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St Paul, MN: Minnesota Department of Health.
The National Quality Forum has defined 29 never events—patient safety problems that should never occur, such as wrong-site surgery and patient falls. Since 2003, Minnesota hospitals have been required to report such incidents. The 2021 report summarizes information about 508 adverse events that were reported, representing a significant increase in the year covered. Earlier reports document a fairly consistent count of adverse events. The rise reflected here is likely due to demands on staffing and care processes associated with COVID-19. Pressure ulcers and fall-related injuries were the most common incidents documented. Reports from previous years are available.
Shah F, Falconer EA, Cimiotti JP. Qual Manag Health Care. 2022;Epub Feb 15.
Root cause analysis (RCA) is a tool commonly used by organizations to analyze safety errors. This systematic review explored whether interventions implemented based on RCA recommendations were effective at preventing similar adverse events in Veterans Health Affairs (VA) settings. Of the ten retrospective studies included in the review, all reported improvements following RCA-recommended interventions implementation, but the studies used different methodologies to assess effectiveness. The authors suggest that future research emphasize quantitative patient-related outcome measures to demonstrate the impact and value of RCAs.
Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
In this annual publication, AHRQ reviews the results of the National Healthcare Quality Report and National Healthcare Disparities Report. The 2021 report highlights that a wide range of quality measures have shown improvement in quality, access, and cost.
Purnell S, Zheng F. Surg Clin North Am. 2020;101:109-119.
COVID-19 restrictions and patient concerns have expanded access to telemedicine worldwide. This review examines the use of telemedicine in surgical services. The authors found it to be a safe care modality for low-risk patients receiving low-risk procedures. They found that telemedicine in surgical services evidence base is expanding and its value is built on local, real-time approaches that involve services designed to consider patient needs and comfort. 

Levett-Jones T, ed. Clin Sim Nurs. 2020;44(1):1-78; 2020;45(1):1-60.

Simulation is a recognized technique to educate and plan to improve care processes and safety. This pair of special issues highlights the use of simulation in nursing and its value in work such as communication enhancement, minority population care, and patient deterioration.   
Borshoff DC, Sadleir P. Curr Opin Anaesthesiol. 2020;33:554-560.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the delivery of anesthesia outside of operating rooms, such as in emergency departments, intensive care units, and makeshift field hospitals. This review examines challenges in maintaining patient safety while providing anesthesia services in nontraditional operating room environments.  
Giardina TD, Royse KE, Khanna A, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2020;46:282-290.
This study analyzed self-reported adverse events captured on a national online questionnaire to determine the association between patient-reported contributory factors and patient-reported physical, emotional or financial harm. Contributory factors identified in the analysis focused on issues with health care personnel communication, fatigue, or response (e.g., doctor was slow to arrive, nurse was slow to respond to call button). These patient-reported contributory factors increased the likelihood of reporting any type of harm.
Kremer MJ, Hirsch M, Geisz-Everson M, et al. AANA J. 2019;87.
This thematic analysis identified 123 events comprising malpractice claims in the closed claims database of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) Foundation that the investigators determined could have been prevented by the Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist involved. Among the factors identified as being associated with preventable events were communication failures, violations of the AANA Standards for Nurse Anesthesia Practice, and errors in judgment.
Safe primary care – prescribing; Safe acute care – surgical complications and health care-associated infections, Safe acute care – obstetric trauma. Chapters In: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Health at a Glance 2019: OECD Indicators, OECD Publishing, Paris: 2019.
This report documents the overall state of health care, based on an international analysis of population health and health system performance data, with specific chapters on patient safety in surgery, obstetrics and prescribing in primary care. The results identify areas for improvement while outlining areas of concern.
DeRosier JM, Hansemann BK, Smith-Wheelock MW, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2019;45:680-685.
Researchers used failure mode and effects analysis to examine intraocular lens implantation. They report uncovering many potential failure modes or safety vulnerabilities and extensive variation in how this procedure is conducted. The authors recommend standardization, changes to equipment and workflows, and quality assurance through direct observation in order to enhance safety.
This Primer provides an overview of the history and current status of the patient safety field and key definitions and concepts. It links to other Patient Safety Primers that discuss the concepts in more detail.
Stahl JM, Mack K, Cebula S, et al. Mil Med. 2019.
This retrospective study of dental patient safety reports in the military health system demonstrated an increase in reported events, which may reflect improvements in safety culture. Wrong-site surgery was the most common adverse event, suggesting the need to enhance safety practices in dentistry.
Sunshine JE, Meo N, Kassebaum NJ, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2019;2:e187041.
The seminal report, To Err Is Human, famously estimated that 44,000 to 98,000 deaths per year in the United States were due to medical errors. Although certain patient harms thought to be unavoidable at the time of the report's publication in 1999 are now considered completely preventable, experts suggest that progress in the field of patient safety has been slower than initially anticipated and that areas such as ambulatory safety and diagnostic error represent emerging priorities. In this cohort study, researchers used data from 1990 through 2016 on mortality related to the adverse effects of medical treatment (AEMT) from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors 2016 study. For the study period, researchers attribute 123,603 deaths to AEMT. The number of such deaths increased, but the US age-standardized mortality rate for deaths due to AEMT decreased by 21% between 1990 and 2016. The authors noted similar AEMT mortality rates for men as compared to women, significantly increased AEMT mortality rates for those age 70 and older, and geographic variation with regard to age-standardized AEMT mortality rates. An Annual Perspective discussed challenges associated with measuring and responding to deaths associated with medical errors.

