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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 356 Results
Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality.
The comprehensive unit-based safety program (CUSP) approach emphasizes improving safety culture through a continuous process of reporting and learning from errors, improving teamwork, and engaging staff at all levels in safety efforts. Available on demand and live, this session covers how to utilize CUSP, including understanding and addressing challenges to implementation. The next virtual session will be held April 18-19, 2023.
Cresham Fox S, Taylor N, Marufu TC, et al. Intensive Crit Care Nurs. 2022;Epub Dec 3.
While many hospitals have rapid response teams (RRT) which can be activated by clinicians, only a few hospitals have also implemented programs which allow patients and families to activate RRT. This review identified 6 articles (5 interventions) with family-activated RRT in pediatric hospitals. The authors of the review conclude that family-activated RRT is a key component to family engagement and enhancing patient safety. Only one intervention was also available in a non-English language, which should be considered in future interventions.
Balshi AN, Al-Odat MA, Alharthy AM, et al. PLoS ONE. 2022;17:e0277992.
Many hospitals have implemented rapid response teams (RRT) that are activated when a patient starts exhibiting prespecified criteria to prevent adverse outcomes. This before and after study compared nurse-activated RRT and automated activation. Non-invasive bedside sensors monitored patients’ vital signs and automatically sent alerts to the RRT based on prespecified clinical signs. Compared to the before period, there were lower rates of CPR, higher rates of successful CPR, shorter lengths of stay, and lower hospital mortality.
Girotra S, Jones PG, Peberdy MA, et al. Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes. 2022;15:e008901.
Rapid response teams (RRTs) have been implemented at hospitals worldwide, despite mixed results in their effectiveness. The aim of this study was to compare expected mortality rates with mortality rates following RRT implementation, adjusted for hospital case mix. Of 56 hospitals that participated in this project and had complete data, only four showed lower-than-expected mortality rates and two showed higher-than-expected mortality, suggesting RRT may not reduce mortality rates as much as earlier studies have reported.
Liu SI, Shikar M, Gante E, et al. Crit Care Nurse. 2022;42:33-43.
Lack of communication between providers can contribute to failure to rescue. Following a series of deaths due in part to not identifying clinical deterioration in a timely manner and/or not escalating care, this surgical intensive care unit (SICU) implemented an interdisciplinary quality improvement intervention. The intervention consisted of educating nurses on conditions necessitating escalation, multidisciplinary rounds with night staff, and an escalation document in the electronic health record (EHR).
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.
Shiell A, Fry M, Elliott D, et al. Intensive Crit Care Nurs. 2022;73:103294.
Rapid response team (RRT) activations bring together a team of providers to immediately assess and treat a patient who is rapidly deteriorating. This mixed-methods study examined the characteristics of a collaborative RRT model in one Australian tertiary care hospital. The majority of activations occurred in general medicine units and some patients (approximately 5%) had more than five activations. Qualitative interviews with nurses and physicians highlighted how the collaborative RRT model improves patient safety and optimized early detection and management of patient deterioration.
Factora F, Maheshwari K, Khanna S, et al. Anesth Analg. 2022;135:595-604.
Rapid response teams (RRT) are designed to intervene at the earliest signs of clinical deterioration to prevent intensive care unit transfer, cardiac arrest, or death. This study presents the changes of in-hospital mortality rates following implementation of RRT, introduction of anesthesiologist-led RRT, and other policy changes. Results indicate a gradual decline of in-hospital mortality in the nine-year period following RRT introduction.
Thiele L, Flabouris A, Thompson C. PLoS ONE. 2022;17:e0269921.
Patient and family engagement is essential for safe healthcare. This single-site study found that while most clinicians perceived that patients and families are able to recognize clinical deterioration, clinicians expressed less favorable perceptions towards escalation processes when patients or families have concerns about clinical deterioration.
Stevens JP. UpToDate. August 15, 2022.
Although rapid response programs have been advocated as promising patient safety strategies, the evidence regarding their benefits is mixed. This review provides an overview of rapid response systems, including key components and goals of the intervention. Further research is needed to provide justification on their use for adult patients.
McDade JE, Olszewski AE, Qu P, et al. Front Pediatr. 2022;10:872060.
Language barriers can place patients at increased risk for adverse events and near misses. This retrospective cohort study found that rapid response team events for non-English speaking pediatric patients are more likely to result in transfer to the intensive care unit compared to English-speaking patients. However, researchers also found that increased use of interpreters can contribute to improved outcomes.  
Levkovich BJ, Orosz J, Bingham G, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2022;Epub Jul 5.
Rapid response teams, also known as medical emergency teams (MET), are activated when a patient demonstrates signs of clinical deterioration to prevent transfer to intensive care, cardiac arrest, and death. MET activations were prospectively reviewed at two Australian hospitals to determine the proportion of activations due to medication-related harms and assess the preventability of the activation. 23% of MET activations were medication-related, and 63% of those were considered preventable. Most preventable activations were patients with hypertension, and prevention strategies should focus on these patients.
WebM&M Case July 8, 2022

A 58-year-old man with a past medical history of seizures presented to the emergency department (ED) with acute onset of left gaze deviation, expressive aphasia, and right-sided hemiparesis. The patient was evaluated by the general neurology team in the ED, who suspected an acute ischemic stroke and requested an evaluation by the stroke neurology team but did not activate a stroke alert. The stroke team concluded that the patient had suffered a focal seizure prior to arrival and had postictal deficits.

Sosa T, Galligan MM, Brady PW. J Hosp Med. 2022;17:199-202.
Situation awareness supports effective teamwork and safe care delivery. This commentary highlights the role of situation awareness in watching the condition of pediatric inpatients to reduce instances of unrecognized clinical deterioration. It features rapid response models enhanced by event review, psychological safety, and patient and family partnering as mechanisms improved through situation awareness.
Acorda DE, Bracken J, Abela K, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2022;48:196-204.
Rapid response (RR) systems are used to improve clinical outcomes and prevent transfer to ICU of patients demonstrating signs of rapid deterioration. To evaluate its RR system, one hospital’s pediatric department reviewed all REACT (Rapid Escalation After Critical Transfer) events (i.e., cardiopulmonary arrest and/or ventilation and/or hemodynamic support) which occurred within 24 hours of the RR. These reviews identified opportunities for systemwide improvements. 

Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; April 2022.

Healthcare-associated infections can result in significant morbidity and mortality. Developed by AHRQ, this customizable, educational toolkit uses the Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program (CUSP) and other evidence-based practices to provide clinical and cultural guidance to support practice changes to prevent and reduce central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) and catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) rates in intensive care units (ICUs). Sections of the kit include items such an action plan template, implementation playbook, and team interaction aids.
Olsen SL, Søreide E, Hansen BS. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:717-721.
Rapid response systems (RRS) are widely used to identify signs of rapid deterioration among hospitalized patients.  Using in situ simulation, researchers identified obstacles to effective RRS execution, including inconsistent education and documentation, lack of interpersonal trust, and low psychological safety.
Howlett O, Gleeson R, Jackson L, et al. JBI Evid Synth. 2022;20:2001-2024.
Rapid response teams are designed to provide emergency medical support to deteriorating hospitalized patients. This review examines the role of a family support person (FSP) as part of the rapid response team. The FSP supported the family during the resuscitation in numerous ways, such as explaining jargon and medical procedures and attending to the practical needs of the family.