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.
Wilson M-A, Sinno M, Hacker Teper M, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:680-685.
Achieving zero preventable harm is an ongoing goal for health systems. In this study, researchers developed a five-part strategy to achieve high-reliability and eliminate preventable harm at one regional health system in Canada – (1) engage leadership, (2) develop an organization-specific patient safety framework, (3) monitor specific quality aims (e.g., high-risk, high-cost areas), (4) standardize the incident review process, including the use of root cause analysis, and (5) communicate progress to staff in real-time via electronic dashboards. One-year post-implementation, researchers observed an increase in patient safety incident reporting and improvements in safety culture, as well as decreases in adverse events such as falls, pressure injuries and healthcare-acquired infections.
Costin I-C, Marcu LG. Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2022;178:103798.
Radiotherapy errors can be significant and sometimes fatal. This systematic review describes errors in patient set up based on verification systems, the immobilization devices used, and the patient’s positioning during breast cancer treatment. The advantages and drawbacks of the most common position verification systems, error types associated with immobilization systems, and the influence of treatment position are reviewed.
Computed tomography (CT) scans are important diagnostic tools but can present serious dangers from overexposure to radiation. Researchers reviewed 133 radiation incidents reported to one NHS trust from 2015-2018. Reported events included radiation incidents, near-miss incidents, and repeat scans. Most events were investigated using a systems approach, and staff were encouraged to report all types of incidents, including near misses, to foster a culture of safety and enable learning.
Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
In this annual publication, AHRQ reviews the results of the National Healthcare Quality Report and National Healthcare Disparities Report. The 2022 report discusses a decrease in life expectancy due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It also reviews the current status of special areas of interest such as maternity care, child and adolescent mental health, and substance abuse disorders.
Plunkett A, Plunkett E. Paediatr Anaesth. 2022;32:1223-1229.
Safety-I focuses on identifying factors that contribute to incidents or errors. Safety-II seeks to understand and learn from the many cases where things go right, including ordinary events, and emphasizes adjustments and adaptations to achieve safe outcomes. This commentary describes Safety-II and complementary positive strategies of patient safety, such as exnovation, appreciative inquiry, learning from excellence, and positive deviance.
Chang ET, Newberry S, Rubenstein LV, et al. JAMA Network Open. 2022;5:e2224938.
Patients with chronic or complex healthcare needs are at increased risk of adverse events such as rehospitalization. This paper describes the development of quality measures to assess the safety and quality of primary care for patients with complex care needs at high risk of hospitalization or death. The expert panel proposed three categories (assessment, management, features of healthcare), 15 domains, and 49 concepts.
Atallah F, Hamm RF, Davidson CM, et al. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2022;227:b2-b10.
The reduction of cognitive bias is generating increased interest as a diagnostic error reduction strategy. This statement introduces the concept of cognitive bias and discusses methods to manage the presence of bias in obstetrics such as debiasing training and teamwork.
The National Quality Forum has defined 29 never events—patient safety problems that should never occur, such as wrong-site surgery and patient falls. Since 2003, Minnesota hospitals have been required to report such incidents. The 2021 report summarizes information about 508 adverse events that were reported, representing a significant increase in the year covered. Earlier reports document a fairly consistent count of adverse events. The rise reflected here is likely due to demands on staffing and care processes associated with COVID-19. Pressure ulcers and fall-related injuries were the most common incidents documented. Reports from previous years are available.
Samal L, Khasnabish S, Foskett C, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:611-616.
Adverse events can be identified through multiple methods, including trigger tools and voluntary reporting systems. In this comparison study, the Global Trigger Tool identified 79 AE in 88 oncology patients, compared to 21 in the voluntary reporting system; only two AE were identified by both. Results indicate multiple sources should be used to detect AE.
Frail older adults are at increased risk of adverse events including rehospitalization and overtreatment. In this study, researchers assessed the association of care coordination and preventable adverse events in frail older adults. Compared with non-frail older adults, frail older adults reported experiencing more adverse events they believed could have been prevented with better care coordination.
