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.
Wallin A, Ringdal M, Ahlberg K, et al. Scand J Caring Sci. 2023;37:414-423.
Numerous factors can hinder safe radiology practices, such as communication failures and image interpretation errors. Based on semi-structured interviews with 17 radiologists in Sweden, this study identified 20 themes at the individual-, organization-, technology-, task-and environment-levels describing factors supporting patient safety in radiology. Factors described by participants included the use of standardized tools and work routines (e.g., checklists), handoffs, and incident reporting systems.
Prior A, Vestergaard CH, Vedsted P, et al. BMC Med. 2023;21:305.
System weaknesses (e.g., resource availability, deficiencies in care coordination) threaten patient safety. This population-based cohort study including 4.7 million Danish adults who interacted with primary or hospital care in 2018, found that indicators of care fragmentation (e.g., higher numbers of involved clinicians, more transitions between providers) increased with patient morbidity level. The researchers found that higher levels of care fragmentation were associated with adverse outcomes, including potentially inappropriate prescribing and mortality.
Bittencourt NCC de M, Duarte S da CM, Marcon SS, et al. Healthcare (Basel). 2023;11:2030.
Adverse events in palliative care can include inappropriate pain management, preventable hospital (re)admissions, falls, and pressure injuries. This paper outlines ways palliative care is not always received timely, the uniqueness of patient safety within palliative care, and how to raise awareness of both of these issues for healthcare providers, educators, and patients and families.
Mirarchi FL, Pope TM. J Patient Saf. 2023;19:289-292.
Providing treatment that is discordant with patients’ preferences for end-of-life care can lead to unnecessary or unwanted treatment. This article summarizes the incidence of treatment discordant with their Portable Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) and advanced directives (ADs) and tools for use by clinicians and patients and family members to promote concordant care. A previous PSNet WebM&M Spotlight Case discusses the importance of advanced care planning and the consequences of inadequate communication and planning for end-of-life care.
Alqenae FA, Steinke DT, Carson-Stevens A, et al. Ther Adv Drug Saf. 2023;14:204209862311543.
Medication errors and adverse drug events (ADE) are unfortunately common at hospital discharge. This study used the National Reporting and Learning System (NRLS) in England and Wales to identify contributing causes to medication errors and ADE. Patients over 65 were the most common age group and, of incidents with a stated level of harm, most did not result in any harm. Overall, most incidents occurred at the prescribing stage, but varied by patient age group. Most contributory factors were organizational (e.g., continuity of care between provider types), followed by staff, patient, and equipment factors.
Karlic KJ, Valley TS, Cagino LM, et al. Am J Med Qual. 2023;38:117-121.
Because patients discharged from the intensive care unit (ICU) are at increased risk of readmission and post-ICU adverse events, some hospitals have opened post-ICU clinics. This article describes safety threats identified by post-ICU clinic staff. Medication errors and inadequate medical follow-up made up nearly half of identified safety threats. More than two-thirds were preventable or ameliorable.
Coghlan A, Turner S, Coverdale S. Intern Med J. 2023;53:550-558.
Use of abbreviations in electronic health records increases risk of misunderstandings, particularly between providers of different specialties. In this study, junior doctors and general practitioners were asked about their understanding of common, uncommon, and rare abbreviations used in hospital discharge notes. No abbreviation was interpreted in the same way by all respondents, and nearly all respondents left at least one abbreviation blank or responded that they didn't know.
Mills PD, Louis RP, Yackel E. J Healthc Qual. 2023;45:242-253.
Changes in healthcare delivery due to the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in delays in care that can lead to patient harm. In this study using patient safety event data submitted to the VHA National Center of Patient Safety, researchers identified healthcare delays involving laboratory results, treatment and interventional procedures, and diagnosis.
Washington A, Randall J. J Racial Ethn Health Disparities. 2023;10:883-891.
