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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 255 Results
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.

ISMP Medication Safety Alert!: Acute Care Edition. December 1, 2022;27(24):1-3.

Look-alike medications are vulnerable to wrong route and other use errors. This article examines the potential for mistaken application of ear drops into eyes. Strategies highlighted to reduce this error focus on storage, dispensing, administration, and patient education.
Saran AK, Holden NA, Garrison SR. BJGP Open. 2022;6:BJGPO.2022.0001.
Tablet-splitting may introduce patient safety risks, such as unpredictable dosing. This systematic review and qualitative synthesis did not identify substantive evidence to support tablet-splitting concerns, with the exception of sustained-release tablets and use by older adults who may struggle to split tablets due to physical limitations.
Carmack A, Valleru J, Randall KH, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2023;49:3-13.
Retained surgical items (RSI) are a never event, a serious and preventable event. After experiencing a high rate of RSIs, this United States health system implemented a bundle to reduce RSI, improve near-miss reporting, and increase process reliability in operating rooms. The bundle consisted of five elements: surgical stop, surgical debrief, visual counters, imaging, and reporting.

Schneider E, Koretz BK, eds. Clin Geriatr Med. 2022;38(4):621-732.

Polypharmacy is a known contributor to medication complexity and error. This special issue examines the impact unnecessary medications have in a variety of care environments, such as nursing homes and emergency departments, and clinical areas, such as oncology and behavioral health.

Institute for Safe Medication Practices.

Mixed case letters are one suggested strategy to reduce look-alike medication name errors. This survey announcement calls for insight from the field to update an existing resource of problematic drug name pairs and examine the effectiveness of mixed case letter use to minimize confusion. The comment submission period is now closed.

Kaplan A. NBC News. October 27, 2022. 

Suboptimal working conditions are a known contributor to errors in retail pharmacies. This news article discusses how one major pharmacy chain will adjust their staff quality metrics to eliminate timing as a performance measure in the interest of reducing pharmacist and staff burnout and fulfilment errors.
Laing L, Salema N-E, Jeffries M, et al. PLoS ONE. 2022;17:e0275633.
Previous research found that the pharmacist-led IT-based intervention to reduce clinically important medication errors (PINCER) can reduce prescription and medication monitoring errors. This qualitative study explored patients’ perceived acceptability of the PINCER intervention in primary care. Overall perceptions were positive, but participants noted that PINCER acceptability can be improved through enhanced patient-pharmacist relationships, consistent delivery of PINCER-related care, and synchronization of medication reviews with prescription renewals.
Wong J, Lee S-Y, Sarkar U, et al. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2022;79:2230-2243.
Medication errors in ambulatory care settings represent an ongoing patient safety challenge. This study characterizes ambulatory care adverse drug events reported to a large patient safety organization between May 2012 and October 2018. Anticoagulants, antibiotics, hypoglycemics, and opioids were the most commonly involved medication classes. Contributing factors included prescribing errors, failure to review clinical contraindications or drug-drug interactions, and lack of patient education or communication.

MedWatch Safety Alert. Silver Spring, MD: US Food and Drug Administration; September 29, 2022.

Recalls of medications due to labeling errors are an established approach to minimize the potential for harm. This announcement highlights a labeling mistake with hypertension and antiplatelet medications that could result in dose omissions or bleeding risk.
Pitts SI, Yang Y, Woodroof T, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e934-e937.
CancelRx is a health information tool designed to improve communication between electronic health record (EHR) systems and pharmacy dispensing software. This study found that CancelRx implementation eliminated the sale of electronically prescribed medications after discontinuation in the EHR, compared to prior to implementation. Researchers found that CancelRx did result in the unintentional cancellation of some prescriptions and they discuss the importance of situational awareness among providers and pharmacy staff to mitigate this issue.
Gleeson LL, Ludlow A, Wallace E, et al. Explor Res Clin Soc Pharm. 2022;6:100143.
Primary care rapidly shifted to telehealth and virtual visits at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. This study asked general practitioners (GPs) and pharmacists in Ireland about the impact of technology (i.e., virtual visits, electronic prescribing) on medication safety since the pandemic began. Both groups identified electronic prescribing as the most significant workflow change. GPs did not perceive a change in medication safety incidents due to electronic prescribing; pharmacists reported a slight increase in incidents.

ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute care edition. June 2, 2022;27(11):1-4.

Minimizing look-alike/sound-alike medication risk is a universal need across health care. This story highlights a primary prevention tool that lists problematic drug names. It shares strategies across the medication use process to reduce errors associated with similarly named and labeled medications such as separate storage areas and tall man lettering.
Plymouth Meeting, PA: Institute for Safe Medication Practices; 2022.
This updated report describes best practices to ensure safety when preparing sterile compounds, including pharmacist verification of orders entered into computerized provider order entry systems. The guidelines emphasize the role of technologies such as barcoding and robotic image recognition as approaches to enhance safety. In addition, it covers safe practices when technologies are not available.
Uitvlugt EB, Heer SE, van den Bemt BJF, et al. Res Soc Admin Pharm. 2022;18:2651-2658.
Pharmacists play a critical role in medication safety during transitions of care. This multi-center study found that a transitional pharmacy care program (including teach-back, pharmacy discharge letter, home visit by community pharmacist, and medication reconciliation by both the community and hospital pharmacist) did not decrease the proportion of patients with adverse drug events (ADE) after hospital discharge. The authors discuss several possible explanations as to why the intervention did not impact ADEs and suggest that a process evaluation is needed to explore ways in which a transitional pharmacy care program could reduce ADEs.
Hall N, Bullen K, Sherwood J, et al. BMJ Open. 2022;12:e050283.
Reporting errors is a key component of improving patient safety and patient care. Primary care prescribers and community pharmacists in Northeast England were interviewed about perceived barriers and enablers to reporting medication prescribing errors, either internally or externally. Motivation, capability, and opportunity influenced reporting behaviors. 

Institute for Safe Medication Practices.

Workplace bullying and disrespectful behavior have been shown to negatively affect fall rates, medication errors, and other adverse events. The Institute for Safe Medication Practices is seeking clinician input on and experiences with disrespectful behaviors in the ambulatory care setting (e.g., community, specialty, and long-term care pharmacies, physician practices, and outpatient visits) and how organizations have been working to improve the culture of respect.