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.
Pollock BD, Dykhoff HJ, Breeher LE, et al. Mayo Clin Proc Innov Qual Outcomes. 2023;7:51-57.
The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically impacted healthcare delivery and raised concerns about exacerbating existing patient safety challenges. Based on incident reporting data from three large US academic medical centers from January 2020 through December 2021, researchers found that patient safety event rates did not increase during the COVID-19 pandemic, but they did observe a relationship between staffing levels during the pandemic and patient safety event rates.
Dynan L, Smith RB. Health Serv Res. 2022;57:1235-1246.
Nurses play a critical role in ensuring patient safety, and prior research has shown that better nurse-staffing ratios and nurse engagement can improve mortality rates. This study of nearly 300 Florida acute-care hospitals evaluated the effect of expenditures on continuing nurse education staffing ratios of several AHRQ Patient Safety Indicators (PSI). Increased spending on both improved outcomes in catheter-related blood stream infections, pressure ulcers, and deep vein thrombosis.
Crunden EA, Worsley PR, Coleman SB, et al. Int J Nurs Stud. 2022;135:104326.
Hospital-acquired pressure ulcers, categorized as a never event, are underreported, particularly when related to medical devices. Interviews with experts in hospital-acquired pressure ulcers revealed four domains related to reporting: 1) individual health professional factors, 2) professional interactions, 3) incentives and resources, and 4) capacity for organizational change. Teamwork, openness, and feedback were seen as the main facilitators to reporting, and financial consequences was a contributing barrier.
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.
Wilson M-A, Sinno M, Hacker Teper M, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:680-685.
Achieving zero preventable harm is an ongoing goal for health systems. In this study, researchers developed a five-part strategy to achieve high-reliability and eliminate preventable harm at one regional health system in Canada – (1) engage leadership, (2) develop an organization-specific patient safety framework, (3) monitor specific quality aims (e.g., high-risk, high-cost areas), (4) standardize the incident review process, including the use of root cause analysis, and (5) communicate progress to staff in real-time via electronic dashboards. One-year post-implementation, researchers observed an increase in patient safety incident reporting and improvements in safety culture, as well as decreases in adverse events such as falls, pressure injuries and healthcare-acquired infections.
Computed tomography (CT) scans are important diagnostic tools but can present serious dangers from overexposure to radiation. Researchers reviewed 133 radiation incidents reported to one NHS trust from 2015-2018. Reported events included radiation incidents, near-miss incidents, and repeat scans. Most events were investigated using a systems approach, and staff were encouraged to report all types of incidents, including near misses, to foster a culture of safety and enable learning.
Trout KE, Chen L-W, Wilson FA, et al. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022;19:12525.
Electronic health record (EHR) implementation can contribute to safe care. This study examined the impact of EHR meaningful use performance thresholds on patient safety events. Researchers found that neither full EHR implementation nor achieving meaningful use thresholds were associated with a composite patient safety score, suggesting that hospitals may need to explore ways to better leverage EHRs and as well other strategies to improve patient safety, such as process improvement and staff training.
Friebel R, Maynou L. Health Aff (Millwood). 2022;41:1486-1495.
Patients with developmental disabilities may be at higher risk for patient safety events in hospitals. This study used data from the Learning from Lives and Deaths (LeDeR) program in the UK to examine the prevalence of five avoidable in-hospital safety events. Compared to the general populations, patients with developmental disabilities experienced more patient safety incidents, longer length of stay and increased risk of death. Although the data did not include the causes of the incidents, the results support improving both inpatient and community care for persons with developmental disabilities.
Richie CD, Castle JT, Davis GA, et al. Angiology. 2022;73:712-715.
Hospital-acquired venous thromboembolism (VTE) continues to be a significant source of preventable patient harm. This study retrospectively examined patients admitted with VTE and found that only 15% received correct risk stratification and appropriate management and treatment. The case review found that patients were commonly incorrectly stratified, received incorrect pharmaceutical treatment, or inadequate application of mechanical prophylaxis (e.g., intermittent compression).
Zabinski Z, Black BS. J Health Econ. 2022;84:102638.
Tort reform and changes in medical malpractice liability can impact patient safety. This longitudinal analysis found that caps on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice lawsuits were associated with higher rates of preventable adverse events in hospitals.
Unnecessary medication infusions indicate weaknesses in medication service processes. While no harm was noted in the case discussed, the actions by the patient’s family to initiate an examination of the incident were rebuffed, patient disrespect was demonstrated, a near miss incident report was absent, and data omissions took place. The piece discusses how these detractors from safety were all present at the hospital involved.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) provides individual and composite quality and safety ratings (i.e., star ratings) for hospitals and other healthcare facilities on its Care Compare website. This study evaluated three alternative methods for rating facilities and compared them to the CMS star ratings. Hospitals were frequently assigned a different star rating using the alternate methods, typically between adjacent star categories.
Kaplan HJ, Spiera ZC, Feldman DL, et al. J Am Coll Surg. 2022;235:494-499.
Unintentionally retained surgical items (RSI) can have a devastating impact on patient health and safety. One method to reduce the incidence of RSI is radiofrequency (RF) detection. Nearly one million operations in New York state were analyzed for the rate of RSI before and after the use of RF was required and simultaneous TeamSTEPPS training was provided. The incidence of RF-detectable items was significantly reduced, but the rate of non-RF-detectable items was not.
Plunkett A, Plunkett E. Paediatr Anaesth. 2022;32:1223-1229.
Safety-I focuses on identifying factors that contribute to incidents or errors. Safety-II seeks to understand and learn from the many cases where things go right, including ordinary events, and emphasizes adjustments and adaptations to achieve safe outcomes. This commentary describes Safety-II and complementary positive strategies of patient safety, such as exnovation, appreciative inquiry, learning from excellence, and positive deviance.
Chen Z, Gleason LJ, Sanghavi P. Med Care. 2022;60:775-783.
All nursing homes certified by the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS) are required to submit select patient safety data which is used to calculate quality ratings. This study compared seven years of self-reported pressure ulcer data with claims-based data for pressure ulcer-related hospital admissions. Similar to earlier research on self-reported falls data, correlations between the self-reported and claims-based data was poor. The authors suggest alternate methods of data collection may provide the public with more accurate patient safety information.
Chang ET, Newberry S, Rubenstein LV, et al. JAMA Network Open. 2022;5:e2224938.
Patients with chronic or complex healthcare needs are at increased risk of adverse events such as rehospitalization. This paper describes the development of quality measures to assess the safety and quality of primary care for patients with complex care needs at high risk of hospitalization or death. The expert panel proposed three categories (assessment, management, features of healthcare), 15 domains, and 49 concepts.
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.
Samal L, Khasnabish S, Foskett C, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:611-616.
Adverse events can be identified through multiple methods, including trigger tools and voluntary reporting systems. In this comparison study, the Global Trigger Tool identified 79 AE in 88 oncology patients, compared to 21 in the voluntary reporting system; only two AE were identified by both. Results indicate multiple sources should be used to detect AE.
Hemmelgarn C, Hatlie MJ, Sheridan S, et al. J Patient Saf Risk Manage. 2022;27:56-58.
This commentary, authored by patients and families who have experienced medical errors, argues current patient safety efforts in the United States lack urgency and commitment, even as the World Health Organization is increasing its efforts. They call on policy makers and safety agencies to collaborate with the Patients for Patient Safety US organization to move improvement efforts forward.
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