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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 1526 Results
WebM&M Case February 1, 2023

A 38-year-old man with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) on chronic hemodialysis was admitted for nonhealing, infected lower leg wounds and underwent a below-knee amputation. He suffered from postoperative pain at the operative stump and was treated for four days with regional nerve blocks, as well as gabapentin, intermittent intravenous hydromorphone (which was transitioned to oral oxycodone) and oral hydromorphone.

ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute care edition. January 12, 2023;28(1):1-4.

The patient safety movement has raised awareness of the presence of multiple factors that align to result in patient harm, yet implementing processes to fully examine and change practice from that perspective is challenged. This article discusses this situation and provides recommendations to orient improvement efforts toward deeper investigation methods to identify latent contributors to care failure.
Chew MM, Rivas S, Chesser M, et al. J Patient Saf. 2023;19:23-28.
Provision of enteral nutrition (EN) is a specialized process requiring careful interdisciplinary teamwork. After discovering significant issues with ordering, administration, and documentation of EN, this health system updated its workflows to improve safety. EN therapies were added to the electronic medication administration record (MAR) and the barcoding system was updated. After one year, all EN orders were barcode scanned and nearly all were documented as given or included a reason why they were not given.

Grimm CA. Washington DC: Office of the Inspector General; Nov 2022. Report no. OEI-07-20-00500.

Misdiagnosis can result in inappropriate medication use. This report examined the overuse of antipsychotics in nursing homes and resident harms. These recommendations from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General include heightened evaluation and oversight of medication use and better documentation of diagnosis with medication orders as avenues for improvement.
Food and Drug Administration and Institute for Safe Medication Practices. Plymouth Meeting, PA; Institute for Safe Medication Practices; January 2023.
Mistakes associated with look-alike medication names are a safety concern in health care. Tall man, or mixed case, lettering is one recommended strategy to reduce confusion associated with similarities in drug names. This list includes medications recognized by clinicians and professional organizations as those suited for the application of mixed case lettering to make their use safer.
Kelly D, Koay A, Mineva G, et al. Public Health. 2022;214:50-60.
Natural disasters and other public health emergencies (PHE), such as the COVID-19 pandemic, can dramatically change the delivery of healthcare. This scoping review identified considerable research examining the relationship between public health emergencies and disruptions to personal medication practices (e.g., self-altering medication regimens, access barriers, changing prescribing providers) and subsequent medication-related harm.
Barrett AK, Sandbrink F, Mardian A, et al. J Gen Intern Med. 2022;37:4037-4046.
Opioid medication use is associated with an increased risk of adverse events; however research has shown sudden discontinuation of opioids is also associated with adverse events such as withdrawal and hospitalization. This before and after study evaluated the impact of the VA’s Opioid Safety Initiative (OSI) on characteristics and prescribing practices. Results indicate that length of tapering period increased, and mortality risk decreased following OSI implementation.
Doctor JN, Stewart E, Lev R, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2023;6:e2249877.
Research has shown that prescribers who are notified of a patient’s fatal opioid overdose will decrease milligram morphine equivalents (MME) up to 3 months following notification as compared to prescribers who are not notified. This article reports on the same cohort’s prescribing behavior at 4-12 months. Among prescribers who received notification, total weekly MME continued to decrease more than the control group during the 4-12 month period.
Rodgers S, Taylor AC, Roberts SA, et al. PLoS Med. 2022;19:e1004133.
Previous research found that a pharmacist-led information technology intervention (PINCER) reduced dangerous prescribing (i.e., medication monitoring and drug-disease errors) among a subset of primary care practices in the United Kingdom (UK). This longitudinal analysis examined the impact of the PINCER intervention after implementation across a large proportion of general practices in one region in the UK. Researchers found the PINCER intervention decreased dangerous prescribing by 17% and 15% at 6-month and 12-month follow-ups, particularly among dangerous prescribing related to gastrointestinal bleeding.
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. 
Lucas SR, Pollak E, Makowski C. J Healthc Risk Manag. 2022;Epub Dec 4.
Medical errors that receive widespread media attention frequently spur health systems to reexamine their own culture and practices to prevent similar errors. This commentary describes one health system’s effort to identify and improve the system factors (systems, processes, technology) involved in the error. The action plan proposed by this project includes ensuring a just culture so staff feel empowered to report errors and near-misses; regularly review and improve medication delivery systems; build resilient medication delivery systems; and, establish methods of investigations.

