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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 93 Results
Thiele L, Flabouris A, Thompson C. PLoS ONE. 2022;17:e0269921.
Patient and family engagement is essential for safe healthcare. This single-site study found that while most clinicians perceived that patients and families are able to recognize clinical deterioration, clinicians expressed less favorable perceptions towards escalation processes when patients or families have concerns about clinical deterioration.
Rhodus EK, Lancaster EA, Hunter EG, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e503-e507.
Patient falls represent a significant cause of patient harm. This study explored the causes of falls resulting in harm among patients with dementia receiving or referred to occupational therapy (OT). Eighty root cause analyses (RCAs) were included in the analysis. Of these events, three-quarters resulted in hip fracture and 20% led to death. The authors conclude that earlier OT evaluation may decrease the frequency of falls among older adults with dementia.
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...
Evans S, Green A, Roberson A, et al. J Pediatr Nurs. 2021;61:151-156.
A lack of situational awareness can lead to delayed recognition of patient deterioration. This children’s hospital developed and implemented a situational awareness framework designed to decrease emergency transfers to the intensive care unit (ICU). The framework included both objective and subjective criteria. By identifying patients at increased risk of clinical deterioration (“watcher status”) and use of the framework, recognition of deterioration occurred sooner and resulted in fewer emergency transfers to the ICU.
Mitchell OJL, Neefe S, Ginestra JC, et al. Resusc Plus. 2021;6:100135.
Rapid response teams (RRT) are intended to improve the identification and management of clinically worsening hospitalized patients. This study identified an increase in RRT activations for respiratory distress at one academic hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic. The authors outline the hospital response, which included revising RRT guidelines to reduce in-room personnel, new decision-support pathways, which accounted for COVID-19 uncertainty, and expanded critical care consults for inpatient care team.
Li Q, Hu P, Kang H, et al. J Nutr Health Aging. 2020;25:492-500.
Missed and delayed diagnosis are a known cause of preventable adverse events. In this cohort of 107 patients with severe or critical COVID-19 in Wuhan, China, 45% developed acute kidney injury (AKI). However, nearly half of those patients (46%) were not diagnosed during their stay in the hospital. Patients with undiagnosed AKI experienced greater hospital mortality than those without AKI or diagnosed AKI. Involvement of intensive care kidney specialists is recommended to increase diagnostic awareness.
Danielis M, Destrebecq A, Terzoni S, et al. Dimens Crit Care Nurs. 2021;40:186-191.
While the effectiveness of medical emergency teams (MET) has been widely researched, critical incidents that occur during the response have not received the same attention. This retrospective study analyzed critical incidents that occurred during MET responses over a five-year period. They mainly occurred due to lack of compliance with protocols and lack of available supplies. Educational and organizational strategies may be effective in reducing critical events during MET.
Sprogis SK, Street M, Currey J, et al. Aust Crit Care. 2021;34:580-586.
Medical emergency teams (MET), also known as rapid response teams, are used to improve the identification and management of patients demonstrating signs of rapid deterioration. This study found that modifying activation criteria to trigger METs at more extreme levels of clinical deterioration were not associated with negative patient safety outcomes.
Dryver E, Lundager Forberg J, Hård af Segerstad C, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2021;30:697-705.
Checklists are commonly used in surgical and critical care settings to improve patient safety. This multisite study simulation study found that checklists can improve local resuscitation teams’ management of medical crises such as anaphylactic shock and septic shock in emergency departments.
O’Neill SM, Clyne B, Bell M, et al. BMC Emerg Med. 2021;21:15.
Early warning systems (EWS) can aid in early detection of clinical deterioration and assist rapid response teams (RRTs). In this qualitative synthesis, the authors identified barriers and facilitators to the escalation of care according to early warning system protocols. The overarching themes involved governance (e.g., standardization, resources), RRT behaviors, professional boundaries, clinical experience, and EWS parameters.
Kanaan AO, Sullivan KM, Seed SM, et al. Pharmacy (Basel). 2020;8:225.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the ability of pharmacists to ensure medication safety. This article uses case scenarios to highlight challenges encountered due to the COVID-19 pandemic that required changes in pharmacist roles. Strategies to overcome challenges related to monitoring medications used to treat patients with COVID-19, preventing errors with laboratory reporting, and managing drug shortages are discussed.
Naseralallah LM, Hussain TA, Jaam M, et al. Int J Clin Pharm. 2020;42:979-994.
Pediatric patients are particularly vulnerable to medication errors. In this systematic review, the authors evaluated the evidence on the effectiveness of clinical pharmacist interventions on medication error rates in hospitalized pediatric patients. Results of a meta-analysis found that pharmacist involvement was associated with a significant reduction in the overall rate of medication errors in this population.
