrast, prescriptions for nonopioid therapies did not change in relation to appointment time. Although the magnitude of these effects was smaller than the variation in opioid prescribing rates between physicians found in other studies, these findings confirm that production pressure and decision fatigue contribute to inappropriate prescribing and should be addressed in quality improvement efforts to reduce opioid use.