Pharmacy Practice News Special Edition. December 13, 2022: 43-54.

Medication errors continue to occur despite long-standing efforts to reduce them. This article summarizes types of errors submitted to the Institute for Safe Medication Practices reporting program in 2021. The piece discusses the medications involved, recommendations for improvement, and technologies to be employed to minimize error occurrence.
Erstad BL, Romero AV, Barletta JF. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2023;80:87-91.
Weight-based dosing is vulnerable to error due to inaccurate estimation of body weight, use of metric vs. non-metric units, or patients being underweight or overweight. This commentary suggests strategies for reducing weight- and size-based dosing errors including reduction in reliance on estimated body weight, standardizing descriptor (e.g., body mass index), limiting options in the electronic health record (EHR), and integrating complex calculations into the EHR.
Sallevelt BTGM, Egberts TCG, Huibers CJA, et al. Drug Saf. 2022;45:1501-1516.
Adverse events, such as medication errors, are a major cause of hospital admissions. This retrospective study of a subset of OPERAM intervention patients who were readmitted with a potentially preventable drug-related admission (DRA) examined whether use of STOPP/START criteria during in-hospital medication review can identify medication errors prior to a potentially preventable DRA. Researchers found that medication errors identified at readmission could not be addressed by prior in-hospital medication reviews because the medication error occurred after the in-hospital review or because recommended medication regimen changes were not provided or not implemented.
Alqahtani N. J Eval Clin Pract. 2022;28:1037-1049.
Insulin-related errors result in nearly 100,000 emergency department visits annually in the United States, with 30% resulting in hospitalization. It is unclear if published guidelines and strategies for reducing these errors have been effective; therefore, this review sought to identify interventions to reduce insulin errors in home and hospital settings. Three themes emerged: technology, education, and policy. Understanding these findings may help clinicians and patients to decrease insulin administration errors and help researchers develop and evaluate future studies targeting insulin-related errors.
Henry Basil J, Premakumar CM, Mhd Ali A, et al. Drug Saf. 2022;45:1457-1476.
Medication administration errors (MAEs) are thought to be common in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). This systematic review estimated that the pooled prevalence of MAEs among patients in NICU settings ranged from 59% to 65%. The review highlights both active failures (e.g., similar drug packaging or names) and latent failures (e.g., noisy environments, inaccurate verbal or written orders) contributing to MAEs.
Wallerstedt SM, Svensson SA, Lönnbro J, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5:e2236757.
Criteria, such as the Screening Tool of Older Persons' Prescriptions (STOPP)/Screening Tool to Alert to Right Treatment (START) criteria, are tools used by clinicians to identify potentially inappropriate prescribing (PIM) and potential prescribing omissions (PPOs) among older adult patients. In this study, researchers evaluated three PIM/PPO criteria sets and found that all three performed poorly as diagnostic tools to identify inadequate drug treatment in older patients compared to counting the number of drugs on the patient’s medication list.
Clark J, Fera T, Fortier CR, et al. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2022;79:2279-2306.
Drug diversion is a system issue that has the potential to disrupt patient access to safe, reliable medications and result in harm. These guidelines offer a structured approach for organizations to develop and implement drug diversion prevention efforts. The strategies submitted focus on foundational, organizational, and individual prevention actions that target risk points across the medication use process such as storage, prescribing, and waste disposal.

Federal Office of Public Health. 2m2c Convention Centre, Montreux, Switzerland, February 23-24, 2023.

Medical errors continue to cause harm worldwide despite the planning and efforts to reduce them. This bi-yearly session will feature topics exploring the theme of “Less Harm, Better Care – from Resolution to Implementation.” It will cover weaknesses in improvement initiative implementation surfaced by the COVID-19 pandemic and offer approaches for addressing unsustainable program launches and implementation practices.