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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 403 Results
Barrett AK, Sandbrink F, Mardian A, et al. J Gen Intern Med. 2022;37:4037-4046.
Opioid medication use is associated with an increased risk of adverse events; however research has shown sudden discontinuation of opioids is also associated with adverse events such as withdrawal and hospitalization. This before and after study evaluated the impact of the VA’s Opioid Safety Initiative (OSI) on characteristics and prescribing practices. Results indicate that length of tapering period increased, and mortality risk decreased following OSI implementation.
Doctor JN, Stewart E, Lev R, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2023;6:e2249877.
Research has shown that prescribers who are notified of a patient’s fatal opioid overdose will decrease milligram morphine equivalents (MME) up to 3 months following notification as compared to prescribers who are not notified. This article reports on the same cohort’s prescribing behavior at 4-12 months. Among prescribers who received notification, total weekly MME continued to decrease more than the control group during the 4-12 month period.
Bloomer A, Wally M, Bailey G, et al. Geriatr Orthop Surg Rehabil. 2022;13:215145932211256.
Opioid use by older adults increases the risk of falls. This study examined electronic health record data to determine the proportion of older adults presenting to the emergency room or urgent care due to a fall who receive an opioid prescription, particularly those with at least one risk factor for misuse. Nearly one third of patients received a prescription for an opioid and/or benzodiazepine, and 11% had at least one risk factor for misuse.
Carlile N, Fuller TE, Benneyan JC, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e1142-e1149.
The opioid epidemic has prompted national and institutional guidelines for safe opioid prescribing. This paper describes the development, implementation, and sustainment of a toolkit for safer opioid prescribing for chronic pain in primary care. The authors describe organizational, technical, and external barriers to implementation along with attempted solutions and their effects. The toolkit is available as supplemental material.
Varady NH, Worsham CM, Chen AF, et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2022;119:e2210226119.
Safe prescribing dictates that prescriptions should only be written for the patients who are intended to use the prescribed medications. Using claims data, this analysis identified a high rate of opioid prescriptions written for and filled by the spouses of patients undergoing outpatient surgery (who may be unable to fill prescriptions themselves after surgery). Findings suggest intentional, clinically inappropriate prescribing of opioids.
Childs E, Tano CA, Mikosz CA, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2023;49:26-33.
In response to the increase in opioid deaths, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain in 2016, with an update released in 2022. This study reports on the CDC Opioid QI Collaborative which was launched to identify successful evidence-based strategies for implementing the guidelines. The challenges and strategies described in the publication can be used by health systems to accelerate implementation of the guidelines.
Clark J, Fera T, Fortier CR, et al. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2022;79:2279-2306.
Drug diversion is a system issue that has the potential to disrupt patient access to safe, reliable medications and result in harm. These guidelines offer a structured approach for organizations to develop and implement drug diversion prevention efforts. The strategies submitted focus on foundational, organizational, and individual prevention actions that target risk points across the medication use process such as storage, prescribing, and waste disposal.
Dowell D, Ragan KR, Jones CM, et al. MMWR Recomm Rep. 2022;71:1-95.
In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released guidelines for safe opioid prescribing for chronic pain. Based on an updated evidence review, the CDC has revised the guidelines and released the Clinical Practice Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Pain - United States, 2022, include recommendations for outpatient acute, subacute, and chronic opioid use. The twelve recommendations fall into four broad categories: determining whether or not to initiate opioids for pain; selecting opioids and determining opioid dosages; deciding duration of initial opioid prescription and conducting follow-up; and assessing risk and addressing potential harms of opioid use. The CDC will update and develop tools and resources to support dissemination of these guidelines. The recommendations do not apply to pain related to sickle cell disease or cancer or to patients receiving palliative or end-of-life care, or for patients in the emergency department or admitted to the hospital.
Sacarny A, Safran E, Steffel M, et al. JAMA Health Forum. 2022;3:e223378.
Concurrent prescribing of opioids and benzodiazepines can put patients at increased risk of overdose. This randomized study found that pharmacist email alerts to clinicians caring for patients recently co-prescribed opioids and benzodiazepines did not reduce concurrent prescribing of these medications.
Windish DM, Catalanotti JS, Zaas A, et al. J Gen Intern Med. 2022;37:2650-2660.
