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.
Previous research has found that fear of malpractice can influence medical decision-making. This survey of emergency department attending physicians and advanced practice clinicians in Massachusetts found that fear of harming patients played a larger role in medical decision-making than fear of legal action.
Lentz CM, De Lind Van Wijngaarden RAF, Willeboordse F, et al. Int J Qual Health Care. 2022;34:mzac078.
Effective teamwork training for surgical teams can improve post-operative mortality rates. This review aimed to evaluate the effect of a dedicated surgical team (e.g., a team who received technical and/or communication teamwork training) on clinical and performance outcomes. Implementation of dedicated surgical teams resulted in improved mortality rates, but no difference in readmission rates or length of stay.
Roberts SE, Rosen CB, Keele LJ, et al. JAMA Surg. 2022;Epub Oct 12.
Missed steps in the diagnostic process, such as timely referral for surgical consultation, can lead to missed or delayed diagnoses. This large, retrospective cohort study using Medicare data identified disparities between Black and White patients in receipt of consults for emergency surgery. Findings show that Black patients had lower odds of receiving a surgical consultation after being admitted from the emergency department; these disparities remained after adjusting for medical comorbidities, socioeconomic factors, and individual hospital-level effects.
Mohanna Z, Kusljic S, Jarden R. Aust Crit Care. 2022;35:466-479.
Many types of interventions, such as education, technology, and simulations, have been used to reduce medication errors in the intensive care setting. This review identified 11 studies representing six intervention types; three of the six types showed improvement (prefilled syringe, nurses’ education program, and the protocolized program logic form) while the other three demonstrated mixed results.
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.
Marsh KM, Turrentine FE, Knight K, et al. Ann Surg. 2022;275:1067-1073.
Having standardized definitions and classifications of errors allows researchers to better understand potential causes and interventions for improvement. This systematic review identified six broad error categories, 13 definitions of error, and 14 study methods in the surgical error literature. Development and use of a common definition and taxonomy of errors will provide a more accurate indication of the prevalence of surgical error rates.
Patients and families can contribute unique insights into medical errors. This qualitative evidence review concluded that patients and families value involvement in patient safety incident investigations but highlight the importance of addressing the emotional aspects of care (e.g., timely apology, prioritizing trust and transparency). Healthcare staff perceived patient and family involvement in investigations to be important, but cited several barriers (e.g., staff turnover, fears of litigation) to effective investigations.
Parker H, Frost J, Day J, et al. PLoS ONE. 2022;17:e0271454.
Prophylactic antimicrobials are frequently prescribed for surgical patients despite the risks of antimicrobial overuse (e.g., resistance). This review summarizes how and why antimicrobials continue to be prescribed in surgical settings despite evidence of overuse. Eight overarching concepts were identified: hierarchy; fear drives action; deprioritized; convention trumps evidence; complex judgments; discontinuity of care; team dynamics; and practice environment.
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.
Marsh KM, Fleming MA, Turrentine FE, et al. J Pediatr Surg. 2022;57:616-621.
Patient safety improvement can be hindered by lack of effective measurement tools. This scoping review explored how medical errors are defined and measured in studies of pediatric surgery patients. The authors identified several evidence gaps, including absence of standardized error definitions.
Locey KJ, Webb TA, Stein BD, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2022;48:403-410.
The AHRQ patient safety indicators (PSIs) are widely used measures of preventable complications and quality of care. This study found that a hospital’s internal policies about admission type introduces variation in PSI scores for elective surgeries.
Krenzischek DA, Card E, Mamaril M, et al. J Perianesth Nurs. 2022;37:827-833.
Patients and caregivers are important partners in promoting safe care. Findings from this cross-sectional study reinforce the importance of patients’ perceived roles in ensuring safe surgery and highlight the importance of patient engagement in mitigating surgical site errors.
Ramani S, Halpern TA, Akerman M, et al. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2022;226:556.e1-556.e9.
Cesarean delivery can lead to adverse outcomes and is commonly used as a measure of obstetrical quality; however, these measures do not account for preexisting maternal and neonatal morbidities, which may increase risk for cesarean delivery. This article describes the development and testing of a new obstetrical quality measure that integrates cesarean delivery rates adjusted for preexisting high-risk maternal factors as well as maternal and neonatal morbidities. Among obstetricians in one large hospital, researchers found that this metric led to significantly different clinician rankings in terms of obstetrical quality (compared to rankings based on crude or adjusted cesarean delivery rates alone.) The authors suggest that this new metric can help identify opportunities for practice improvement among individual clinicians and institutions.
Lazzara EH, Simonson RJ, Gisick LM, et al. Ergonomics. 2022;65:1138-1153.
Structured handoffs support appropriate communication between teams or departments when transferring responsibility for care. This meta-analysis aimed to determine if structured, standardized post-operative anesthesia handoffs improved provider, patient, organizational and handoff outcomes. Postoperative outcomes moved in a generally positive direction when compared with non-standardized handoffs. The authors suggest additional research into pre- and intra-operative handoffs is needed.
Understanding human causes of diagnostic errors can lead to more specific targeted, specific recommendations and interventions. Using three classification instruments, researchers examined a series of serious adverse events related to diagnostic errors in the emergency department. Most of the human errors were based on intended actions and could be classified as mistakes or violations. Errors were more frequently made during the assessment and testing phases of the diagnostic process.
Armstrong BA, Dutescu IA, Nemoy L, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2022;31:463-478.
Despite widespread use of surgical safety checklists (SSC), its success in improving patient outcomes remains inconsistent, potentially due to variations in implementation and completion methods. This systematic review sought to identify how many studies describe the ways in which the SSC was implemented and completed, and the impact on provider outcomes, patient outcomes, and moderating factors. A clearer positive relationship was seen for provider outcomes (e.g., communication) than for patient outcomes (e.g., mortality).
Navathe AS, Liao JM, Yan XS, et al. Health Aff (Millwood). 2022;41:424-433.
Opioid overdose and misuse continues to be a major public health concern with numerous policy- and organization-level approaches to encourage appropriate clinician prescribing. A northern California health system studied the effects of three interventions (individual audit feedback, peer comparison, both combined) as compared to usual care at several emergency department and urgent care sites. Peer comparison and the combined interventions resulted in a significant decrease in pills per prescription.
Olsen SL, Søreide E, Hansen BS. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:717-721.
Rapid response systems (RRS) are widely used to identify signs of rapid deterioration among hospitalized patients. Using in situ simulation, researchers identified obstacles to effective RRS execution, including inconsistent education and documentation, lack of interpersonal trust, and low psychological safety.
Derksen C, Kötting L, Keller FM, et al. Front Psychol. 2022;13:771626.
Effective communication and teamwork are fundamental to ensure safe patient care. Building on their earlier systematic review of communication interventions in obstetric care, researchers developed and implemented a training to improve communication at two obstetric hospitals. While results did not show a change in communication behavior, perceived patient safety did improve. Additional resources are available in the curated library on maternal safety.
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