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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 116 Results
Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
In this annual publication, AHRQ reviews the results of the National Healthcare Quality Report and National Healthcare Disparities Report. The 2022 report discusses a decrease in life expectancy due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It also reviews the current status of special areas of interest such as maternity care, child and adolescent mental health, and substance abuse disorders. 
St Paul, MN: Minnesota Department of Health.
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.
US Food and Drug Administration. October 7, 2021.
Errors of commission during complex procedures can contribute to patient harm. Drawing from an analysis of medical device reports submitted to the Food and Drug Administration, this updated announcement seeks to raise awareness of common adverse events associated with surgical staplers and implantable staples. User-related problems include opening of the staple line, misapplied staples, and staple gun difficulties. Recommendations include ensuring availability of various staple sizes and avoiding use of staples on large blood vessels.
MedWatch Safety Alert. Silver Spring, MD: US Food and Drug Administration; August 20, 2021.
This announcement seeks to raise awareness of the potential risks associated with the use of robotic-assisted surgical devices in mastectomies or cancer-related care. Recommendations for patients who may seek to have robotically assisted surgery include asking about their surgeon's experience with these procedures and discussing benefits, risks, and alternatives regarding available treatment options with their health care provider. Suggestions for health care providers include completing specialized training on procedures they perform. A WebM&M commentary described the challenges and benefits associated with robotic surgery.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) provides consumers with publicly available information on the quality of Medicare-certified hospital care through this Web site. The site includes specific information for both patients and hospitals on how to use the data to guide decision-making and improvement initiatives. Most recently, listings from the Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program (HACRP) and data on Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals were added to the reports available.
Fillo KT. Bureau of Health Care Safety and Quality, Department of Public Health. Boston, MA: Commonwealth of Massachusetts; 2020.
This reoccurring report compiles patient safety data documented by Massachusetts hospitals. The 2019 numbers represent a modest increase in serious reportable events recorded in acute care hospitals, from 1066 the previous year to 1189. This presentation also includes events from ambulatory surgery centers. Older reports are also available.
Buissonniere M. Brooklyn NY: Lifebox and Ariadne Labs; 2020.
Checklists are integrated into error reduction strategies and healthcare team communication efforts worldwide but implementation and impact of the tool varies widely. This report examines the use of the WHO Surgical Safety Checklist and barriers to its uptake which include lack of effective staff introduction to the content, misperceptions about the time needed to use the tool and ineffective local contextualization of the content and process.
Span P.
Cognitive and functional decline can occur as individuals age. Concerns have been raised regarding the need to assess skills of aging physicians. This newspaper article reports on the implementation of mandatory evaluation programs to assess competencies of older surgeons and the profession's response to them.
Hixenbaugh M, Ornstein C. Houston Chronicle and Propublica. May 2018-May 2019.
This news investigation chronicles a series of incidents in a transplant program that resulted in patient harm. The systemic nature of the problems such as insufficient whistleblower protection, accountability, and follow-up on patient concerns culminated in a change of hospital leadership. A previous PSNet interview with Charles Ornstein discussed the role of media in raising awareness of patient safety issues.
Beil L. ProPublica. October 2, 2018.
This news article reports on systemic weaknesses that enabled a surgeon with poor skills to continue to perform procedures after numerous surgical errors that resulted in patient harm. A past PSNet perspective explored the risk of recurring medicolegal events among providers who have received unsolicited patient complaints, faced disciplinary actions by medical boards, or accumulated malpractice claims.
Baker M.
Reporting on an incident involving a patient who died after a surgery, this news article discusses potential contributing factors in the incident such as concurrent surgeries and failure to consider patient and family concerns. A past WebM&M commentary highlighted the importance of listening to families when they advocate for patients in the hospital.
Sun LH.
Medical devices can contribute to the spread of health care–associated infections. This news article discusses a government report that raises concerns that patients may have been exposed to a deadly bacterial infection related to an essential piece of equipment used in cardiac surgery worldwide. The resulting infection can be difficult to diagnosis as symptoms may remain dormant for months after the initial exposure.
Chicago, IL: American Hospital Association and Health Research & Educational Trust; September 2016.
The Partnership for Patients program has supported the Hospital Engagement Networks since 2011. This report reviews the results of the second round of funded effort, which involved more than 1500 hospitals in the United States that prevented 34,000 harms from September 2015 to September 2016. Areas of improvement included reductions in surgical site infections, adverse drug events, and postoperative complications. The authors also highlight core strategies of the program, such as evidence dissemination and coaching.
Cohen E. CNN. March 24, 2016.
Poor communication regarding medical errors can contribute to patient and family frustration and fear. Reporting on a case involving disclosure of a wrong-site surgery, this news article describes a resolution program to help patients cope after a preventable error. The program includes apology, disclosure, and explanation of what occurred as well as financial compensation.
Rice S. Modern healthcare. 2016;46:14-6.
Although checklist implementation as a safety strategy has achieved some success, it has also faced scrutiny. This magazine article discusses a statewide checklist effort that tested a structured initiative for engaging hospitals in utilizing a pre-surgical checklist in their operating rooms.
Abelson J; Saltzman J; Kowalcyzk L; Allen S.
Scheduling concurrent surgeries can have negative effects on staff and patients. This investigative news article explores the practice of overlapping procedures at a leading hospital, potential risks associated with double-booked cases, lack of transparency with patients involved, as well as the potential impact on patient safety.
Luthra S. Kaiser Health News. July 14, 2015.
Distractions can lead to care and process omissions. Reporting on the prevalence of mobile technology in the operating room and how it can hinder teamwork, this news article calls for guidance to regulate smartphone use in health care environments to enhance safety of care delivery.
Wei S; Allen M; Pierce O.
Transparency has been advocated as a key element of safe, patient-centered care, but data on individual performance has not been made widely available. This database compiles the death and complication rates of surgeons performing eight specific elective procedures on Medicare patients to provide performance records and enhance patient decision-making when selecting surgeons.
Whitehead N. National Public Radio. June 18, 2015.
The competency of surgeons as they age has been debated as a risk to patient safety. This news article describes concerns about the aging population of surgeons in the United States and an American Medical Association effort to develop guidelines to assess skills of older physicians.
Marsh H. New York, NY: Thomas Dunne Books; 2015. ISBN: 9781250065810.
This intensely personal memoir by the famed British neurosurgeon Henry Marsh is no hagiography or recitation of his many accomplishments. Instead, Marsh relates many errors he has committed or witnessed, and the personal toll these errors have taken on his patients and himself. He recreates these stories in vivid detail, acknowledging the effect that his own emotional state had on committing both cognitive and technical errors. Marsh was inspired to write this book in part by reading the work of Daniel Kahneman, the Nobel Prize–winning psychologist whose research established the mechanisms by which humans commit cognitive errors. Along with Atul Gawande's Complications, this book stands as an essential human perspective on error in medicine.