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.
Härkänen M, Haatainen K, Vehviläinen-Julkunen K, et al. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021;18:9206.
Building on previous research on the use of text mining related to medication administration error incidents, researchers in this study found that artificial intelligence can be used to accurately classify the free text of medication incident reports causing serious or moderate harm, to identify target risk management areas.
Townsend T, Cerdá M, Bohnert AS, et al. Health Aff (Millwood). 2021;40:1766-1775.
Misuse of prescription opioids represents a serious patient safety issue. Using commercial claims from 2014 - 2018, researchers examined the association between the 2016 CDC guidelines to reduce unsafe opioid prescribing and opioid dispensing for patients with four common chronic pain diagnoses. Findings indicate that the release of the 2016 guidelines was associated with reductions in the percentage of patients receiving opioids, average dose prescribed, percentage receiving high-dose prescriptions, number of days supplied, and the percentage of patients receiving concurrent opioid/benzodiazepine prescriptions. The authors observe that questions remain about how clinicians are tailoring opioid reductions using a patient-centered approach.
Orenstein EW, Kandaswamy S, Muthu N, et al. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2021;28:2654-2660.
Alert fatigue is a known contributor to medical error. In this cross-sectional study, researchers found that custom alerts were responsible for the majority of alert burden at six pediatric health systems. This study also compared the use of different alert burden metrics to benchmark burden across and within institutions.
Sauro KM, Machan M, Whalen-Browne L, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;17:e1285-e1295.
Hospital adverse events are common and can contribute to serious patient harm. This systematic review included 94 studies (representing 590 million admissions from 25 countries) examining trends in hospital adverse events from 1961 to 2014. Findings indicate that hospital adverse events have increased over time and that over half are considered preventable.
Sood N, Lee RE, To JK, et al. Birth. 2022;49:141-146.
Cesarean delivery can contribute to increased maternal morbidity. This retrospective study found that the introduction of a hospital-wide perioperative bundle significantly reduced surgical site infection rates. The perioperative bundle consisted of five elements (1) an antibiotic protocol, (2) preoperative warming and intraoperative maintenance of normal temperature, (3) standardized surgical preparation for each patient, (4) use of standardized fascial closure trays, and (5) standardized intraoperative application of wound dressing.
Warm EJ, Ahmad Y, Kinnear B, et al. Acad Med. 2021;96:1268-1275.
Technical and procedural skills are an important emphasis of medical training. This article briefly summarizes the “as low as reasonably achievable” (ALARA) approach, which was developed for the nuclear industry and has been used in radiology. The authors outline how ALARA risk standards can be adapted by training program directors to measure procedural competency and assess and reduce bedside procedural risks.
Ensuring maternal safety is a patient safety priority. This library reflects a curated selection of PSNet content focused on improving maternal safety. Included resources explore strategies with the potential to improve maternal care delivery and outcomes, such as high reliability, care standardization,teamwork, unit-based safety initiatives, and...
Quach ED, Kazis LE, Zhao S, et al. BMC Health Serv Res. 2021;21:842.
The safety climate in nursing homes influences patient safety. This study of frontline staff and managers from 56 US Veterans Health Administration community living centers found that organizational readiness to change predicted safety climate. The authors suggest that nursing home leadership explore readiness for change in order to help nursing homes improve their safety climate.
Agnoli A, Xing G, Tancredi DJ, et al. JAMA. 2021;326:411-419.
Sudden discontinuation of opioids has been linked to increased patient harm. This observational study evaluated the link between tapering and overdose, and mental health crisis among patients who were receiving long-term opioid therapy. Patients who underwent dose tapering had an increased risk of overdose and mental health crisis compared to those who did not undergo dose tapering.
Paradissis C, Cottrell N, Coombes ID, et al. Ther Adv Drug Saf. 2021;12:204209862110274.
Adverse drug events are a common source of harm in both inpatient and ambulatory patients. This narrative review of 75 studies concluded that cardiovascular medications are a leading cause of medication harm across different clinical settings, and that older adults are at increased risk. Medications to treat high blood pressure and arrhythmias were the most common cause of medication harm.
Hernández-Prats C, López-Pintor E, Lumbreras B. Res Social Adm Pharm. 2022;18:2748-2756.