Health Aff (Millwood). 2018;37(11):1723-1908.

The Institute of Medicine report, To Err Is Human, marked the founding of the patient safety field. This special issue of Health Affairs, published 20 years after that report, highlights achievements and progress to date. One implementation study of evidence-based surgical safety checklists demonstrated that leadership involvement, intensive activities, and engagement of frontline staff are all critical to successful adoption of safety practices. Another study demonstrated that communication-and-resolution programs either decreased or did not affect malpractice costs, providing further support for implementing such programs. Experts describe the critical role of human factors engineering in patient safety and outline how to enhance the use of these methods. The concluding editorial by David Bates and Hardeep Singh points to progress in reducing hospital-acquired infections and improving medication safety in acute care settings and highlights remaining gaps in the areas of outpatient care, diagnostic errors, and electronic health record safety. In the related information, the Moore Foundation provides free access to five articles in this special issue.
Alidina S, Goldhaber-Fiebert SN, Hannenberg AA, et al. Implement Sci. 2018;13:50.
Checklists have been shown to improve surgical outcomes in clinical trials, but their effectiveness in real-world settings is variable. This implementation study examined factors related to checklist use in the operating room for crises rather than routine practice. Investigators surveyed individuals who downloaded a checklist from two websites about whether they used a checklist regularly in specific clinical situations. Thorough checklist implementation, leadership support, and dedicated staff training time led to more regular use of the checklist. Conversely, frontline resistance and lack of clinical champions undermined checklist use. The authors conclude that optimizing organizational conditions should increase the use of checklists during crises in operating rooms. Past PSNet interviews with Lucian Leape and David Urbach discussed their perspectives on surgical safety checklists.

Todd DW, Bennett JD, eds. Oral Maxillofac Surg Clin North Am. 2017;29:121-244.

Articles in this special issue provide insights into how human error can affect the safety of oral and maxillofacial surgery, a primarily ambulatory environment. The authors cover topics such as simulation training, wrong-site surgery, and the safety of office-based anesthesia.
Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; December 2014.
Ambulatory surgery centers provide care to growing numbers of patients. This toolkit draws from AHRQ's Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program to help ambulatory surgical center teams develop communication and teamwork skills to reduce infections and other iatrogenic harms.
Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; October 2020.
Ambulatory surgery centers are increasingly being used to provide surgical care. The AHRQ Surveys on Patient Safety Culture™ (SOPS®) Ambulatory Surgery Center Survey seeks opinions from the field regarding safety culture in the ambulatory surgical center environment. The survey is presented with additional resources to help organizations assess their safety culture, including the results of a pilot program testing the survey and a user's guide.