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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 55 Results
Walsh ME, Boland F, Moriarty F, et al. Drugs Aging. 2019;36:461-470.
After an older adult has a fall, medication deprescribing is a crucial intervention to prevent future harm. This study of a large sample of elderly patients in Ireland found that they were frequently prescribed medications that increased their risk of falling, and deprescribing was rare after a fall-related hospitalization. A WebM&M commentary discussed tactics to more safely manage older patients' medications.
National Pharmacy Association; NPA.
This website for independent community pharmacy owners across the United Kingdom features both free and members-only guidance, reporting platforms, and document templates to support patient safety. It includes reporting tools and incident analysis reports for providers in England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Topics covered in the communications include look-alike and sound-alike drugs, patient safety audits, and safe dispensing of liquid medications.
WebM&M Case May 1, 2019
Following catheter-guided thrombolysis for a large saddle pulmonary embolism, a man was monitored in the intensive care unit. The catheters were removed the next day, and the patient was sent from the interventional radiology suite to the postanesthesia care unit, after which he was transferred to a telemetry bed on the stepdown unit. No explicit plan for anticoagulation was discussed with the accepting medical team. Shortly after the nurse found the patient lethargic, tachycardic, and hypoxic, the patient lost his pulse and a code was called.
WebM&M Case April 1, 2019
An elderly man with a complicated medical history slipped on a rug at home, fell, and injured his hip. Emergency department evaluation and imaging revealed no head injury and a left intertrochanteric hip fracture. Although he was admitted to the orthopedic surgery service, with surgery to fix the fracture initially scheduled for the next day, the operation was delayed by 3 days due to several emergent trauma cases and lack of surgeon availability. He ultimately underwent surgery and was discharged a few days later but was readmitted several weeks later with chest pain and shortness of breath.
Lipitz-Snyderman A, Pfister D, Classen D, et al. Cancer. 2017;123:4728-4736.
Cancer care has been the setting for seminal, practice-changing errors. This retrospective study aimed to identify adverse events in cancer care through medical record review, using a random sample of breast, colorectal, and lung cancer cases from 2012. As with prior studies, physician investigators determined preventability and extent of harm. Over a third of patients experienced an adverse event, and about 32% of adverse events were deemed preventable. Most adverse events occurred in the inpatient setting. Adverse events included medication errors and hospital-acquired conditions, such as pressure ulcers and falls. The authors conclude that patient safety remains an important consideration for cancer care that merits further research and improvement efforts.
Shojania KG, Dixon-Woods M. BMJ Qual Saf. 2017;26:423-428.
A recent article asserted that medical error is the third leading cause of death in the United States. This perspective questions the accuracy of this estimate. The authors note that this estimate was generated by simply combining medical error rates from prior studies, without adhering to guidelines for quantitative synthesis or accounting statistically for the uncertainty associated with the extrapolation of these studies. There are also inherent limitations in the original data, which used trigger tools to identify adverse events. The studies from which the error rates were calculated could not clearly determine whether the adverse events detected actually contributed to the patient's death. Patients who are critically ill tend to have more adverse events because they experience more medical interventions. However, their deaths may be due to the underlying illness rather than the medical care they received. The authors argue that an inaccurately high estimate for medical error–related mortality draws attention away from other crucial patient harms, such as pressure ulcers and medication safety, both of which rarely contribute to mortality but are of high priority to patients.
National Quality Partners. Washington, DC: National Quality Forum; 2016.
Antimicrobial stewardship has been promoted as a strategy to improve patient safety by reducing overuse of antibiotics to prevent hospital-acquired infections. This report draws from the experience of existing programs to summarize practical strategies for implementing initiatives. Core elements include engaging leadership, monitoring effectiveness, and reporting benchmarks.
Health Quality & Safety Commission New Zealand.
This Web site hosts tools and resources associated with a national campaign to augment patient care. The initiative aims to build collaborative programs across New Zealand to reduce falls, health care–associated infections, medication errors, and harm related to surgery.
Minnesota Hospital Association; MHA.
This Web site provides access to materials for patient safety improvement efforts in Minnesota, including initiatives to reduce adverse drug events and hospital collaboratives to implement best practices.
WebM&M Case February 1, 2011
A man diagnosed with chronic hepatitis C was treated with interferon and ribavirin by his internist without referral for a liver biopsy or the appropriate blood tests. Treatment was continued for months despite the patient developing pancytopenia and continuing to have a high viral load, raising questions about physicians practicing outside their areas of competency.
Vilensky D, MacDonald RD. Prehosp Emerg Care. 2011;15:39-43.
This study analyzed communication errors during call bookings for air medical transport and found both human and process-driven root causes. Examples of major errors identified were commissions of allergies to medications and omissions of intubations from records.
WebM&M Case December 1, 2010
A patient on palliative chemotherapy was given intravenous vancomycin for methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), despite a rising creatinine level, and went into acute kidney failure.
WebM&M Case October 1, 2010
A man with end-stage renal disease on hemodialysis was dialyzed with equipment that had been inappropriately reused, exposing the patient to another patient's blood numerous times.
WebM&M Case October 1, 2010
A man prescribed a tricyclic antidepressant and an antipsychotic medication was found unconscious and unresponsive at home and was brought to the emergency department (ED). An electrocardiogram showed potentially dangerous heart rhythms.