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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 50 Results
Hailu EM, Maddali SR, Snowden JM, et al. Health Place. 2022;78:102923.
Racial and ethnic health disparities are receiving increased attention, and yet structural racism continues to negatively impact communities of color. This review identified only six papers studying the impact of structural racism on severe maternal morbidity (SMM). Despite heterogeneity in measures and outcomes, the studies all demonstrated a link between structural racism and SMM; additional research is required.
Kanter MH, Ghobadi A, Lurvey LD, et al. Diagnosis (Berl). 2022;9:430-436.
Diagnostic errors are an emerging area of patient safety research; as such, innovative methods to identify and prevent diagnostic errors are being developed. This commentary describes the development, implementation, and sustainment of a novel method of investigation. The e-Autopsy/e-Biopsy method includes dedicated patient safety staff and volunteer clinical specialists to review events and identify trends. The process is illustrated with three diagnoses: ectopic pregnancy, abdominal aortic aneurysms, and advanced colon cancer.
Singh H, Mushtaq U, Marinez A, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2022;48:581-590.
Diagnostic error continues to be a significant safety problem. Using a multimethod approach, this study developed a checklist of ten high-priority practices for diagnostic excellence which healthcare organizations can implement to address diagnostic errors. Priority practices include promoting speaking up behaviors through a just culture and psychologically safe environment; patient and family engagement in identifying, understanding, and addressing diagnostic safety concerns; and using multidisciplinary perspectives (including human factors and informatics) to understand factors contributing to diagnostic safety events.
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.
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.
Suneja M, Beekmann SE, Dhaliwal G, et al. Diagnosis (Berl). 2022;9:332-339.
Delayed diagnosis of infectious diseases can lead to serious patient harm. This survey of over 500 infectious disease clinicians revealed that diagnostic delay often involved diagnoses of infective endocarditis and epidural abscesses. Respondents identified several factors contributing to diagnostic delays including usual clinical presentations and the timing of infectious disease consultations.
Harsini S, Tofighi S, Eibschutz L, et al. Diagnostics (Basel). 2022;12:1761.
Incomplete or delayed communication of imaging results can result in harm to the patient and have legal ramifications for the providers involved. This commentary presents a closed-loop communication model for the ordering clinician and radiologist. The model suggests the ordering clinician categorize the radiology report as “concordant” or “discordant”, and if discordant, provide an explanation.
Gupta K, Szymonifka J, Rivadeneira NA, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2022;48:492-496.
Analysis of closed malpractice claims can be used to identify potential safety hazards in a variety of clinical settings. This analysis of closed emergency department malpractice claims indicates that diagnostic errors dominate, and clinical judgment and documentation categories continue to be associated with a higher likelihood of payout. Subcategories and contributing factors are also discussed.
Fawzy A, Wu TD, Wang K, et al. JAMA Intern Med. 2022;182:730-738.
Black and brown patients have experienced disproportionately poorer outcomes from COVID-19 infection as compared with white patients. This study found that patients who identified as Asian, Black, or Hispanic may not have received timely diagnosis or treatment due to inaccurately measured pulse oximetry (SpO2). These inaccuracies and discrepancies should be considered in COVID outcome research as well as other respiratory illnesses that rely on SpO2 measurement for treatment.
Politi RE, Mills PD, Zubkoff L, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e1061-e1066.
Delays in diagnosis and treatment can lead to poor outcomes for patients. Researchers reviewed root cause analysis (RCA) reports to identify factors contributing to delays in diagnosis and treatment among surgical patients at the Veterans Health Administration. Of the 163 RCAs identified, 73% reflected delays in treatment, 15% reflected delays in diagnosis, and 12% reflected delays in surgery. Policies and processes (e.g., lack of standardized processes, procedures not followed correctly) was the largest contributing factor, followed by communication challenges, and equipment or supply issues.
Salwei ME, Hoonakker PLT, Carayon P, et al. Hum Factors. 2022;Epub Apr 4.
Clinical decision support (CDS) systems are designed to improve diagnosis. Researchers surveyed emergency department physicians about their evaluation of human factors-based CDS systems to improve diagnosis of pulmonary embolism. Although perceived usability was high, use of the CDS tool in the real clinical environment was low; the authors identified several barriers to use, including lack of workflow integration.
Lacson R, Khorasani R, Fiumara K, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e522-e527.
Root cause analysis is a commonly used tool to identify systems-related factors that contributed to an adverse event. This study assessed a system-based approach, (i.e., collaborative case reviews (CCR) co-led by radiology and an institutional patient safety program) to identify contributing factors and explore the strength of recommended actions in the radiology department at a large academic medical center. Stronger action items, such as standardization of processes, were implemented in 41% of events, and radiology had higher completion rates than other hospital departments.
Gibson BA, McKinnon E, Bentley RC, et al. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2022;146:886-893.
A shared understanding of terminology is critical to providing appropriate treatment and care. This study assessed pathologist and clinician agreement of commonly-used phrases used to describe diagnostic uncertainty in surgical pathology reports. Phrases with the strongest agreement in meaning were “diagnostic of” and “consistent with”. “Suspicious for” and “compatible with” had the weakest agreement. Standardized diagnostic terms may improve communication.
Burrus S, Hall M, Tooley E, et al. Pediatrics. 2021;148:e2020030346.
Based on analysis of four years of data submitted to the Child Health Patient Safety Organization (CHILDPSO), researchers sought to identify types of serious safety events and contributing factors. Three main groups of serious safety events were identified: patient care management, procedural errors, and product or device errors. Contributing factors included lack of situational awareness, process failures, and failure to communicate effectively.
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, collaborative initiatives, teamwork, and trigger tools.
Fatemi Y, Coffin SE. Diagnosis (Berl). 2021;8:525-531.
Using case studies, this commentary describes how availability bias, diagnostic momentum, and premature closure resulted in delayed diagnosis for three pediatric patients first diagnosed with COVID-19. The authors highlight cognitive and systems factors that influenced this diagnostic error.
DeGrave AJ, Janizek JD, Lee S-I. Nat Mach Intell. 2021;3:610–619.
Artificial intelligence (AI) systems can support diagnostic decision-making. This study evaluates diagnostic “shortcuts” learned by AI systems in detecting COVID-19 in chest radiographs. Results reveal a need for better training data, improved choice in the prediction task, and external validation of the AI system prior to dissemination and implementations in different hospitals.  
Brown SD. Pediatr Radiol. 2021;51:1070-1075.
Misdiagnosis of child abuse has far-reaching implications. This commentary discusses the ethical tensions faced by pediatric radiologists of both over- and under-diagnosing child abuse. The author suggests ways that physicians and professional societies can partner with legal advocates to create a more balanced pool of experts to alleviate perceptions of bias and acknowledge harms of misdiagnosed child abuse.
Barwise A, Leppin A, Dong Y, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;17:239-248.
Diagnostic errors and delays continue to be a widespread patient safety concern in hospitalized patients. Researchers conducted focus groups with key clinician stakeholders to determine factors that contribute to diagnostic error and delay. Clinicians indicated that organizational, interactional, clinician, and patient factors all interact to cause errors and delays. These diverse factors must be considered when implementing interventions to reduce diagnostic errors and delays.
Avesar M, Erez A, Essakow J, et al. Diagnosis (Berl). 2021;8:358-367.
Disruptive and rude behavior can hinder teamwork and diminish patient safety. This randomized, simulation-based study including attendings, fellows, and residents explored whether rudeness during handoff affects the likelihood for challenging a diagnostic error. The authors found that rudeness may disproportionally hinder diagnostic performance among less experienced physicians.