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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 155 Results
WebM&M Case October 27, 2021

A 78-year-old woman with macular degeneration presented for a pars plana vitrectomy (PPV) under monitored anesthesia care (MAC) with an eye block. At this particular hospital, eye cases under MAC are typically performed with an eye block by the surgeon after the anesthesiologist has administered some short-acting sedation, commonly with remifentanil. On this day, there was a shortage of premixed remifentanil and the resident – who was unfamiliar with the process of drug dilution – incorrectly diluted the remifentanil solution.

WebM&M Case July 28, 2021

This commentary presents two cases highlighting common medication errors in retail pharmacy settings and discusses the importance of mandatory counseling for new medications, use of standardized error reporting processes, and the role of clinical decision support systems (CDSS) in medical decision-making and ensuring medication safety.

WebM&M Case May 26, 2021

A 4-year-old (former 33-week premature) boy with a complex medical history including gastroschisis and subsequent volvulus in infancy resulting in short bowel syndrome, central venous catheter placement, and home parenteral nutrition (PN) dependence was admitted with hyponatremia. A pharmacist from the home infusion pharmacy notified the physician that an error in home PN mixing had been identified; a new file had been created for this chronic PN patient by the home infusion pharmacy and the PN formula in this file was transcribed erroneously without sodium acetate.

WebM&M Case April 28, 2021

A 24-year-old woman with type 1 diabetes presented to the emergency department with worsening abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. Her last dose of insulin was one day prior to presentation. She stopped taking insulin because she was not tolerating any oral intake. The admitting team managed her diabetes with subcutaneous insulin but thought the patient did not meet criteria for diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), but after three inpatient days with persistent hyperglycemia, blurred vision, and altered mental status, a consulting endocrinologist diagnosed DKA.

ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute Care Edition. January 14, 2021;26(1);1-5. 
 

