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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 202 Results
Perspective on Safety November 16, 2022

Dr. Pascale Carayon, PhD, is a professor emerita in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering and the founding director of the Wisconsin Institute for Healthcare Systems Engineering (WIHSE). Dr. Nicole Werner, PhD, is an associate professor in the Department of Health and Wellness Design at the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington. We spoke with both of them about the role of human factors engineering has in improving healthcare delivery and its role in patient safety.

Fuller AEC, Guirguis LM, Sadowski CA, et al. Sr Care Pharm. 2022;37:421-447.
While barcode-assisted medication administration (BCMA) and electronic medication administration records (eMAR) technologies have reduced adverse drug events, workarounds that may contribute to medication errors have been identified for both. This study of medication administration errors was conducted in a Canadian long-term care facility following implementation of eMAR-BCMA software. During the twenty-nine-month study period, 190 medication administration errors were reported.
Kraemer KL, Althouse AD, Salay M, et al. JAMA Health Forum. 2022;3:e222263.
Nudges (e.g., default order sets) in the electronic health record (EHR) have been shown to encourage safer prescribing of opioids in emergency departments. This study evaluated the effect of nudges to reduce opioid prescribing for opioid-naïve patients with acute pain. Primary care practices were cluster randomized to control, opioid justification in the EHR, peer comparison, or combined opioid justification and peer comparison groups. The three intervention groups showed reduced opioid prescribing compared to control.
Nanji K. UpToDate. June 23, 2022.
Perioperative adverse drug events are common and understudied. This review examines factors that contribute to adverse drug events in the surgical setting and discusses prevention strategies that focus on medication reconciliation, technology, standardization, and institutional change.
Paterson EP, Manning KB, Schmidt MD, et al. J Emerg Nurs. 2022;48:319-327.
Automated dispensing cabinets (ADCs) can reduce medication dispensing errors by requiring pharmacist verification. This study found that medication overrides (i.e., bypassing pharmacist review before administration) in one pediatric emergency department were frequently not due to an emergent situation requiring immediate medication administration and could have been avoided.
Perspective on Safety March 31, 2022

Errors in medication management and administration are major threats to patient safety. This piece explores issues with opioid and nursing-sensitive medication safety as well as medication safety in older adults. Future research directions in medication safety are also discussed.

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. 
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...
WebM&M Case October 27, 2021

A 78-year-old woman with macular degeneration presented for a pars plana vitrectomy (PPV) under monitored anesthesia care (MAC) with an eye block. At this particular hospital, eye cases under MAC are typically performed with an eye block by the surgeon after the anesthesiologist has administered some short-acting sedation, commonly with remifentanil. On this day, there was a shortage of premixed remifentanil and the resident – who was unfamiliar with the process of drug dilution – incorrectly diluted the remifentanil solution.

WebM&M Case September 29, 2021

This case describes multiple emergency department (ED) encounters and hospitalizations experienced by a middle-aged woman with sickle cell crisis and a past history of multiple, long admissions related to her sickle cell disease. The multiple encounters highlight the challenges of opioid prescribing for patients with chronic, non-cancer pain.

WebM&M Case May 26, 2021

A 65-year-old man with a history of type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and coronary artery disease was transferred from a Level III trauma center to a Level I trauma center with lower extremity paralysis after a ground level fall complicated by a 9-cm abdominal aortic aneurysm and cervical spinal cord injury. Post transfer, the patient was noted to have rapidly progressive ascending paralysis. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed severe spinal stenosis involving C3-4 and post-traumatic cord edema/contusion involving C6-7.

Ruutiainen HK, Kallio MM, Kuitunen SK. Eur J Hosp Pharm. 2021;28:e151-e156.
Automated drug dispensing systems can reduce medication dispensing and administration errors.  However, this study found that medication automated dispensing cabinets ADCs)in one hospital frequently contained look-alike, sound-alike (LASA) medications, which may increase the risk for medication error.
Berg TA, Hebert SH, Chyka D, et al. Simul Healthc. 2021;16:e136-e141.
Nurses are often responsible for medication administration at the bedside. This simulation study found that a smart phone app providing just-in-time medication administration information could reduce the occurrence of medication administration errors by nursing students. 

Kim T, Howe J, Franklin E, et al. Patient Safety. 2020;2(4):40–57.   

Patient misidentification errors have the potential for serious patient harm. This study analyzed the processes of care involved in 1,189 wrong-patient events. Most errors occurred during ordering/prescribing (42%). One-quarter of all events reached the patient, most commonly involving inappropriate medication administration or receiving the wrong test or procedure. Errors caught before reaching the patient were primarily attributed to information review by nurses, technicians, or other healthcare staff. The authors recommend several strategies for reducing wrong-patient errors. 
Friebe MP, LeGrand JR, Shepherd BE, et al. Appl Clin Inform. 2020;11:865-872.
The prescribing of potentially inappropriate medications, particularly among older adults, is an ongoing quality and safety concern. Among adults 65 years and older, this study found that clinical decision support integrated with a new electronic health record system significantly reduced potentially inappropriate medications.   
Kirkendall ES, Timmons K, Huth H, et al. Drug Saf. 2020;43:1073-1087.
This systematic review catalogued and mapped the types of human errors related to smart pumps and associated error-prevention strategies. Error categories included (1) undocumented errors, (2) drug library errors, (3) programming errors, (4) administration errors, and (5) ancillary equipment errors. The authors mapped these errors to existing, standardized medication error classification and found that some errors (e.g., drug library errors) are introduced by the implementation of smart pump technology and some may be the result of workarounds. A range of prevention strategies were identified and mapped to the error types. These findings can serve as a toolkit for clinical use and development of best practices.  
Veen W, Taxis K, Wouters H, et al. J Clin Nurs. 2020;29:2239-2250.
Using data from four hospitals in the Netherlands that use barcode-assisted medication administration, the authors of this study sought to identify potential risk factors associated with workarounds performed by nurses. Potential risk factors identified include the timing of medication rounds, the route of administration, drug classification, and the nurse-to-patient ratio. Future quality improvement measures could focus on modifiable risk factors including nurse workload and nurse staffing.