Clinical pharmacists play an important role in ensuring patient safety, particularly in interventions aimed at reducing polypharmacy. This review focused on interventions involving pharmacists to reduce polypharmacy and inappropriate medications for patients with heart failure. Findings indicate interventions are most successful when specific guidelines or recommendations to assess appropriate prescribing of heart failure medications are followed.
Barbara L, Roberta DB, Vanda R, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18(2):e480-e488.
Patient safety indicators can help hospitals identify and prevent potential adverse events. Researchers in this study developed a conceptual framework for monitoring patient safety and a set of fifteen actionable patient safety indicators.
Chang T-P, Bery AK, Wang Z, et al. Diagnosis (Berl). 2022;9:96-106.
A missed or delayed diagnosis of stroke increases the risk of permanent disability or death. This retrospective study compared rates of misdiagnosed stroke in patients presenting to general care or specialty care who were initially diagnosed with “benign dizziness”. Patients with dizziness who presented to general care were more likely to be misdiagnosed than those presenting to specialty care. Interventions to improve stroke diagnosis in emergency departments may also be successful in general care clinics.
Mackenhauer J, Winsløv J-H, Holmskov J, et al. Crisis. 2021;43:307-314.
Prior research has found that patients who die by suicide often had recent contact with the healthcare setting. Based on a multi-year chart review at one institution, the authors concluded that suicide risk assessment and documentation in the heath record to be insufficient. The authors outline quality improvement recommendations focused on improving documentation, suicide assessment and intervention training, and improving communications with families, caregivers, and other health care providers.
Khan NF, Booth HP, Myles P, et al. BMC Health Serv Res. 2021;21.
This study assessed how and when quality improvement (QI) feedback reports on prescribing safety are used in one general practice in the UK. Four themes were identified: receiving the report, facilitators and barriers to acting upon the report, acting upon the report, and how the report contributes to a quality culture. Facilitators included effective dissemination of reports while barriers included lack of time to act upon the reports. As most practitioners indicated the QI reports were useful, efforts should be made to address barriers to acting upon the reports.
Worsham CM, Woo J, Jena AB, et al. Health Aff (Millwood). 2021;40:970-978.
Adolescent patients transitioning from pediatric to adult medicine may experience patient safety risks. Using a large commercial insurance claims database, the authors compared opioid prescribing patterns and risk for opioid-related adverse events (overdose, opioid use disorder, or long-term use) among adolescents transitioning from “child” to “adult” at 18 years of age. The authors estimate a 14% increased risk for an opioid-related adverse outcome within one year when “adults” just over age 18 years were prescribed opioids that would not have been prescribed if they were under 18 years and considered “children.” The authors discuss how systematic differences in how pediatric and adult patients may be treated can lead to differences in opioid prescribing.
Aldila F, Walpola RL. Res Social Adm Pharm. 2021;17:1877-1886.
Older adults are at increased risk of medicine self-administration errors (MSEs) due to polypharmacy, cognitive decline, and decline in physical abilities. In this review, incorrect dosing was the most common MSE; the most common factor influencing the errors is complex medication regimens due to the need for multiple medications. Additional research is needed into how community pharmacists can assist older adults at risk of MSE.
The purpose of this retrospective cohort study of older adults with polypharmacy and multimorbidity was to identify patient characteristics associated with new prescriptions for potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs). Patients who are male, 85 years and older, diagnosed with heart disease, and have an increased number of ambulatory visits were most at risk for being newly prescribed PIMs. The authors recommend these characteristics be considered when developing interventions to reduce PIMs in the geriatric population.
Brown NJ, Wilson B, Szabadi S, et al. Patient Saf Surg. 2021;15:19.
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many elective surgical procedures were canceled or postponed due to limited resources (e.g., personal protective equipment, diagnostic tests, redeployment of healthcare personnel). This commentary discusses the implications of rationed non-urgent surgical care within the context of medical ethics: beneficence, non-maleficence, justice, and autonomy. The authors developed an algorithm to guide surgical teams through the decision-making process of delaying non-urgent surgical procedures, if necessary, in the future.
Ipsaro AJ, Patel SJ, Warner DC, et al. Hosp Pediatr. 2021;11:334-341.
Understanding physician communication regarding diagnostic uncertainty is an important component of reducing diagnostic error. This article outlines a process for identifying pediatric inpatients with uncertain diagnoses and improving shared recognition among interdisciplinary health care teams.
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