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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 54 Results
WebM&M Case February 1, 2023

A 5-day old male infant was admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) and underwent surgery to correct a congenital heart defect. The patient’s postoperative course was complicated Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia and other problems, requiring venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VA-ECMO) and subsequent cardiac procedures.

Bates DW, Levine DM, Salmasian H, et al. New Engl J Med. 2023;388:142-153.
An accurate understanding of the frequency, severity, and preventability of adverse events is required to effectively improve patient safety. This study included review of more than 2,800 inpatient records from 11 American hospitals with nearly one quarter having at least one preventable or not preventable adverse event. Overall, approximately 7% of all admissions included at least one preventable event and 1% had a severity level of serious or higher.

DePeau-Wilson M. MedPage Today. January 13, 2023.

The use of anesthesia in ambulatory settings presents both advantage and risk to patients and clinicians. This article discusses evidence defining these issues. It suggests that improved collaboration with anesthesiologists represents opportunities for nonoperating room anesthesia safety.
Lipprandt M, Liedtke W, Langanke M, et al. BMC Nurs. 2022;21:264.
Hospital-level care at home can reduce cost and hospital readmissions, but adverse events still occur at levels similar to hospitals. This study explored adverse events related to home mechanical ventilation (HMV), in order to categorize causes and recommend solutions. Interventions for nurses (e.g., checklists) and manufacturers (e.g., alarm design) may improve HMV.
Moody A, Chacin B, Chang C. Curr Opin Anaesthesiol. 2022;35:465-471.
Hospital-acquired pressure injuries are considered a never event. This review presents strategies to prevent pressure injuries in the nonoperating room anesthesia (NORA) population (e.g., patients on ventilators). Proper positioning of the patient, with bolsters and padding, are illustrated.

Plymouth Meeting, PA: Institute for Safe Medication Practices; 2022.

Medication errors associated with surgery and other invasive procedures can result in patient harm. This 10-element guidance suggests effective practices to address identified weaknesses in perioperative and procedural medication processes. Recommendations provided cover topics such as drug labeling, communication, and risk management.
Abdelmalak BB, Adhami T, Simmons W, et al. Anesth Analg. 2022;135:198-208.
A 2009 CMS Condition of Participation (CoP) requires that a director of anesthesia services assume overall responsibility for anesthesia administered in the hospital, including procedural sedation provided by nonanesthesiologists. This article reviews the CoP as it relates to procedural sedation, lays out a framework for implementing this role, and describes challenges of implementation in a large health system.
Bentley SK, Meshel A, Boehm L, et al. Adv Simul (Lond). 2022;7:15.
In situ simulations are an effective method to identify latent safety threats (LST). Seventy-four in situ cardiac arrest simulations were conducted in one hospital, identifying 106 unique LSTs. Four LSTs were deemed imminent safety threats and were immediately resolved following debrief; another 15 were prioritized as high-risk.
WebM&M Case May 16, 2022

This WebM&M describes two cases involving patients who became unresponsive in unconventional locations – inside of a computed tomography (CT) scanner and at an outpatient transplant clinic – and strategies to ensure that all healthcare teams are prepared to deliver advanced cardiac life support (ACLS), such as the use of mock codes and standardized ACLS algorithms.

Warm EJ, Ahmad Y, Kinnear B, et al. Acad Med. 2021;96:1268-1275.
Technical and procedural skills are an important emphasis of medical training. This article briefly summarizes the “as low as reasonably achievable” (ALARA) approach, which was developed for the nuclear industry and has been used in radiology. The authors outline how ALARA risk standards can be adapted by training program directors to measure procedural competency and assess and reduce bedside procedural risks.
Chopra V, O'Malley M, Horowitz J, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2022;31:23-30.
Peripherally inserted central catheters (PICC) represent a key source of preventable harm. Using the Michigan Appropriateness Guide for Intravenous Catheters (MAGIC), the authors sought to determine if the appropriateness of PICC use decreased related medical complications including catheter occlusion, venous thromboembolism, and central line-associated bloodstream infections. Use of MAGIC in 52 Michigan hospitals increased appropriate use of PICC lines and decreased medical complications. In a 2019 PSNet Perspective, Dr. Vineet Chopra described the development and implementation of MAGIC in Michigan hospitals.  

