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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 195 Results
Lauffenburger JC, Coll MD, Kim E, et al. Med Educ. 2022;56:1032-1041.
Medication errors can be common among medical trainees. Using semi-structured qualitative interviews, this study identified factors influencing suboptimal prescribing by medical residents during overnight coverage, including time pressures, perceived pressure and fear of judgement, clinical acuity, and communication issues between care team members.

RA-UK, the Faculty of Pain Medicine, RCoA Simulation and NHS Improvement

Standardization is a common strategy for preventing practice deviations that can contribute to harm. This tool outlines a three-step process for minimizing the occurrence of wrong-side peripheral nerve blocks that involves preparing for the procedure, stopping to perform a two-person site confirmation, and then administering the block.
Chiel L, Freiman E, Yarahuan J, et al. Hosp Pediatr. 2021;12:e35-e38.
Medical residents write patient care orders overnight that are often not reviewed by attending physicians until the next morning. This study used the hospital’s data warehouse and retrospective chart review to examine 5927 orders over a 12-month period, 538 were included in the analysis. Key reasons for order changes included medical decision making, patient trajectory, and medication errors. Authors suggest errors of omission may be an area to direct safety initiatives in the future.
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...
Al Rowily A, Jalal Z, Price MJ, et al. Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2022;78:623-645.
Although direct acting oral anticoagulants (DAOCs) are generally considered safer than older anticoagulants, they are still high-risk medications. This review found that between 5.3% and 37.3% of patients experienced either a prescription, administration, or dosing error. Prescribing errors constituted the majority of error types, and common causes were active failures, including wrong drug or wrong dose.
Haque H, Alrowily A, Jalal Z, et al. Int J Clin Pharm. 2021;43:1693-1704.
While direct oral anticoagulants (DOAC) are considered safer than warfarin, DOAC-related medication errors still occur. This study assesses the frequency, type, and potential causality of DOAC-related medication errors and the nature of clinical pharmacist intervention. Active, rather than latent, failures contributed to most errors.
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 July 28, 2021

This commentary presents two cases highlighting common medication errors in retail pharmacy settings and discusses the importance of mandatory counseling for new medications, use of standardized error reporting processes, and the role of clinical decision support systems (CDSS) in medical decision-making and ensuring medication safety.

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.

WebM&M Case May 26, 2021

A 4-year-old (former 33-week premature) boy with a complex medical history including gastroschisis and subsequent volvulus in infancy resulting in short bowel syndrome, central venous catheter placement, and home parenteral nutrition (PN) dependence was admitted with hyponatremia. A pharmacist from the home infusion pharmacy notified the physician that an error in home PN mixing had been identified; a new file had been created for this chronic PN patient by the home infusion pharmacy and the PN formula in this file was transcribed erroneously without sodium acetate.

Ekkens CL, Gordon PA. Holist Nurs Pract. 2021;35:115-122.
Despite system-level interventions, medication administration errors (MAE) continue to occur. Nurses at an American hospital were trained in mindful thinking in an effort to reduce MAE. After three months, nurses who received the mindfulness training had fewer medication errors, and less severe errors, than nurses who did not receive the training. Mindful thinking was effective at reducing medication administration errors and the authors recommend trainings be part of nurses’ orientation and continuing education.
WebM&M Case April 28, 2021

A 24-year-old woman with type 1 diabetes presented to the emergency department with worsening abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. Her last dose of insulin was one day prior to presentation. She stopped taking insulin because she was not tolerating any oral intake. The admitting team managed her diabetes with subcutaneous insulin but thought the patient did not meet criteria for diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), but after three inpatient days with persistent hyperglycemia, blurred vision, and altered mental status, a consulting endocrinologist diagnosed DKA.

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. 

ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute Care Edition. January 14, 2021;26(1);1-5. 
 

Learning from error rests on transparency efforts buttressed by frontline reports. This article examined reports of COVID-19 vaccine errors to highlight common risks that are likely to be present in a variety of settings and share recommendations to minimize their negative impact, including storage methods and vaccination staff education. 
WebM&M Case May 27, 2020
A patient with multiple comorbidities and chronic pain was admitted for elective spinal decompression and fusion. The patient was placed on a postoperative patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) for pain control and was later found unresponsive. The case illustrates risks associated with opioid administration through PCA, particularly among patients at high risk for postoperative opioid-induced respiratory depression.
Todd SE, Thompson AJ, Russell WS. Pediatr Emerg Care. 2020:Epub Jan 21.
This study characterized dose errors on medication orders bypassing pharmacist review in a pediatric emergency department. Over 46,000 medication orders were placed in a 12-month period: of those, 32,000 bypassed pharmacist review through an auto verify function in the EHR.  A small proportion (<1%) of these orders were deemed potentially erroneous; most were wrong doses (90%) and the rest were the wrong formulation or given to the wrong patient. None of the potential errors resulted in identifiable patient harm.
Suda KJ, Zhou J, Rowan SA, et al. Am J Prev Med. 2020;58:473-486.
National guidelines published in 2016 recommend prescribing low-dose opioids for short durations when necessary, including in dentistry practices. This cross-sectional analysis of over 500,000 commercial dental patients over a five-year period (2011-2015) examined prescribing practices prior to the recommendations and found that 29% of prescribed opioids exceeded the recommended dose for management of acute pain and half (53%) exceeded the recommended days’ supply. The authors emphasize the importance of evidence-based interventions tailored to dentistry to curtail excessive opioid prescribing.
Pourteimour S, Hemmati MalsakPak M, Jasemi M, et al. Pediatr Qual Saf. 2019;4.
This single site study examined the effect of a smartphone messenger app on nursing students’ learning about preventing medication errors in pediatric patients. Researchers concluded that such a tool can reduce medication errors and increase learning among nursing students.
WebM&M Case December 18, 2019
A 55-year-old man visited his oncologist for a follow-up appointment after completing chemotherapy and reported feeling well with his abdominal and bony pain well controlled with opioid therapy.  At the end of the visit, his oncologist reordered his pain medication and, due to a best practice alert, also prescribed naloxone but failed to provide any instruction on its use. Later that day, the patient took the naloxone along with his opioid pain medication and within a minute experienced severe abdominal and bony pain, requiring admission to the emergency department.
Kennedy AR, Massey LR. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2019;76:1481-1491.
This Special Feature discusses risks and vulnerabilities around medications in non-pediatric hospitals that provide care to pediatric patients. The authors identify risks and provide recommendations to ensure safe care of children including optimizing technology, utilizing external resources, and ensuring a pediatric pharmacist is in place.