In 2022, the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) began requiring residency programs to provide instruction and experience in pain management for internal medicine trainees. Residency program directors were surveyed in 2019 about whether and how they provide instruction and experience to residents in safe opioid prescribing (SOP) and treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD). Most programs required didactic learning, but few required clinical experience. Given that the ACGME requirement is now in place, the researchers suggest many programs may be ill-prepared to meet the requirement.
Wylie JA, Kong L, Barth RJ. Ann Surg. 2022;276:e192-e198.
“Opioid never event” (ONE) is a proposed classification to describe dependence or overdose among opioid-naïve patients prescribed opioids at hospital discharge. Based on a retrospective review of medical records of patients at one academic medical center, researchers estimated that the ONE affected approximately 2 per 1,000 opioid-naïve surgical patients and persistent opioid use 90 to 360 days after surgery was present in 45% of patients with ONEs.
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.
Yeh JC, Chae SG, Kennedy PJ, et al. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2022;64:e133-e138.
Potentially inappropriate opioid infusion use can result in adverse patient outcomes. This single-site retrospective study found that potentially inappropriate opioid infusions are prevalent (44% of patients receiving opioid infusions during end-of-life care) and were associated with high rates of patient and staff distress.
Fenton JJ, Magnan E, Tseregounis IE, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5:e2216726.
Adverse events associated with long-term opioid therapy have led to recommendations for dose tapering for patients with chronic pain. This study assessed the long-term risks of overdose and mental health crisis as a result of dose tapering. Consistent with earlier research on short-term risks, results indicate that opioid tapering is associated with increased risk of adverse events up to 24 months after initiation of tapering.
WebM&M Case July 8, 2022

This WebM&M highlights two cases of patient safety events that occurred due to medication dosing related to diagnostic imaging. The commentary highlights the challenges of administering sedation for diagnostic imaging, the use of risk stratification to understand patient risk for oversedation, and strategies for appropriate monitoring and communication.

Bicket MC, Waljee JF, Hilliard P. JAMA Health Forum. 2022;3:e221356.
Concern for improved prescribing of opiates motivated the development of programs and policies that have inadvertently caused new problems. This commentary discusses the impact of nonopioid use during surgery as a patient preference. It discusses the potential for adverse impacts of the strategy while recognizing the unique situation of perioperative use of pain medications.
Cedillo G, George MC, Deshpande R, et al. Addict Sci Clin Pract. 2022;17:28.
In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued an opioid prescribing guideline intended to reverse the increasing death rate from opioid overdoses. This study describes the development, implementation, and effect of a safe prescribing strategy (TOWER) in an HIV-focused primary care setting. Providers using TOWER were more adherent to the CDC guidelines, with no worsening patient-reported outcome measures.
Abdelmalak BB, Adhami T, Simmons W, et al. Anesth Analg. 2022;135:198-208.
A 2009 CMS Condition of Participation (CoP) requires that a director of anesthesia services assume overall responsibility for anesthesia administered in the hospital, including procedural sedation provided by nonanesthesiologists. This article reviews the CoP as it relates to procedural sedation, lays out a framework for implementing this role, and describes challenges of implementation in a large health system.
Guzek R, Goodbody CM, Jia L, et al. J Pediatr Orthop. 2022;42:393-399.
Research has demonstrated inequitable treatment of racially minoritized patients resulting in poorer health outcomes. This study aimed to determine if implicit racial bias impacts pediatric orthopedic surgeons’ clinical decision making. While pediatric orthopedic surgeons showed stronger pro-white implicit bias compared to the US general population (29% vs. 19%), the bias did not appear to affect decision making in clinical vignettes.
Jambon J, Choukroun C, Roux-Marson C, et al. Clin Neuropharmacol. 2022;45:65-71.
Polypharmacy in older adults is an ongoing safety concern due to the risk of being prescribed a potentially inappropriate medication or co-prescription of medications with dangerous interactions. In this study of adults aged 65 and older with chronic pain, 54% were taking at least one potentially inappropriate medication and 43% were at moderate or high risk of adverse drug events. Measures such as involvement of a pharmacist in medication review could reduce risk of adverse drug events in older adult outpatients.