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.
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.
Boxley C, Krevat SA, Sengupta S, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e1196-e1202.
COVID-19 changed the way care is delivered to hospitalized patients and resulted in new categories and themes in patient safety reporting. This study used machine learning to group of more than 2,000 patient safety event (PSE) reports into eight clinically relevant themes, including testing delays, diagnostic errors, pressure ulcers, and falls.
Malik MA, Motta-Calderon D, Piniella N, et al. Diagnosis (Berl). 2022;9:446-457.
Structured tools are increasingly used to identify diagnostic errors and related harms using electronic health record data. In this study, researchers compared the performance of two validated tools (Safer Dx and the DEER taxonomy) to identify diagnostic errors among patients with preventable or non-preventable deaths. Findings indicate that diagnostic errors and diagnostic process failures contributing to death were higher in preventable deaths (56%) but were also present in non-preventable deaths (17%).
Schmidt HG, Mamede S. Diagnosis (Berl). 2022;Epub Aug 25.
Critical thinking skills can enhance diagnostic reasoning. This article discusses how deliberate reflection can improve diagnosis and how deliberate reflection can be integrated into digital decision support tools.
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.
Linzer M, Sullivan EE, Olson APJ, et al. Diagnosis (Berl). 2022;Epub Aug 22.
Challenging working conditions and increased cognitive workload can result in stress and burnout. This article describes a conceptual framework in which working conditions and cognitive workload impact stress and burnout, which, in turn, impacts diagnostic accuracy. Potential uses and testing of the framework are described.
Radiological interpretation errors can result in unnecessary additional tests, wrong treatment and delayed diagnosis. This study explored the correlation between neuroradiologists’ diagnostic errors and attendance at institutional tumor boards. Results show that higher attendance at tumor boards was strongly correlated with lower diagnostic error rates. The researchers recommend increased and continuous attendance at tumor boards for all neuroradiologists.
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.
Plint AC, Newton AS, Stang A, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2022;31:806-817.
While adverse events (AE) in pediatric emergency departments are rare, the majority are considered preventable. This study reports on the proportion of pediatric patients experiencing an AE within 21 days of an emergency department visit, whether the AE may have been preventable, and the type of AE (e.g., management, diagnostic). Results show 3% of children experienced at least one AE, most of which were preventable.
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.
Missed diagnosis of stroke in emergency medicine settings is an important patient safety problem. In this study, researchers interviewed emergency medicine physicians about their perspectives on diagnostic neurology and use of clinical decision support (CDS) tools. Themes emerged related to challenges in diagnosis, neurological complaints, and challenges in diagnostic decision-making in emergency medicine, more generally. Participating physicians were enthusiastic about the possibility of involving CDS tools to improve diagnosis for non-specific neurological complaints.
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.
Morsø L, Birkeland S, Walløe S, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2022;48:271-279.
Patient complaints can provide insights into safety threats and system weaknesses. This study used the healthcare complaints analysis tool (HCAT) to identify and categorize safety problems in emergency care. Most problems arose during examination/diagnosis and frequently resulted in diagnostic errors or errors of omission.
Yale S, Cohen S, Bordini BJ. Crit Care Clin. 2022;38:185-194.
A broad differential diagnosis can limit missed diagnostic opportunities. This article outlines how diagnostic timeouts, which are intended reduce bias during the identification of differential diagnoses, can improve diagnosis and reduce errors.
Lam D, Dominguez F, Leonard J, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2022;31:735-743.
Trigger tools and incident reporting systems are two commonly used methods for detecting adverse events. This retrospective study compared the performance of an electronic trigger tool plus manual screening versus existing incident reporting systems for identifying probable diagnostic errors among children with unplanned admissions following a prior emergency department (ED) visit. Of the diagnostic errors identified by the trigger tool and substantiated by manual review, less than 10% were identified through existing incident reporting systems.
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.
Marshall TL, Rinke ML, Olson APJ, et al. Pediatrics. 2022;149:e2020045948D.
Reducing diagnostic errors in pediatric care remains a critical area of research and quality improvement. This narrative review presents the incidence and epidemiology of pediatric diagnostic error and strategies for additional innovative research to develop effective interventions to reduce these errors.
Please select your preferred way to submit a case. Note that even if you have an account, you can still choose to submit a case as a guest. And if you do choose to submit as a logged-in user, your name will not be publicly associated with the case. Learn more information here.