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.
Retained surgical items (RSI) are a never event, yet they continue to happen. This commentary summarizes recent changes to an existing guidance that defines a range of retained devices or products to coalesce with industry terminology. The author shares steps to reduce the potential for RSI retention.
Combs CA, Einerson BD, Toner LE. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2021;225:b43-b49.
Maternal and newborn safety is challenged during cesarean delivery due to the complexities of the practice. This guideline recommends specific checklist elements to direct coordination and communication between the two teams engaged in cesarean deliveries. The guideline provides a sample checklist and steps for its implementation.
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.
Bickham P, Golembiewski J, Meyer T, et al. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2019;76:903-820.
Pharmacists working with surgical teams bring distinct safety context, expertise, and process awareness to perioperative care. These guidelines outline how pharmacists can help reduce medication errors before, during, and after surgery. Perioperative pharmacists can enhance communication, medication histories, and process reliability.
Potential deterioration of older surgeons' technical performance is a patient safety concern. This guidance developed from a Society of Surgical Chairs panel discussion puts forth several steps to manage the transition of aging surgeons. Recommendations include mandatory cognitive and psychomotor testing for surgeons age 65 and older, respectful consideration of the financial and emotional concerns of aging surgeons, and lifelong mentoring around the transition from clinical to nonclinical roles. The authors anticipate that such initiatives will prompt thoughtful support for aging surgeons that ensures patient safety. In an accompanying editorial, an older physician supports mandatory testing and suggests individual-level steps to address aging as a surgeon, including healthy lifestyle and financial habits.
Categorizing human error as a criminal act can deter reporting required to learn from incidents and improve practice. This position statement articulates the importance of avoiding this approach for unintentional perioperative nursing errors to ensure the open communication needed to support the safety of clinicians, organizations, and patients.
Ban KA, Minei JP, Laronga C, et al. J Am Coll Surg. 2017;224:59-74.
Surgical site infections are a persistent and costly challenge to patient safety. These guidelines provide recommendations to reduce this common hospital-acquired condition, including policies for surgeon attire, hand hygiene, and equipment sterilization.
Retained surgical items are considered a sentinel event in perioperative care. This guideline suggests strategies such as improving team communication, standardizing protocols for surgical counts, and limiting distractions to address this persisting problem.
The practice of live surgical procedures for educational purposes presents safety concerns for patients. This policy statement details organizational requirements and provides a checklist to help ensure that these events are conducted safely.
Wahr JA, Prager RL, Abernathy JH, et al. Circulation. 2013;128:1139-1169.
This scientific statement from the American Heart Association (AHA) reviews the current state of knowledge on safety issues in the operating room (OR) and provides detailed recommendations for hospitals to implement to improve safety and patient outcomes. These recommendations include using checklists and formal handoff protocols for every procedure, teamwork training and other approaches to enhance safety culture, applying human factors engineering principles to optimize OR design and minimize fatigue, and taking steps to discourage disruptive behavior by clinicians. AHA scientific statements, which are considered the standard of care for cardiac patients, have traditionally focused on clinical issues, but this article (and an earlier statement on medication error prevention) illustrates the critical importance of ensuring safety in this complex group of patients.
Chow WB, Rosenthal RA, Merkow RP, et al. J Am Coll Surg. 2012;215:453-66.
This guideline describes recommendations for preoperative assessment of elderly surgical patients, including risk factors for postoperative delirium and pulmonary complications, to enhance safety and reduce readmissions.
Improvement AC of O and GCC on PS and Q. Obstet Gynecol. 2009;114:1424-7.
In this piece, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists emphasizes principles and objectives for patient safety in obstetrics and gynecology practices. The guidelines include encouraging a safety culture, reducing surgical errors, improving communication with patients and providers, and prioritizing safety.
This guidance statement outlines recommendations from the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) for developing, implementing, and evaluating safe medication practices in the perioperative environment.
This revision of the 2006 committee statement provides a series of recommendations responding to issues that contribute to errors within the operative theater and highlights checklists as one approach to improvement.
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