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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 35 Results

Manchester, UK: Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman; October 2021.

This report examines a premature infant death associated with failings of antibiotic administration, deterioration recognition and action on family concerns both during treatment and post-incident. The report issues a series of recommendations building on standard remediation guidance in the United Kingdom.

Uhl S, Siddique SM, McKeever L, et al. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; October 2021.  AHRQ Publication No. 21(22)-EHC035.

Patient malnutrition is an underrecognized threat to patient safety. This report provides a comprehensive evidence analysis on the patient malnutrition literature, the relationship of in-hospital malnutrition to patient harm across patient groups and tactics for measurement of the problem to design and assess the impact of interventions.
Curated Libraries
September 13, 2021
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...

London, UK: Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman; 2021. ISBN 9781528627016. 

Lack of appropriate follow up of diagnostic imaging can result in care delays, patient harm, and death. This report summarizes an investigation of 25 imaging failures in the British National Health Service (NHS). The analysis identified communication and coordination issues resulting in lack of action and reporting of unanticipated findings to properly advance care. Recommendations to improve imaging in the NHS include use of previous analyses to enhance learning from failure.

Rosen M, Ali KJ, Buckley BO, et al. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; June 2021. AHRQ Publication No. 20(21)-0040-5-EF.

The mindset on diagnostic error improvement has gone from a focus on individual skills to that of system factors. This issue brief highlights the influence health system executives have on amending the care environment to facilitate the most effective environment for diagnostic accuracy. This is part of a publication series examining diagnostic improvement across health care.

Farnborough, UK: Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch; June 3, 2021.

Wrong site/wrong patent surgery is a persistent healthcare never event. This report examines National Health Service (NHS) reporting data to identify how ambulatory patient identification errors contribute to wrong patient care. The authors recommend that the NHS use human factors methods to design control processes to target and manage the risks in the outpatient environment such as lack of technology integration, shared waiting area space, and reliance on verbal communication at clinic.

Silver Spring, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration, Center for Devices and Radiological Health. May 20, 2021.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) suites harbor unique hazards that can harm patients, should process missteps occur. This report shares assessment steps to assure that medical devices are labeled appropriately to support their safe use in the MRI environment and encourages organizational reporting of problems encountered when testing device use.

Washington DC:  Department of Veterans Affairs. Office of Inspector General; May 11, 2021. Report No. 20-03593-140.

Health care system failures can enable unrecognized, persistent criminal behavior. This report examines conditions contributing to a serial murder case including weaknesses in mortality data analysis, clinical documentation review, patient safety incident reporting, medication security processes, and safety culture.

Office of the Inspector General: Washington DC; December 2020. OIG report OEI-06-17-00530.

Challenges beset safe care delivery for indigenous peoples. This report examines factors contributing to adverse events in this patient population. Recommendations for improvement include an emphasis on harm monitoring and incident reporting. A related report examines the lack of application of maternity best practices in the Indian Health Service.

Washington, DC: Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General; November 17, 2020. Report No 19-08542-11.

Incomplete assessment of patient needs can miss opportunities to prevent patient harm. This report analyzes an incident where an intoxicated patient called a dedicated crisis support line yet preventive measures weren’t activated to avert an accidental overdose resulting in patient death. Recommendations for improvement include enhanced training for weekend and holiday staff, standardized safety plan development, and systemized internal review processes.

London, UK: The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman; July 15, 2020. ISBN 9781528620666.

Patient and family complaints can provide insights into system weaknesses if managed effectively. This report examined complaint handling at the United Kingdom National Health Service. The analysis found that lack of training, consistency and learning orientation reduced the effectiveness of the effort.

Washington, DC: Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General; September 3, 2020. Report No 19-09493-249.

Discontinuities in mental health care are a patient safety concern. This report analyzes how documentation gaps, medication reconciliation problems, and poor care coordination contributed to the suicide of a patient who presented at an emergency room, was screened there, and referred to a clinic for further care that was not completed.
Farnborough, UK: Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch; 2019.
Design flaws and improper use of technologies that transfer medication and prescription information between provider environments is a known threat to patient safety. This report analyzes an anticoagulant overdose incident and found that information technology missteps contributed to the error.
Washington, DC: United States Government Accountability Office; September 2019. Publication GAO-19-650.
One strategy to reduce the potential of opioid misuse is to limit access to unused medications in the home. Examining programs to safely collect unused prescription opioids for disposal and patient awareness and use of such programs, this report found that many adults are unaware these programs exist or choose to retain or sell unused prescription opioids rather than utilize safe disposal services.

Farnborough, UK; Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch: April 2019.

Wrong route medication administration is a never event. This report examined the context, organizational and human factors that contributed to the accidental intravenous administration of an oral solution into a pediatric patient. Safety recommendations include medication safety training, standardized administration processes, and elevation of the medication safety officer role. 
Washington, DC: United States Government Accountability Office; January 2019. Publication GAO-19-197.
Record matching problems can have serious clinical impacts on patients. This report explores how to optimize demographic data integrity to improve patient record matching, as identifying information is increasingly integrated into shared record keeping systems. The investigation determined strategies to improve matching such as implementing standard data formats and disseminating best practices.
Rockville, MD; Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research; March 2016.
Patient safety culture surveys uncover insights into organizational culture and practice areas that require improvement. This selective resource list offers materials for ambulatory surgery centers that seek to implement changes in response to survey results.
The Clinical Center Working Group Report to the Advisory Committee to the Director, National Institutes of Health. Bethesda, MD; National Institutes of Health; April 2016.
This publication outlines system problems at a large research institution that could compromise patient safety, including supervisors' failure to address staff-reported concerns, prioritization of research productivity over safety, insufficient processes for reporting and tracking problems, and fragmented accountability for ensuring quality and safety at the institution.
Sorra J, Famolaro T, Yount N, Burns W, Liu H, Shyy M. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; November 2014. AHRQ Publication No. 15-0004-EF.
The AHRQ Nursing Home Survey on Patient Safety Culture, a validated tool for measuring safety culture, was initially released in 2008. This comprehensive national survey of registered nurses, nursing aides, and support staff garnered a high response rate. While respondents rated overall safety perceptions highly, similar to outpatient and hospital safety culture surveys, they expressed concerns about adequacy of staffing, as prior reports of adverse events in nursing homes would suggest. Even though most respondents believed that feedback and communication about safety problems was positive, many did not endorse a nonpunitive response to error. Instead, there was concern about individual blame. As with multiple studies, managers reported a more positive safety climate than frontline staff, suggesting that leadership on safety climate has not changed on-the-ground staff perceptions despite increasing awareness of safety culture. Given that prior work has demonstrated a link between positive safety climate and patient outcomes in nursing homes, it will be critical to address the problems raised in this analysis. A past AHRQ WebM&M commentary discussed the safety and quality of long-term care, and a previous AHRQ WebM&M interview with Nicholas Castle explored unique issues surrounding patient safety in the nursing home population.
Washington, DC: National Quality Forum; 2016.
The value of current measures to track patient safety has been called into question. This technical report provides information about a consensus-driven initiative to evaluate the reliability of existing patient safety measures in tracking and assessing safety in hospitals, across various populations and settings. The related website offers resources related to the project history.