Discrimination can contribute to health inequities and exacerbate disparities in cancer care. In this study, researchers used a survey tool and qualitative interviews to explore the experiences of perceived discrimination for Black women and how it impacts cervical cancer prevention. Study findings suggest that perceived high degrees of discrimination create mistrust between patients and providers and can impact health outcomes.
Oksholm T, Gissum KR, Hunskår I, et al. J Adv Nurs. 2023;79:2098-2118.
Transitions of care can increase risks for patient safety events. This systematic review examined the effectiveness of interventions aimed to increase patient safety during transitions of care between the hospital and home. The authors identified several interventions from previously published studies which increased patient safety and/or patient satisfaction and identified factors that contribute to effective transitions of care (i.e., nurse follow-up, pre-discharge patient education, and contact with local healthcare services).
Roberts TJ, Sellars MC, Sands JM, et al. JCO Oncol Pract. 2022;18:833-839.
Missed diagnosis of infectious diseases can have serious consequences for patient safety. This article describes a delayed diagnosis of disseminated tuberculosis in a patient with lung cancer and discusses the how cognitive biases and systems failures contributed to the diagnostic error.
Watson J, Salisbury C, Whiting PF, et al. Br J Gen Pract. 2022;72:e747-e754.
Failure to communicate blood test results to patients may result in delayed diagnosis or treatment. In this study, UK primary care patients and general practitioners (GPs) were asked about their experiences with the communication of blood test results. Patients and GPs both expected the other to follow up on results and had conflicting experiences with the method of communication (e.g., phone call, text message).
Buitrago I, Seidl KL, Gingold DB, et al. J Healthc Qual. 2022;44:169-177.
Reducing hospital 30-day readmissions is seen as a way to improve safety and reduce costs. Baltimore City mobile integrated health and community paramedicine (MIH-CP) was designed to improve transitional care from hospital to home. After one year in operation, MIH-CP performed a chart review to determine causes of readmission among patients in the program. Root cause analysis indicated that at least one social determinant of health (e.g., health literacy) played a role in preventable readmissions; the program was modified to improve transitional care.
Nehls N, Yap TS, Salant T, et al. BMJ Open Qual. 2021;10:e001603.
Incomplete or delayed referrals from primary care providers to specialty care can cause diagnostic delays and patient harm. A systems engineering analysis was conducted to identify vulnerabilities in the referral process and develop a framework to close the loop between primary and specialty care. Low reliability processes, such as workarounds, were identified and human factors approaches were recommended to improve successful referral rates.
Poor communication between hospital and primary care providers can lead to adverse events, such as hospital readmission. In this study of older adults who required medication-related follow-up with their primary care provider, the discharging provider only sent an adequate request for 60% of patients. Of those patients that did not have an adequate request, 14% had a related hospital revisit within 6 months.
Montaleytang M, Correard F, Spiteri C, et al. Int J Clin Pharm. 2021;43:1183-1190.
Previous studies have found that discrepancies between patients’ medication lists and medications they are actually taking are common. This study found that sharing the results of medication reconciliation performed at admission and discharge with patients’ community care providers led to a decrease in medication discrepancies.
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, collaborative initiatives, teamwork, and trigger tools.
Carman E-M, Fray M, Waterson P. Appl Ergon. 2021;93:103339.
This study analyzed incident reports, discharge planning meetings, and focus groups with hospital and community healthcare staff to identify barriers and facilitators to safe transitions from hospital to community. Barriers included discharge tasks not being complete, missing or inaccurate information, and limited staff capacity. Facilitators include improved staff capacity and good communication between hospital staff, community healthcare staff, and family members. The authors recommend that hospital and community healthcare staff perspectives be taken into account when designing safe discharge policies.
Chaudhry H, Nadeem S, Mundi R. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2021;479:47-56.
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically increased the use of telehealth across various medical specialties.This systematic review did not identify any differences in patient or surgeon satisfaction or patient-reported outcomes with telehealth for orthopedic care delivery as compared to in-person visits.However, the authors note that the included studies did not adequately capture or report safety endpoints, such as complications or missed diagnoses.