Learning from error rests on transparency efforts buttressed by frontline reports. This article examined reports of COVID-19 vaccine errors to highlight common risks that are likely to be present in a variety of settings and share recommendations to minimize their negative impact, including storage methods and vaccination staff education. 
WebM&M Case May 27, 2020
A patient with multiple comorbidities and chronic pain was admitted for elective spinal decompression and fusion. The patient was placed on a postoperative patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) for pain control and was later found unresponsive. The case illustrates risks associated with opioid administration through PCA, particularly among patients at high risk for postoperative opioid-induced respiratory depression.
WebM&M Case December 18, 2019
A 55-year-old man visited his oncologist for a follow-up appointment after completing chemotherapy and reported feeling well with his abdominal and bony pain well controlled with opioid therapy.  At the end of the visit, his oncologist reordered his pain medication and, due to a best practice alert, also prescribed naloxone but failed to provide any instruction on its use. Later that day, the patient took the naloxone along with his opioid pain medication and within a minute experienced severe abdominal and bony pain, requiring admission to the emergency department.
Lermontov SP, Brasil SC, de Carvalho MR. Cancer Nurs. 2019;42:365-372.
Bone marrow transplantation requires complex drug therapy management. This systematic review identified 11 studies reporting both medication prescription and administration errors, as well as issues such illegible writing, polypharmacy, absence of medication reconciliation, and lack of patient education. These errors resulted in a variety of adverse events.  The review identified several prevention measures that can be implemented at the provider-level or systems-level (e.g., computerized prescribing systems).
Parker H, Farrell O, Bethune R, et al. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2019;85:2405-2413.
Despite process changes and availability of new technologies, prescribing errors (one type of medication administration errors) remain a serious safety problem. This article describes a single-site pharmacist-led intervention that involved doctors-in-training (residents) reviewing video footage of their patient visits with a pharmacist. The feedback intervention resulted in a significant reduction in prescribing errors and was found acceptable and feasible by participants. 
Conn RL, Kearney O, Tully MP, et al. BMJ Open. 2019;9:e028680.
This scoping review identified numerous causes for prescribing errors in pediatrics, including dosing errors related to the need for weight-based calculations, communication with children, and level of clinical experience in pediatrics. The authors suggest that further research is needed to better understand how these factors are tied to prescribing mistakes.
de Araújo BC, de Melo RC, de Bortoli MC, et al. Front Pharmacol. 2019;10:439.
Prescribing errors are common and can result in patient harm. This review summarizes four key options to reduce prescribing errors: prescriber education, effective use of computerized alert systems at the clinical interface, use of tools and guidance to inform practice, and multidisciplinary teams that include pharmacists.
Hoyle JD, Ekblad G, Hover T, et al. Prehosp Emerg Care. 2020;24:204-213.
Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) often make dosing errors when administering medication to pediatric patients. This study found that in simulations, Michigan's state-wide pediatric dosing reference system reduced but did not eliminate prehospital provider medication mistakes. A PSNet perspective further explores prehospital patient safety.
WebM&M Case June 1, 2019
During surgery for a forearm fracture, a woman experienced a drop in heart rate to below 50 beats per minute. As the consultant anesthesiologist had stepped out to care for another patient, the resident asked the technician to draw up atropine for the patient. When the technician returned with an unlabeled syringe without the medication vial, the resident was reluctant to administer the medication, but did so without a double check after the technician insisted it was atropine. Over the next few minutes, the patient's blood pressure spiked to 250/135 mm Hg.
National Pharmacy Association; NPA.
This website for independent community pharmacy owners across the United Kingdom features both free and members-only guidance, reporting platforms, and document templates to support patient safety. It includes reporting tools and incident analysis reports for providers in England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Topics covered in the communications include look-alike and sound-alike drugs, patient safety audits, and safe dispensing of liquid medications.
Lyell D, Magrabi F, Coiera E. Appl Clin Inform. 2019;10:66-76.
This simulation study compared medical students' performance of electronic prescribing with and without clinical decision support. Students were less likely to access outside references to verify that medications were safe when decision support was in place, even when the decision support was incorrect. The authors conclude that electronic prescribing should be redesigned to facilitate external verification of medication safety.
Cooper JB, Bradley CL. Curr Pharm Teach Learn. 2019;11:66-75.
This report describes a clinical skills course for student pharmacists. Researchers created vignettes relating to inpatient medication dispensing and asked the students to identify errors of omission and commission. The authors conclude that this exercise accomplished the goal of fostering patient safety in pharmacy practice.
Cheong V-L, Tomlinson J, Khan S, Petty D. Prescriber. 2019;30:29-34.
Geriatric patients are particularly vulnerable to medication-related harm. This article summarizes types of incidents and contributing factors to adverse drug events in older patients after hospital discharge. The authors recommend strategies to reduce medication-related harm, including discharge communication improvements, primary care collaboration, and postdischarge patient education.
Crandell BC, Bates JS, Grgic T. J Oncol Pharm Pract. 2018;24:609-616.
Chemotherapy orders contain many steps that pose opportunities for prescribing errors. This commentary describes a six-step checklist designed to improve the reliability of the chemotherapy order review that was used by oncology pharmacists. The authors see future applications of the checklist as a cross-training and educational cognitive aid for practitioners and students.
Leonard JB, Klein-Schwartz W. Ame J Health-syst Pharm. 2019;76:264-265.
Patient and family medication administration mistakes can result in medication errors at home. This commentary describes the problem of "pill dumping," where patients combine their daily medicines into a spare vial. However, patients are at risk for mistakenly taking a vial of a single medication instead of their pill-dump vial and inadvertently overdosing. The authors suggest medication counseling and use of daily pill boxes as tactics to prevent this type of error.
Hong K, Hong YD, Cooke CE. Res Social Adm Pharm. 2019;15:823-826.
Medication errors are common in inpatient and ambulatory environments. This commentary summarizes the research exploring the current status of medication safety incident reporting and reduction efforts in community pharmacies. The authors call for community pharmacy corporations to encourage the discussion and data sharing needed to increase transparency around incidents in this care setting. A recent PSNet interview discussed challenges to safety in the retail pharmacy environment.