Basco WT. JAMA Netw Open. 2018;1.
The number of hospitalists—physicians practicing exclusively in acute care settings—continues to grow. However, whether patient outcomes differ between hospitalists and general physicians remains unclear. This study examined medical record data from a single urban academic children's hospital to compare patient outcomes between general pediatricians and hospitalists. After adjustment for patient characteristics (e.g., age and number of chronic conditions) and for physician characteristics (e.g., number of years in practice), the investigators did not find differences in readmission rates, total costs, or lengths of stay. The hospitalists' patients had a greater risk for device-related adverse events, which was explained by differences in physician experience. The authors conclude that the safety of care delivered by general versus hospitalist pediatricians is similar. A related editorial predicts that the hospitalist model of pediatric acute care will continue to grow.
Saint S, Greene T, Krein SL, et al. New Engl J Med. 2016;374:2111-2119.
The landmark Keystone ICU study, which achieved remarkable sustained reductions in central line–associated bloodstream infections in intensive care unit (ICU) patients, stands as one of the most prominent successes of the patient safety field. Although the use of a checklist gathered the most publicity, the study's key insight was that preventing health care–associated infections (HAIs) required extensive attention to improving safety culture by addressing the socioadaptive factors within hospitals that contributed to HAIs. In this new AHRQ funded national study, the Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program was implemented at 603 hospitals in 32 states, with the goal of preventing catheter-associated urinary tract infections in ICU and ward patients. The effort involved socioadaptive interventions (various approaches shown to improve safety culture) and technical interventions (targeted training to reduce usage of indwelling urinary catheters and providing regular data feedback to participating units). Catheter usage and infection rates significantly decreased in ward patients, although no change was found in ICU patients. This study thus represents one of the few safety interventions that has achieved a sustainable improvement in a clinical outcome. An earlier article described the implementation of the program, which involved collaboration between state and national agencies and academic centers. In a 2008 PSNet interview, the study's lead author discussed his work on preventing HAIs.
Jones SL, Ashton CM, Kiehne L, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2016;42:122-138.
Early recognition of sepsis is a patient safety issue, due to the time-sensitive nature of delivering evidence-based treatments. This article describes a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services–funded initiative to improve sepsis management in 15 facilities in Texas. Components included convening a leadership committee for performance improvement, educating bedside nurses and other staff, developing a screening tool in the electronic health record (EHR), standardizing a second responder protocol (like a rapid response team) for possible sepsis, and conducting audit and feedback for participating institutions. The authors noted challenges given that participating institutions used different EHRs, but they were able to implement EHR-based screening across all systems. Positive screens were evaluated by a second responder, but it is difficult to estimate the amount of second responder time needed for this intervention. Planned outcome measures, which are not yet available, include mortality, length of stay, and costs. A recent WebM&M commentary describes common errors in the early management of sepsis.
Jones SL, Ashton CM, Kiehne L, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2015;41:483-91.
A protocolized early warning system to improve sepsis recognition and management was associated with a decrease in sepsis-related inpatient mortality. The protocol emphasized early recognition by nurses and escalation of care by a nurse practitioner when indicated. An AHRQ WebM&M commentary describes common errors in the early management of sepsis.
Moore ZEH, Webster J, Samuriwo R. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015;9:CD011011.
Pressure ulcers are considered a never event for hospitals. In this systematic review, researchers sought to examine the impact of wound care teams in preventing and treating pressure ulcers in any health care setting, but failed to find a single randomized controlled trial that met their predefined inclusion criteria. Although wound care teams are increasingly prevalent, this study found there is a lack of robust evidence to support their effect.
Mathukia C, Fan WQ, Vadyak K, et al. J Community Hosp Intern Med Perspect. 2015;5:26716.
The introduction of a modified early warning system at a community academic medical center was associated with more rapid response team activations (from 0.24 to 0.48 per 100 patient-days), but fewer code blues and a decline in overall inpatient mortality (from 2.3% in 2011 to 1.5% in 2013).
Hsu Y-J, Marsteller JA. Am J Med Qual. 2016;31:349-357.
To determine the impact of the Comprehensive Unit-Based Safety Program (CUSP) on patient safety, this study compared intensive care units participating in the program with units not participating. Although safety culture improved in units with CUSP implementation, the intervention did not reduce incidence of central line–associated bloodstream infections. These findings demonstrate that teamwork training approaches, while helpful, may not be sufficient to augment patient outcomes. Further study characterizing sites that improved versus those that did not may elucidate facilitators and barriers to achieving patient safety goals.