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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 678 Results
Hawkins SF, Morse JM. Glob Qual Nurs Res. 2022;9:233339362211317.
Medication administration is a complex set of tasks completed many times per day for hospitalized patients. This study captures the turbulence of nursing work, the nursing environment, and how that impacts patient safety. The results suggest organizations should re-evaluate current attempts at improving medication administration safety and include nurses in identifying new solutions.

ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute care edition. January 12, 2023;28(1):1-4.

The patient safety movement has raised awareness of the presence of multiple factors that align to result in patient harm, yet implementing processes to fully examine and change practice from that perspective is challenged. This article discusses this situation and provides recommendations to orient improvement efforts toward deeper investigation methods to identify latent contributors to care failure.
Salmon PM, King B, Hulme A, et al. Safety Sci. 2022;159:106003.
Organizations are encouraged to proactively identify patient safety risks and learn from failures. This article describes validity testing of systems-thinking risk assessment (Net-HARMS) to identify risks associated with patient medication administration and an accident analysis method (AcciMap) to analyze a medication administration error.

Goldstein J. New York Times. January 23, 2023.

Active errors are evident when they occur, yet systemic weaknesses, if not addressed, allow them to repeat. This story examines poor epidural methods of one clinician that coincided with lack of organizational practitioner monitoring, unequitable maternal care for black women and clinician COVID fatigue to contribute to patient death.
Chew MM, Rivas S, Chesser M, et al. J Patient Saf. 2023;19:23-28.
Provision of enteral nutrition (EN) is a specialized process requiring careful interdisciplinary teamwork. After discovering significant issues with ordering, administration, and documentation of EN, this health system updated its workflows to improve safety. EN therapies were added to the electronic medication administration record (MAR) and the barcoding system was updated. After one year, all EN orders were barcode scanned and nearly all were documented as given or included a reason why they were not given.
Baluyot A, McNeill C, Wiers S. Patient Safety. 2022;4:18-25.
Transitions from hospital to skilled nursing facilities (SNF) remain a patient safety challenge. This quality improvement (QI) project included development of a structured handoff tool to decrease the wait time for receipt of controlled medications and intravenous (IV) antibiotics and time to medication administration. The project demonstrated significant improvements in both aims and can be replicated in other SNFs.
Świtalski J, Wnuk K, Tatara T, et al. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022;19:15354.
Improving patient safety in long-term care facilities is an ongoing challenge. This systematic review identified three types of interventions that can improve safety in long-term care facilities – (1) promoting safety culture, (2) reducing occupational stress and burnout, and (3) increasing medication safety.
Heesen M, Steuer C, Wiedemeier P, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e1226-e1230.
Anesthesia medications prepared in the operating room are vulnerable to errors at all stages of medication administration, including preparation and dilution. In this study, anesthesiologists were asked to prepare the mixture of three drugs used for spinal anesthesia for cesarean section. Results show deviation from the expected concentration and variability between providers. The authors recommend all medications be prepared in the hospital pharmacy or purchased pre-mixed from the manufacturer to prevent these errors. 
Lucas SR, Pollak E, Makowski C. J Healthc Risk Manag. 2022;Epub Dec 4.
Medical errors that receive widespread media attention frequently spur health systems to reexamine their own culture and practices to prevent similar errors. This commentary describes one health system’s effort to identify and improve the system factors (systems, processes, technology) involved in the error. The action plan proposed by this project includes ensuring a just culture so staff feel empowered to report errors and near-misses; regularly review and improve medication delivery systems; build resilient medication delivery systems; and, establish methods of investigations.
Erstad BL, Romero AV, Barletta JF. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2023;80:87-91.
Weight-based dosing is vulnerable to error due to inaccurate estimation of body weight, use of metric vs. non-metric units, or patients being underweight or overweight. This commentary suggests strategies for reducing weight- and size-based dosing errors including reduction in reliance on estimated body weight, standardizing descriptor (e.g., body mass index), limiting options in the electronic health record (EHR), and integrating complex calculations into the EHR.
Mahat S, Rafferty AM, Vehviläinen-Julkunen K, et al. BMC Health Serv Res. 2022;22:1474.
Healthcare staff who are involved in a medical error often experience emotional distress. Using qualitative methods and text mining of medication error incident reports, researchers in this study identified the negative emotions experienced by healthcare staff after a medication error (e.g., fear, guilt, sadness) and perceptions regarding how superiors and colleagues effectively responded to the events (e.g., reassurance, support, and guidance).
Henry Basil J, Premakumar CM, Mhd Ali A, et al. Drug Saf. 2022;45:1457-1476.
Medication administration errors (MAEs) are thought to be common in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). This systematic review estimated that the pooled prevalence of MAEs among patients in NICU settings ranged from 59% to 65%. The review highlights both active failures (e.g., similar drug packaging or names) and latent failures (e.g., noisy environments, inaccurate verbal or written orders) contributing to MAEs.

ISMP Medication Safety Alert!: Acute Care Edition. December 1, 2022;27(24):1-3.

Look-alike medications are vulnerable to wrong route and other use errors. This article examines the potential for mistaken application of ear drops into eyes. Strategies highlighted to reduce this error focus on storage, dispensing, administration, and patient education.
Saran AK, Holden NA, Garrison SR. BJGP Open. 2022;6:BJGPO.2022.0001.
Tablet-splitting may introduce patient safety risks, such as unpredictable dosing. This systematic review and qualitative synthesis did not identify substantive evidence to support tablet-splitting concerns, with the exception of sustained-release tablets and use by older adults who may struggle to split tablets due to physical limitations.

ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute care edition. November 17, 2022;27(23).

Enteral feeding tube medication delivery presents safety challenges that can cause harm. This article highlights problems with feed tube medication administration. It shares improvement recommendations that include best practice adherence, standardization, monitoring, and patient engagement.

Meyer TA. Anesthesiology News. October 31, 2022.

Medication use in the surgical environment is complex and high-risk. This article describes steps toward the implementation of medication safety process improvement programs for the operating room. Important steps discussed include assessment, analysis, planning, and implementation.
Angel M, Bechard L, Pua YH, et al. Age Ageing. 2022;51:afac225.
People taking medications at home may have difficulty opening packaging which can result in improper, dangerous storage practices. This review includes 12 studies where participants were observed opening a variety of medication packages (e.g., blister packs, child-resistant containers). While all studies reported participant difficulty, no consistent contributory factors were identified, and the methodological quality of all studies was typically low. Additional research is required to encourage improvement in medication packaging.

Schneider E, Koretz BK, eds. Clin Geriatr Med. 2022;38(4):621-732.

Polypharmacy is a known contributor to medication complexity and error. This special issue examines the impact unnecessary medications have in a variety of care environments, such as nursing homes and emergency departments, and clinical areas, such as oncology and behavioral health.

Institute for Safe Medication Practices.

Mixed case letters are one suggested strategy to reduce look-alike medication name errors. This survey announcement calls for insight from the field to update an existing resource of problematic drug name pairs and examine the effectiveness of mixed case letter use to minimize confusion. The comment submission period is now closed.