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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 694 Results
US Food and Drug Administration. October 7, 2021.
Errors of commission during complex procedures can contribute to patient harm. Drawing from an analysis of medical device reports submitted to the Food and Drug Administration, this updated announcement seeks to raise awareness of common adverse events associated with surgical staplers and implantable staples. User-related problems include opening of the staple line, misapplied staples, and staple gun difficulties. Recommendations include ensuring availability of various staple sizes and avoiding use of staples on large blood vessels.
MedWatch Safety Alert. Silver Spring, MD: US Food and Drug Administration; August 20, 2021.
This announcement seeks to raise awareness of the potential risks associated with the use of robotic-assisted surgical devices in mastectomies or cancer-related care. Recommendations for patients who may seek to have robotically assisted surgery include asking about their surgeon's experience with these procedures and discussing benefits, risks, and alternatives regarding available treatment options with their health care provider. Suggestions for health care providers include completing specialized training on procedures they perform. A WebM&M commentary described the challenges and benefits associated with robotic surgery.
Hannum SM, Abebe E, Xiao Y, et al. Appl Ergon. 2020;91:103299.
Discharge can be a vulnerable time for patients, particularly older adults taking multiple medications. Through interviews with clinicians from 10 professional roles, researchers identified three key strategies to promote safe medication management at hospital discharge: (1) streamlining medication reconciliation across care settings, (2) building patient capacity and engagement, and (3) redesigning the transitional process. Aligning clinician and patient care transition goals using these three strategies may better prepare patients to safely self-manage their medications at home.   
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) provides consumers with publicly available information on the quality of Medicare-certified hospital care through this Web site. The site includes specific information for both patients and hospitals on how to use the data to guide decision-making and improvement initiatives. Most recently, listings from the Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program (HACRP) and data on Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals were added to the reports available.

Farnborough, UK: Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch; January 2021. 

 

Never events provide organizations with motivation to analyze and learn from errors due to their catastrophic nature. This National Learning Report provides a thematic examination of never events in the National Health Service (NHS). The report found misattribution of incidents as never events in the NHS due to lack of systemic factors as contributors to those events. A revision of the NHS never events list is recommended. 

Boodman SG. Washington Post. January 23, 2021.

Misdiagnosis can endure over a long period and delay a correct course of treatment. This news feature shares an example of depression misdiagnosis that masked the true problem of a neurological tumor manifesting in what was seen and treated as a psychological condition. 

Sorry Works! 

Patients and families experiencing medical error may not always have access to the support needed to navigate the system to inform improvements and receive appropriate restitution. This hotline will provide general information to individuals that contact the organization for help when they feel an error may have occurred in their care or the care of a family member. 

Ofri D. New York Times. January 5, 2021. 

Physicians have unique perspectives when exposed to health care delivery problems as patients themselves or as caregivers. This news story shares the author’s frustrations with the system of care observed during an overnight visit at the bedside of her daughter awaiting an emergency appendectomy. Her experience underscored the value of patients and families engaging in the safety of actions clinicians take when providing care. 
Fillo KT. Bureau of Health Care Safety and Quality, Department of Public Health. Boston, MA: Commonwealth of Massachusetts; 2020.
This reoccurring report compiles patient safety data documented by Massachusetts hospitals. The 2019 numbers represent a modest increase in serious reportable events recorded in acute care hospitals, from 1066 the previous year to 1189. This presentation also includes events from ambulatory surgery centers. Older reports are also available.
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. 

Rabbitt M. Prevention Magazine. April 9, 2020.

Diagnosis in women is complicated by cultural norms, lack of research on medical conditions affecting women, and implicit bias. The article outlines conditions that are likely to be misdiagnosed in women such as heart disease and breast cancer. The author shares strategies for women to engage in the process to improve diagnostic accuracy.  

FDA alerts patients and health care professionals of EpiPen auto-injector errors related to device malfunctions and user administration. MedWatch Safety Alert. Silver Spring, MD: US Food and Drug Administration. March 24, 2020.

Device related errors reduce the safety of medications. This announcement highlights concerns associated with the use of epinephrine auto-injectors. Recommendations to address the problem include patient review of instructions and practice with the device to ensure its effective use in emergent situations.

American Society of Anesthesiologists, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. March 12, 2020.

Communication and shared decision-making are fundamental tactics to guide clinical team and patient efforts to minimize the potential for prescription opioid misuse. This tool kit includes modules for providers that outline practice and communication strategies to help with postoperative pain. Patient and family materials in the kit focus on safe medication disposal and instructions for tracking pre- and post-surgery pain levels.

Jena AB, Olenski AR. New York Times. February 20, 2020.

Unconscious biases affecting health care decisions elevate the potential for harm. This news story discusses how experience and implicit biases can impact physician decision-making. The use of decision support is one strategy highlighted to redirect heuristics and other cognitive biases to minimize their impact on treatment.