Lalani M, Morgan S, Basu A, et al. J Health Serv Res Policy. 2022;Epub May 6.
Autopsies following unexpected deaths can provide valuable insights and learning opportunities for improving patient safety. In 2017, the National Health Service (NHS) implemented “Learning from Deaths” (LfD) to report, learn from, and avoid potentially preventable deaths. Through interviews with policy makers, managers, and senior clinicians responsible for implementing the policy, this study reports on how contextual factors influenced implementation of the LfD policy.
Lim L, Zimring CM, DuBose JR, et al. HERD. 2022;15:28-41.
Social distancing policies implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic challenged healthcare system leaders and providers to balance infection prevention strategies and providing collaborative, team-based patient care. In this article, four primary care clinics made changes to the clinic design, operational protocols, and usage of spaces. Negative impacts of these changes, such as fewer opportunities for collaboration, communication, and coordination, were observed.
The COVID pandemic has increased demand and acceptance of remote care modalities. This commentary suggests that home monitoring is a promising telehealth approach and that its application could improve value while enhancing safety for hospital-at-home and other levels of home-based care patients.
Montesantos L. Ann Health Law Life Sci. 2022;31(Spring):179-215.
Health information technologies (HIT) and advanced learning systems, if poorly designed, used, maintained, integrated, or accessed, harbor the potential for failure across the systems they support. This legal discussion argues for federal standards to establish levels of accountability for physicians who use HIT systems and assign liability, should use result in patient harm.
Shah F, Falconer EA, Cimiotti JP. Qual Manag Health Care. 2022;31:231-241.
Root cause analysis (RCA) is a tool commonly used by organizations to analyze safety errors. This systematic review explored whether interventions implemented based on RCA recommendations were effective at preventing similar adverse events in Veterans Health Affairs (VA) settings. Of the ten retrospective studies included in the review, all reported improvements following RCA-recommended interventions implementation, but the studies used different methodologies to assess effectiveness. The authors suggest that future research emphasize quantitative patient-related outcome measures to demonstrate the impact and value of RCAs.
Hartstein B, Munante M, Toor PA. NEJM Catalyst. 2022;3:e1-e20.
High-reliability organizations (HROs) are able to “manage the unexpected” while operating under challenging conditions. This article describes the U.S. Medical Department’s systemwide rollout of the Top Six HRO communication practices. The authors summarize how the Top Six campaign was developed and discuss the implementation of six systemwide initiatives to increase reliability – (1) daily safety briefings; (2) safety leadership rounds; (3) unit-based huddles; (4) Situation Background Assessment Recommendation (SBAR) for communication; (5) briefs and debriefs for surgical cases; and (6) Universal Protocol before every procedure.
Peat G, Olaniyan JO, Fylan B, et al. Res Social Adm Pharm. 2022;18:3534-3541.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all aspects of healthcare delivery for both patients and health care workers. This study explored the how COVID-19-related policies and initiatives intended to improve patient safety impacted workflow, system adaptations, as well as organizational and individual resilience among community pharmacists.
DeCherrie LV, Leff B, Levine DM, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2022;48:180-184.
Hospital at Home (HAH), in which patients receive hospital-level care in their own homes, reduces the risk of hospital-acquired conditions such as delirium, especially in older adults. This commentary provides an overview of HAH, recent developments, and associated regulatory, safety, and quality issues.
Walton E, Charles M, Morrish W, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e620-e625.
Dialysis is a common procedure that carries risks if not performed correctly. This study analyzed dialysis-related bleeding events reported to the Veterans Health Administration Patient Safety Authority over an 18-year period. The analysis identified four areas of focus to reduce bleeding events – (1) the physical location and equipment used, (2) staff commitment to standardization and attention to detail (to reduce unwitnessed bleeding events), (3) mental status of the patient, and (4) the method for hemodialysis delivery.
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