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.
Njoku A, Evans M, Nimo-Sefah L, et al. Healthcare. 2023;11:438.
Maternal morbidity and mortality are disproportionately experienced by persons of color in the United States. The authors of this article present a socioecological model for understanding the individual, interpersonal, organizational, community, and societal factors contributing to Black maternal morbidity and mortality. The authors outline several recommendations for improving care, including workforce diversification, incorporating social determinants of health and health disparities into health professional education, and exploring the impact of structural racism on maternal health outcomes.
Shahin Z, Shah GH, Apenteng BA, et al. Healthcare (Basel). 2023;11:788.
The “July effect” is a widely held, yet poorly studied, belief that the quality of care delivered in teaching hospitals decreases during the summer months due to the arrival of new trainee physicians. Using national inpatient stay data from 2018, this study found that the risk of postpartum hemorrhage among patients treated at teaching hospitals was significantly higher during the first six months of the academic year (July to December) compared to the second half (January to June). The authors recommend future research examine whether postpartum hemorrhage is associated with resident work hours, technical deficiencies, or unfamiliarity with hospital practices, and emphasize the importance of monitoring and clinical training to mitigate the impacts of the “July effect.”
Gross TK, Lane NE, Timm NL, et al. Pediatrics. 2023;151:e2022060971-e2022060972.
Emergency room crowding is a persistent factor that degrades safety for patients of all ages. This collection provides background, best practices, and recommendations to reduce emergency department crowding and its negative impact on pediatric care. The publications examine factors that influence crowding and improvement at the input, departmental, and hospital/outpatient stages of emergency care.
Jeffers NK, Berger BO, Marea CX, et al. Soc Sci Med. 2023;317:115622.
Structural racism contributes to high rates of severe maternal morbidity (SMM) experienced by Black patients. This study investigated specific measures of structural racism (incarceration inequality and racialized economic segregation) on Black SMM. In this sample of births from 2008-2011, racialized economic segregation was associated with SMM for black patients; however, incarceration inequality was not.
Griffey RT, Schneider RM, Todorov AA. Ann Emerg Med. 2022;80:528-538.
Trigger tools are a novel method of detecting adverse events. This article describes the location, severity, omission/commission, and type of adverse events retrospectively detected using the computerized Emergency Department Trigger Tool (EDTT). Understanding the characteristics of prior adverse events can guide future quality and safety improvement efforts.
Atallah F, Hamm RF, Davidson CM, et al. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2022;227:b2-b10.
The reduction of cognitive bias is generating increased interest as a diagnostic error reduction strategy. This statement introduces the concept of cognitive bias and discusses methods to manage the presence of bias in obstetrics such as debiasing training and teamwork.
Lyndon A, Simpson KR, Spetz J, et al. Appl Nurs Res. 2022;63:151516.
Missed nursing care appears to be associated with higher rates of adverse events. More than 3,600 registered nurses (RNs) were surveyed about missed care during labor and birth in the United States. Three aspects of nursing care were reported missing by respondents: thorough review of prenatal records, missed timely documentation of maternal-fetal assessments, and failure to monitor input and output.
Okpalauwaekwe U, Tzeng H-M. Patient Relat Outcome Meas. 2021;12:323-337.
Patients transferred from hospitals to skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) are vulnerable to adverse events. This scoping review identified common extrinsic factors contributing to adverse events among older adults during rehabilitation stays at skilled nursing facilities, including inappropriate medication usage, polypharmacy, environmental hazards, poor communication between staff, lack of resident safety plans, and poor quality of care due to racial bias, organizational issues, and administrative issues.
Gillespie BM, Harbeck EL, Rattray M, et al. Int J Surg. 2021;95:106136.
Surgical site infections (SSI) are a common, yet largely preventable, complication of surgery which can result in increased length of stay and hospital readmission. In this review of 57 studies, the cumulative incidence of SSI was 11% in adult general surgical patients and was associated with increased length of stay (with variation by types of surgery).
Patient boarding in the emergency department (ED) can result in patient harm. This review explored the association between boarding in the ED and quality of care, outcomes, and adverse events. Increased boarding time was associated with poorer quality of care and outcomes.
