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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 883 Results
Dixit RA, Boxley CL, Samuel S, et al. J Patient Saf. 2023;19:e25-e30.
Electronic health records (EHR) may have unintended negative consequences on patient safety. This review identified 11 articles focused on the relationship between EHR use and diagnostic error. EHR issues fell into three general areas: information gathering, medical decision-making, and plan implementation and communication. The majority of issues were a related to providers’ cognitive processing, revealing an important area of research and quality improvement.
Greig PR, Zolger D, Onwochei DN, et al. Anaesthesia. 2022;Epub Dec 14.
Cognitive aids, such as checklists and decision aids, can reduce omissions in care and improve patient safety. This systematic review including 13 randomized trials found that cognitive aids in clinical emergencies reduced the incidence of missed care steps (from 43% to 11%) and medical errors, and improved teamwork, non-technical, and conflict resolution scores.
Baldwin CA, Hanrahan K, Edmonds SW, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2023;49:14-25.
Unprofessional and disruptive behavior can erode patient safety and safety culture. The Co-Worker Observation System (CORS), a peer-to-peer feedback program previously used with physicians and advance practice providers, was implemented for use with nurses in three hospitals. Reports of unprofessional behavior submitted to the internal reporting system were evaluated by the CORS team, and peer-to-peer feedback was given to the recipient. This pilot study demonstrated that the implementation bundle can be successful with nursing staff.
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. 
Cohen AL, Sur M, Falco C, et al. Diagnosis (Berl). 2022;9:476-484.
Clinical reasoning is now a common method to improve diagnostic decision making, and several tools have been developed to assess learners’ clinical reasoning. In this study, hospital faculty and pediatric interns used the Assessment of Reasoning Tool (ART) to assess, teach, and guide feedback on the interns’ clinical reasoning. Faculty and interns report the ART framework was highly structured, specific, formative, and facilitated goal setting.
Kaplan HM, Birnbaum JF, Kulkarni PA. Diagnosis (Berl). 2022;9:421-429.
Premature diagnostic closure, also called anchoring bias, relies on initial diagnostic impression without continuing to explore differential diagnoses. This commentary proposes a cognitive forcing strategy of “endpoint diagnosis,” or continuing to ask “why” until additional diagnostic evaluations have been exhausted. The authors describe four common contexts when endpoint diagnoses are not pursued or reached.
WebM&M Case December 14, 2022

This case describes a man in his 70s with a history of multiple myeloma and multiple healthcare encounters for diarrhea in the previous five years, which had always been attributed to viral or unknown causes, without any microbiologic or serologic testing. The patient was admitted to the hospital with gastrointestinal symptoms and diagnosed with cholecystitis and gangrenous gallbladder. Two months after his admission for cholecystitis, he was readmitted for severe vomiting and hypotension.

Sibbald M, Abdulla B, Keuhl A, et al. JMIR Hum Factors. 2022;9:e39234.
Electronic differential diagnostic support (EDS) are decision aids that suggest one or more differential diagnoses based on clinical data entered by the clinician. The generated list may prompt the clinician to consider additional diagnoses. This study simulated the use of one EDS, Isabel, in the emergency department to identify barriers and supports to its effectiveness. Four themes emerged. Notably, some physicians thought the EDS-generated differentials could reduce bias while others suggested it could introduce bias.
WebM&M Case November 16, 2022

A 61-year-old women with a mechanical aortic valve on chronic warfarin therapy was referred to the emergency department (ED) for urgent computed tomography (CT) imaging of the right leg to rule out an arterial clot. CT imaging revealed two arterial thromboses the right lower extremity and an echocardiogram revealed a thrombus near the prosthetic heart valve. The attending physician ordered discontinuation of warfarin and initiation of a heparin drip.

Kunitomo K, Harada T, Watari T. BMC Emerg Med. 2022;22:148.
Cognitive biases can impede diagnostic decision-making and contribute to diagnostic delays and patient harm. This study explored the types of cognitive biases contributing to diagnostic errors in emergency rooms in Japan. The most common biases reported were overconfidence, confirmation bias, availability bias, and anchoring bias. Findings indicate that most diagnostic errors involved overlooking another disease in the same organ group or related organ (e.g., diagnosing headache rather than stroke).
Lauffenburger JC, Coll MD, Kim E, et al. Med Educ. 2022;56:1032-1041.
Medication errors can be common among medical trainees. Using semi-structured qualitative interviews, this study identified factors influencing suboptimal prescribing by medical residents during overnight coverage, including time pressures, perceived pressure and fear of judgement, clinical acuity, and communication issues between care team members.
Lusk C, Catchpole K, Neyens DM, et al. Appl Ergon. 2022;104:103831.
Tall Man lettering and color-coding of medication syringes provide visual cues to decrease medication ordering and administration errors. In this study, an icon was added to the standard medication label; participants were asked to identify four medications, with and without the icon, from pre-defined distances. Participants correctly identified the medications with icons slightly more often.
Fleming EA. JAMA. 2022;328:1297-1298.
Honest apology is known to support healing from medical error for clinicians, patients, and families. This essay shares the experience of one physician who missed signs of a heart attack, mislabeling the condition as fatigue, who then apologized for the mistake. The author highlights how openness about the error was crucial in the continuation of the care relationship.
Healy M, Richard A, Kidia K. J Gen Intern Med. 2022;37:2533-2540.
The language used in progress notes in the electronic health record (EHR) can influence the attitudes of and treatment given by subsequent clinicians. This review describes words and phrases that are stigmatizing and provides neutral alternatives (e.g., person with substance use disorder instead of addict). Patients in minoritized groups may be especially impacted by stigmatizing language in progress notes.   
Redmond S, Barwise A, Zornes S, et al. Health Serv Insights. 2022;15:117863292211235.
Various factors – including organizational, interpersonal clinician, and patient factors – can contribute to diagnostic errors and delays. This survey of 220 clinicians explored the perceived frequency of different factors contributing to diagnostic errors or diagnostic delay. Findings suggest that system and processes, care team interactions, provider factors, cognitive factors, and patient factors were perceived to contribute to diagnostic error and delay with similar frequency.
Vauk S, Seelandt JC, Huber K, et al. Br J Anaesth. 2022;129:776-787.
Prior studies have demonstrated rudeness and incivility undermines patient safety. In this study, hospital staff participated in a simulated scenario with scripted, randomly assigned responses to speaking up (civil, pseudo-civil, or rude). Unexpectedly, participants were more likely to speak up following the rude response than either the civil or pseudo-civil responses. The authors describe potential reasons for this unexpected finding.
Curated Libraries
October 10, 2022
Selected PSNet materials for a general safety audience focusing on improvements in the diagnostic process and the strategies that support them to prevent diagnostic errors from harming patients.
Fuller AEC, Guirguis LM, Sadowski CA, et al. Sr Care Pharm. 2022;37:421-447.
While barcode-assisted medication administration (BCMA) and electronic medication administration records (eMAR) technologies have reduced adverse drug events, workarounds that may contribute to medication errors have been identified for both. This study of medication administration errors was conducted in a Canadian long-term care facility following implementation of eMAR-BCMA software. During the twenty-nine-month study period, 190 medication administration errors were reported.