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. 
WebM&M Case January 1, 2019
Hospitalized in the ICU with hypoxic respiratory failure due to community-acquired pneumonia, an elderly man had increased pulmonary secretions on hospital day 2 for which the critical care provider decided to perform bedside bronchoscopy. Following the procedure, the patient was difficult to arouse, nearly apneic, and required intubation. The care team paused and discovered that after the patient had received 2 mg of intravenous midalozam, his IV line had been flushed with an additional 10 mg of the benzodiazepine, rather than the intended normal saline.
Armstrong GE, Dietrich M, Norman L, et al. J Nurs Care Qual. 2016;32:226-233.
Medication administration errors are common and account for a significant fraction of medication errors. This study sought to assess how bedside nurses' reported attitudes and skills with safety practices affect medication administration errors. Researchers determined that system, local, and individual bedside nurse factors contribute to medication administration errors.
Maslove DM, Dubin JA, Shrivats A, et al. Crit Care Med. 2016;44:e1021-e1030.
Vital signs remain a mainstay of monitoring for deterioration, and early identification of and rapid response to clinical deterioration is critical to preventing patient harm. This observational study used an automated technique to characterize vital sign measurement for nearly 50,000 intensive care unit stays. Investigators found that omission of vital sign recording occurred more than one third of the time. The analysis identified logically inconsistent blood pressure measurements, which suggested data-entry error. The data included a significant proportion of unusual, outlier vital sign values. Taken together, these results demonstrate important inaccuracy in vital sign documentation in the intensive care unit. The authors recommend seeking alternatives to hourly vital sign monitoring in order to optimize safety. A previous WebM&M commmentary discussed challenges in monitoring vital signs.
Bennett SC, Finer N, Halamek LP, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2016;42:369-76.
Checklists and debriefing improve patient safety across multiple care settings. In this quality improvement initiative, participating hospitals reported high levels of adherence and satisfaction to a protocol for neonatal resuscitation that included a checklist, briefings, and debriefings. The authors advocate for these safety processes to be included in neonatal resuscitation guidelines.
Cantero M, Redondo M, Martín E, et al. Clin Chem Lab Med. 2015;53:239-47.
In this study of a single neonatal unit, point-of-care testing resulted in many more quality errors compared to central laboratory testing. More than 45% of the point-of-care tests lacked appropriate patient identification, a problem the authors hope to fix by changing to a barcoding system in their hospital.
Guenter P. Nutrition in Clinical Practice. 2014;29.
Redesigning tubing connectors according to new ISO standards has the potential to reduce tubing misconnections. This commentary provides information about changes to enteral connectors to prepare clinicians to use the new devices in their organizations.
WebM&M Case December 1, 2014
In a simulation exercise conducted in an institution that felt it was prepared for patients with actual or suspected Ebola, a man presented to the emergency department with symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and fever. He had recently returned to the US from Sierra Leone. The nurse initiated an isolation protocol and the critical care team all donned personal protective equipment. During transport, confusion about which elevators to use potentially exposed 30 staff members to Ebola.
Karamnov S, Sarkisian N, Grammer R, et al. J Patient Saf. 2014;13:111-121.
The recent death of comedienne Joan Rivers, which followed a cardiac arrest during a routine throat procedure, has brought national attention to the potential safety hazards of office-based procedural anesthesia. This retrospective study examined adverse events associated with moderate procedural sedation performed outside of the operating room at a tertiary medical center. Adverse events were relatively rare, with only 52 safety incidents identified out of more than 140,000 cases over an 8-year period. The most common harm was oversedation leading to apnea and requiring the use of reversal agents or prolonged bag-mask ventilation. Women were found to be at particularly increased risk for adverse events including oversedation and hypotension. These findings suggest that a combination of patient and procedural characteristics may help risk stratify patients, allowing for appropriate responses such as increased monitoring and staffing for patients likely to experience sedation-related complications. A previous AHRQ WebM&M perspective described office-based anesthesia as the "Wild West" of patient safety.