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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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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...
Shaw J, Bastawrous M, Burns S, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;17:30-35.
Patients who have fallen in their homes and are found by a home healthcare worker are referred to as “found-on-floor” incidents. This study found that length of stay was a key theme in found-on-floor incidents and signaled underlying system-level issues, such as lack of informational continuity across the continuum of care (e.g., lack of standard documentation across settings, unclear messaging regarding clients’ home care needs), reliance on home healthcare workers instead of rehabilitation professionals, and lack of fall assessment follow-up. The authors recommend systems-level changes to improve fall prevention practices, such as use of electronic health records across the continuum of care and enhanced accountability in home safety.  
Ricci-Cabello I, Gangannagaripalli J, Mounce LTA, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;17:e20-e27.
Patient safety in primary care is an emerging focus. This cross-sectional study across primary care clinics in England explored the main factors contributing to patient-reported harm experiences. Factors included incidents related to communication, care coordination, and incorrect or delayed; diagnosis and/or treatment.
Lindblad M, Unbeck M, Nilsson L, et al. BMC Health Serv Res. 2020;20:289.
This study used a trigger tool to retrospectively identify and characterize no-harm incidents affecting adult patients in home healthcare settings in Sweden. The most common incidents identified by the trigger tool were falls without injury, medication management incidents, and moderate pain. Common contributing factors included delayed, erroneous, or incomplete nursing care and treatment.

SB 3380. 116th Congress (2020).

This bill submits amendments to existing US federal law to strengthen state-organized efforts to improve health care-associated infection control efforts, pediatric safety initiatives, care transitions, reporting systems and antimicrobial stewardship programs.
Harrisburg, PA: Patient Safety Authority. ISSN 2641-4716.
The Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority is a long-established source of patient safety data analysis and application-focused commentary. Their publishing output aims to generate improvements in their state as well as throughout health care. This open-access publication replaces the quarterly Pennsylvania Patient Safety Advisory newsletter.
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.

Health Aff (Millwood). 2018;37(11):1723-1908.

The Institute of Medicine report, To Err Is Human, marked the founding of the patient safety field. This special issue of Health Affairs, published 20 years after that report, highlights achievements and progress to date. One implementation study of evidence-based surgical safety checklists demonstrated that leadership involvement, intensive activities, and engagement of frontline staff are all critical to successful adoption of safety practices. Another study demonstrated that communication-and-resolution programs either decreased or did not affect malpractice costs, providing further support for implementing such programs. Experts describe the critical role of human factors engineering in patient safety and outline how to enhance the use of these methods. The concluding editorial by David Bates and Hardeep Singh points to progress in reducing hospital-acquired infections and improving medication safety in acute care settings and highlights remaining gaps in the areas of outpatient care, diagnostic errors, and electronic health record safety. In the related information, the Moore Foundation provides free access to five articles in this special issue.
Gubar S.
This newspaper article describes how surgical complications, health care–associated infections, and ineffective patient–provider communication contributed to a patient's experience with harm and suggests that transparency around the incident and preoperative patient briefings could have improved the situation.
London, UK: Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman; June 2014.
This investigation outlines how inadequate care contributed to the death of a child who developed sepsis while receiving treatment for the flu. Describing failures associated with telephone triage and out-of-hours service in the course of his care, the report recommends organization-wide efforts to improve safety, including providing guidelines for staff and support or families.
Kalisch BJ, Xie B. West J Nurs Res. 2014;36:875-890.
Nurse staffing ratios have been linked to patient safety issues and inpatient mortality. This review analyzes evidence on how missed nursing care contributes to adverse events and recommends future research avenues to inform staffing models.
Kalisch BJ, Xie B, Dabney BW. Am J Med Qual. 2014;29:415-22.
The extent to which patient reports capture medical errors versus poor service quality remains controversial. This survey examined hospitalized patient reports and found a substantial burden of missed care. Most frequently missed were mouth care, ambulation, repositioning, bathing, and discussing tests and procedures. The study demonstrated that patients who reported pressure ulcers, medication errors, hospital-acquired infections, and intravenous line problems were more likely to also report missed nursing care. This suggests that significant errors of omission exist in current inpatient nursing practice.
Kerckhoffs MC, van der Sluijs AF, Binnekade JM, et al. J Patient Saf. 2013;9.
Conceptually analogous to failure mode and effect analysis, the Bow-Tie method is used to prospectively detect safety hazards. In this study, the Bow-Tie method was used to identify latent safety hazards in intrahospital transport, risk factors for unintentional extubation, and contributors to poor interdisciplinary communication.
Lipczak H, Knudsen JL, Nissen A. BMJ Qual Saf. 2011;20:1052-6.
A comprehensive view of patient safety hazards requires identifying safety issues through multiple data sources. This Danish study analyzed safety problems in oncology care through voluntary error reports, retrospective chart review using the Global Trigger Tool, and patient reports. While each data source revealed unique hazards, common problems in this patient population included treatment-related harm (from chemotherapy and other procedures), health care–associated infections, and problems related to communication between providers. An AHRQ WebM&M commentary discusses a preventable complication in a patient receiving outpatient chemotherapy.
Callen J, Georgiou A, Li J, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2011;20:194-199.
Adverse events after hospital discharge are a growing driver for safety interventions, including a focus on readmissions, adverse drug events, and hospital-acquired infections. Another safety area ripe for intervention is managing test results after hospital discharge. This systematic review analyzed 12 studies and found wide variation in rates of test follow-up and related management systems. Critical test results and results for patients moving across health care settings were highlighted as particularly concerning areas that could be addressed with better clinical information systems. A past AHRQ WebM&M commentary discussed a case where a patient was incorrectly treated based on failure to follow up a urine culture after hospital discharge.
Scobie A. Int J Qual Health Care. 2011;23:182-6.
Improving patient safety in the ambulatory setting requires the development of new care models, greater utilization of information technology, and a focus on patient factors such as health literacy. Current health policy reform often debates the virtues of international care delivery models as a driver for change. Building on past Commonwealth Fund reports, this study surveyed patients with self-reported chronic disease in eight countries to identify risk factors associated with self-reported errors. Investigators found that errors were associated with a number of factors, including a patient’s age, education level, and prescription drug use. The three risk factors with the greatest relationship to errors were experiencing a care coordination problem, having seen four or more doctors within the past 2 years, and having used the emergency department in the last 2 years. The authors advocate for improved sharing of clinical information (e.g., electronic health records) and specific policy and practices designed to improve care coordination.

Baker GR, ed. Healthc Q. 2010;13(Spec No):1-136.  

This is the fifth in a series of special issues devoted to exploring Canadian patient safety organizational and strategic improvement efforts. The articles highlight work related to topics including critical occurrence review, hand hygiene compliance, and effective handoffs.
Reynard J, Reynolds J, Stevenson P. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press; 2009. ISBN: 9780199239931.
This book provides an introduction to key patient safety topics and includes a set of 20 case studies to demonstrate opportunities for error prevention.

Baker GR, ed. Healthc Q. 2009;12(Spec No Patient):1-198.  

This special issue discusses Canadian patient safety efforts in identifying risks, designing safe systems, implementing solutions, developing learning systems, and understanding legal decision making.