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.
Abbas M, Robalo Nunes T, Martischang R, et al. Antimicrob Resist Infect Control. 2021;10:7.
The large burden placed on hospitals and healthcare providers during the COVID-19 pandemic has raised concerns about nosocomial transmission of the virus. This narrative review summarizes existing reports on nosocomial outbreaks of COVID-19 and the strategies health systems have implemented to control healthcare-associated outbreaks. The authors found little evidence describing the role of healthcare workers in reducing or amplifying infection transmission in healthcare settings.
This article discusses the tension between evidence generation from observational studies and rigorous randomized controlled trials to treat COVID-19 and important safety considerations, such as use of unproven therapies.
Bender WR, Srinivas S, Coutifaris P, et al. Am J Perinatol. 2020;37:1271-1279.
This cohort explored the mental health impacts of a universal COVID-19 testing program on asymptomatic pregnant women and labor and delivery health care workers. Among multiparous women who tested negative, nearly 35% reported that COVID-19 led to additional fear or anxiety postpartum compared with previous deliveries. Labor and delivery health care workers reported that COVID-19 decreased job satisfaction and increased job-related anxiety.
Taylor M, Kepner S, Gardner LA, et al. Patient Safety. 2020;2:16-27.
To assess the impact of COVID-19 on patient harm and potential areas of improvement for healthcare facilities, the authors analyzed data reported to one state’s adverse event reporting system. The authors identified 343 adverse events between January 1 and April 15, 2020. The most common factors associated with patient safety concerns in COVID-19-related events involved laboratory testing, process/protocol (e.g., staff failed to use sign-in sheets to monitor interactions with COVID-19 positive patients), and isolation integrity.
Verbeek JH, Rajamaki B, Ijaz S, et al. Cochrane Database of Syst Rev. 2020;5:CD011621.
This Cochrane review evaluated the differential impacts of personal protective equipment (PPE) types and methods of donning/doffing on contamination and infection risk for healthcare workers. The authors included 24 studies (14 randomized controlled trials) representing over 2,200 patients. The authors found that PPE covering more body surface area may lead to better protection but at the cost of more difficult donning or doffing – for example, a powered, air-purifier respirator may protect against contamination better than a N95 mask and gown but with less compliance with donning. PPE design modifications may decrease the risk of contamination compared to standard PPE (e.g. better fit around neck, wrists and hands). Certain donning and doffing procedures, such as following CDC doffing guidance, may reduce contamination and increase compliance. The authors note that simulation studies exploring which combinations of PPE and specific donning/doffing procedures protect best against contamination are warranted.
Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; May 14, 2020.
The unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 pandemic requires unique evaluation strategies to examine system responses to the pandemic and its effects on quality and patient safety. AHRQ will award $5 million in fiscal year 2020 to support novel, high-impact studies that evaluate the responsiveness of health care delivery systems, health care professionals, and the overall U.S. health care system in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. AHRQ expects to fund critical research focused on topics such as the effects on quality, safety, and value of the health system response to COVID-19; the role of primary care practices and professionals during the COVID-19 epidemic; understanding how the response to COVID-19 affected socially vulnerable populations and people with multiple chronic conditions; and the integration of digital health in the response to COVID-19, including innovations and challenges encountered in the expansion of telehealth. The process for submitting applications is now closed.
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