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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 42 Results
Brody JE. New York Times. 2020.
Inappropriate care activities can cascade to significantly impact patient safety. This article shares how medication side effects can be misdiagnosed to perpetuate harm in older patients rather than getting to the root of the care concerns. 
Frakt A. New York Times. August 26, 2019.
The slow adoption of improvement innovations is a persistent challenge to high-quality and safe patient care. This newspaper article raises concerns about how common treatments are recommended despite insufficient evidence regarding their effectiveness and provides examples of how this problem can result in harm, such as the previous physician belief that opioids were not addictive. Reassessment of science can improve safety and reduce the unintended consequences of ineffective treatments.
Whitaker P. New Statesman. August 2, 2019;148:38-43.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced computing technologies can enhance clinical decision-making. Exploring the strengths and weaknesses of artificial intelligence, this news article cautions against the wide deployment of AI until robust evaluation and implementation strategies are in place to enhance system reliability. A recent PSNet perspective discussed emerging safety issues in the use of artificial intelligence.
Schulte F; Fry E.
Despite years of investment and government support, electronic health records (EHR) continue to face challenges as a patient safety strategy. This news article outlines the unintended consequences of EHR implementation, including patient harm linked to software glitches and user errors, fraudulent behavior (upcoding), interoperability problems, clinician burnout due to poorly designed digital health records, and lack of industry transparency.
Mohr H, Weiss M. Associated Press. November 27, 2018.
Usability issues, poor design, and lack of effective instruction hinder safe use of medical equipment. This news article reports on problems associated with ambulatory use of insulin pumps submitted to a Food and Drug Administration database.
DeMarco P. Globe Magazine. November 3, 2018.
This magazine article reports on the preventable death of a patient during an acute asthma attack. Written by the patient's husband, the article outlines the failures that led to her death despite the fact that she was at the door of a hospital emergency department and on the phone with an emergency dispatcher. Factors discussed include overreliance on poorly functioning technology, communication failures, and lack of fail-safes.
Gawande A. New Yorker. November 12, 2018.
In this magazine article, Atul Gawande describes a range of frustrations physicians experience as digitization becomes more widespread in health care. He elaborates upon several elements of electronic health record use that can degrade care processes and create conditions for errors, such as burnout, lack of patient-centeredness, and alert fatigue.

Landro L. Wall Street Journal. August. 8, 2016.

First-year residents may be reluctant to ask for assistance due to factors such as peer pressure to demonstrate competency. This newspaper article reports on one hospital's strategy to enhance communication among residents and attendings, which encourages residents to ask questions of senior clinicians who are coached to welcome learning conversations.
Simons SR, Stark RB, DeMarco RF. Research in nursing & health. 2011;34:132-40.
Disruptive behaviors are receiving increased attention as a cultural factor that contributes to medical error. Although much of the focus has been on physicians, the presence of bullying among nurses is also a concern. This magazine article explores nurse behaviors such as withholding information, intimidation, and name calling that negatively affect patient safety and nurse retention.
Rice S. Modern healthcare. 2014;44:16-8, 20.
Language barriers can lead to misunderstandings that increase risks of error. This magazine article highlights the frequent reliance on families, friends, and other nonprofessionals as translators in medical settings and discusses how lack of standards and insufficient reporting of errors related to interpreters, along with challenges to implementing programs, hinder progress in improving communication with non-English speaking patients.

Kimmelman M. New York Times. August 21, 2014.

This newspaper article reports on how design solutions for hospitals, such as rooms modeled for single patients with sinks placed in plain sight, handrails linking the bedside to the bathroom, and large windows with natural light and an outdoor view, can augment patient satisfaction and safety.
Angus S, Vu R, Halvorsen AJ, et al. Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges. 2014;89:432-5.
Examining whether medical school graduates are equipped to provide direct patient care in the beginning of their internships, this newspaper article reports how educators have collaborated to identify and integrate competencies, such as assertiveness and time management, to augment the safety of this transition.
Duffy J, Harris J, Gade L, et al. The Pediatric infectious disease journal. 2014;33:472-6.
Reporting on the investigation into an incident where five pediatric patients died after acquiring a health care–associated infection, this newspaper article describes how delays in diagnosis and treatment along with inadequate communication contributed to patient harm.
This newspaper article reports on factors contributing to physician burnout and describes obstacles to resolving it. Burnout in the primary care setting was often related to business aspects such as insurance payments, managing staff, and increased oversight. Physician happiness was found to be tied to patient satisfaction, and electronic medical record use was perceived to impede meaningful interaction.
Yurkiewicz I. Aeon Magazine. January 29, 2014.
Disruptive behavior is a well-known and pervasive issue in health care. Describing disrespectful behaviors that clinicians face, such as sarcasm and intimidation, this magazine article emphasizes how they can hinder effective interactions and communication to reduce patient safety.
Gunderman R; Lynch J; Harrell H.
This magazine article reports on the unique tension between efficiency mandates and patient-centered care through the example of a cancer patient whose suicidal thoughts might have been missed if not for a curious medical student delving further into the patient's medication concerns during a routine follow-up appointment.