Marang-van de Mheen PJ, Vincent CA. BMJ Qual Saf. 2021;30:525-528.
Research has shown that patients admitted to the hospital on the weekend may experience worse outcomes compared to those admitted on weekdays (the ‘weekend effect’). This editorial highlights the challenges to empirically evaluate the underlying mechanisms contributing to the weekend effect. The authors propose viewing the weekend effect as a proxy for staffing levels and the influence of other factors influencing outcomes for patients admitted on weekends, such as patient acuity, clinician skill-mix and access to diagnostic tests or other ancillary services.
Barbash IJ, Davis BS, Yabes JG, et al. Ann Intern Med. 2021;174:927-935.
Starting in 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has required hospitals to report adherence to the Severe Sepsis and Septic Shock Early Management Bundle (SEP-1). This study examined sepsis patient encounters at one health system two years before and two years after SEP-1 implementation. Results indicate variable changes in process measures but no improvement in clinical outcomes. The authors suggest revising the measure with more flexible guidelines that allow clinician discretion may improve patient outcomes.
Lippke S, Derksen C, Keller FM, et al. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021;18:2616.
Communication is an essential component of safe patient care. This review of 71 studies found that communication training interventions in obstetrics can improve communication skills and behavior, particularly when combined with team training. The authors identified a lack of evidence regarding the effect of communication trainings on patient safety outcomes and suggest that future research should assess this relationship. Study findings underscore the need for adequate communication trainings to be provided to all staff and expectant mothers and their partners.
Han D, Khadka A, McConnell M, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3:e2024589.
Unexpected death or serious disability of a newborn is considered a never event. A cross-sectional analysis including over 5 million births between 2011 and 2017 in the United States found unexpected newborn death was associated with a significant increase in use of procedures to avert or mitigate fetal distress and newborn complications (e.g., cesarean delivery, antibiotic use for suspected sepsis). These findings could reflect increased caution among clinicals or indicate more proactive attempts to identify and address potential complications.
Decormeille G, Maurer-Maouchi V, Mercier G, et al. Crit Care Med. 2021;49:e20-e30.
Common nursing procedures, such as bathing patients in their beds, can result in physiologic changes or accidental displacement of medical devices that may be dangerous to the patient. This study of 254 intensive care patients across Western Europe found that serious adverse events occurred in half of patients during bed bathing.
Ausserhofer D, Zaboli A, Pfeifer N, et al. Int J Nurs Stud. 2020;113:103788.
Emergency department triage systems are intended to prioritize patients based on illness severity, but inappropriate triage can result in delays in care and adverse events. Conducted at a single emergency department (ED) in Italy, this study found that nurse-led triage errors occurred in 16.3% of patients and were associated with longer emergency department and hospital stays.
Naloxone administration in inpatient and outpatient settings is used to mitigate the effects of opioid overdose. This study, conducted at one academic medical center, found that an increasing number prehospital naloxone doses for suspected opioid overdose was significantly associated with an increased likelihood of adverse events (AEs) in the emergency department (ED).
Hsu HE, Mathew R, Wang R, et al. JAMA Pediatr. 2020;174:1176-1183.
Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI) and central catheter-associated blood stream infections (CLABSI), are common complications in hospitalized patients, particularly among critically-ill children. Using surveillance data from January 2013 to June 2018, the authors did not identify any significant changes in CLABSI rates in NICUs or PICUs. These trends indicate that past gains in CLABSI rates have held, without evidence of further improvement. The authors noted modest improvements in CAUTI rates, observing a significant decrease in CAUTI rates in the PICU, corresponding with a significant decrease in indwelling urinary catheter use.
Lau VI, Priestap FA, Lam JNH, et al. J Intensive Care Med. 2020;35:1067-1073.
Many factors can contribute to early, unplanned readmissions among critical care patients. In this prospective cohort study, adult patients who were discharged directly home after an ICU admission were followed for 8 weeks post-discharge to explore the predictors of adverse events and unplanned return visits to a health care facility. Among 129 patients, there were 39 unplanned return visits. Researchers identified eight predictors of unplanned return visits including prior substance abuse, hepatitis, discharge diagnosis of sepsis, ICU length of stay exceeding 2 days, nursing workload, and leaving against medical advice.