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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 67 Results
The Joint Commission.
The National Patient Safety Goals (NPSGs) are one of the major methods by which The Joint Commission establishes standards for ensuring patient safety in all health care settings. In order to ensure health care facilities focus on preventing major sources of patient harm, The Joint Commission regularly revises the NPSGs based on their impact, cost, and effectiveness. Major focus areas include promoting surgical safety, achieving health equity, and preventing hospital-acquired infections, medication errors, inpatient suicide, and specific clinical harms such as falls and pressure ulcers. The 2024 goals are now available.

Centre for Perioperative Care. London, UK; January 2023.

Patients face risks when undergoing surgery. This revised guidance provides recommendations developed by multidisciplinary consensus and outlines how organizations can implement the standards to improve safety of invasive procedures. The report is centered on areas of effort targeting both organizational and process-level actions. 
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.

Cooper J, Thomas BJ, Rebello E, et al for the APSF Criminalization of Error Task Force. APSF Newsletter. October 2022; 37(3):80-81

Criminalizing human error can deter the transparency necessary to learn from incidents and improve health care. This position statement articulates the importance of avoiding the criminal prosecution to mistakes to instead focus on system failures to prevent conditions that permit errors to harm patients.

Plymouth Meeting, PA: Institute for Safe Medication Practices; 2022.

Medication errors associated with surgery and other invasive procedures can result in patient harm. This 10-element guidance suggests effective practices to address identified weaknesses in perioperative and procedural medication processes. Recommendations provided cover topics such as drug labeling, communication, and risk management.
Iredell B, Mourad H, Nickman NA, et al. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2022;79:730-735.
The advantages of automation can be safely achieved only when the technologies are implemented into processes that support their proper use in regular and urgent situations. This guideline outlines considerations for the safe use of computerized compounding devices to prepare parenteral nutrition admixtures with the broader application to other IV preparations in mind. Effective policy, training, system variation, and vendor partnerships are elements discussed.
Plymouth Meeting, PA: Institute for Safe Medication Practices; 2022.
This updated report describes best practices to ensure safety when preparing sterile compounds, including pharmacist verification of orders entered into computerized provider order entry systems. The guidelines emphasize the role of technologies such as barcoding and robotic image recognition as approaches to enhance safety. In addition, it covers safe practices when technologies are not available.
Horsham, PA: Institute for Safe Medication Practices; 2022.
This updated report outlines 19 consensus-based best practices to ensure safe medication administration, such as diluted solutions of vincristine in minibags and standardized metrics for patient weight. The set of recommended practices has been reviewed and updated every two years since it was first developed in 2014 to include actions related to eliminating the prescribing of fentanyl patches for acute pain and use of information about medication safety risks from other organizations to motivate improvement efforts. The 2022 update includes new practices that are associated with oxytocin, barcode verification in vaccine administration, and high-alert medications. 
Croke L. AORN J. 2021;114:4-6.
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. 
Curated Libraries
January 14, 2022
The medication-use process is highly complex with many steps and risk points for error, and those errors are a key target for improving safety. This Library reflects a curated selection of PSNet content focused on medication and drug errors. Included resources explore understanding harms from preventable medication use, medication safety...
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.
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.
Kelley-Quon LI, Kirkpatrick MG, Ricca RL, et al. JAMA Surg. 2021;156:76.
Opioid misuse is an urgent patient safety issue, including postsurgical opioid misuse among pediatric patients. Based on the systematic review, a multidisciplinary group of health care and opioid stewardship experts proposes evidence-based opioid prescribing guidelines for children who need surgery. Endorsed guideline statements highlight three primary themes for perioperative pain management in children: (1) health care professionals must recognize the risks of pediatric opioid misuse, (2) use non-opioid pain relief, and (3) pre- and post-operative education for patients and families regarding pain management and safe opioid use.

Institute for Safe Medication Practices. Horsham, PA: Institute for Safe Medication Practices; 2020.

Smart pumps are widely available as a medication safety tool yet there are challenges affecting their reliable use. This guideline expands on earlier recommendations  to support smart pump use in both hospitals and the ambulatory setting. The material provides recommendations that address infrastructure, drug libraries, quality improvement data, workflow and electronic health record interoperability concerns.
Am J Health-Syst Pharm. 2020;77:308-312.
This piece highlights the value of a medication safety leader in guiding error prevention efforts and outlines the responsibilities of such a role. Areas of focus include leadership, medication safety expertise, change management, research and education.
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.

Sentinel Event Alert. July 30, 2019;(61):1-5.

Anticoagulant medications are known to be high-risk for adverse drug events. Although direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) require less monitoring than warfarin, they are still associated with an increased risk of patient harm if not prescribed and administered correctly. The Joint Commission has issued a new sentinel event alert to raise awareness of the risks related to DOACs, and in particular, the challenges associated with stopping bleeding in patients on these medications. The alert suggests that health care organizations develop patient education materials, policies, and evidence-based guidelines to ensure that DOACs and reversal agents are used appropriately. A past WebM&M commentary discussed common errors related to the use of DOACs.
Rosengart TK, Doherty G, Higgins R, et al. JAMA Surg. 2019;154:647-653.
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.