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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 1033 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.

Pharmacy Practice News Special Edition. December 13, 2022: 43-54.

Medication errors continue to occur despite long-standing efforts to reduce them. This article summarizes types of errors submitted to the Institute for Safe Medication Practices reporting program in 2021. The piece discusses the medications involved, recommendations for improvement, and technologies to be employed to minimize error occurrence.
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.
Alqahtani N. J Eval Clin Pract. 2022;28:1037-1049.
Insulin-related errors result in nearly 100,000 emergency department visits annually in the United States, with 30% resulting in hospitalization. It is unclear if published guidelines and strategies for reducing these errors have been effective; therefore, this review sought to identify interventions to reduce insulin errors in home and hospital settings. Three themes emerged: technology, education, and policy. Understanding these findings may help clinicians and patients to decrease insulin administration errors and help researchers develop and evaluate future studies targeting insulin-related errors.
Henry Basil J, Premakumar CM, Mhd Ali A, et al. Drug Saf. 2022;45:1457-1476.
Medication administration errors (MAEs) are thought to be common in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). This systematic review estimated that the pooled prevalence of MAEs among patients in NICU settings ranged from 59% to 65%. The review highlights both active failures (e.g., similar drug packaging or names) and latent failures (e.g., noisy environments, inaccurate verbal or written orders) contributing to MAEs.
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.
The Joint Commission.
The National Patient Safety Goals (NPSGs) are one of the major methods by which The Joint Commission establishes standards for ensuring patient safety in all health care settings. In order to ensure health care facilities focus on preventing major sources of patient harm, The Joint Commission regularly revises the NPSGs based on their impact, cost, and effectiveness. Major focus areas include promoting surgical safety and preventing hospital-acquired infections, medication errors, inpatient suicide, and specific clinical harms such as falls and pressure ulcers. The 2023 goals are now available.
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.

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.
Lusk C, Catchpole K, Neyens DM, et al. Appl Ergon. 2022;104:103831.
Tall Man lettering and color-coding of medication syringes provide visual cues to decrease medication ordering and administration errors. In this study, an icon was added to the standard medication label; participants were asked to identify four medications, with and without the icon, from pre-defined distances. Participants correctly identified the medications with icons slightly more often.

ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute care edition. October 20, 2022;20(21):1-5.

Errors due to inadequate information use with intravenous smart pumps are a safety concern. This article discusses factors that contribute to medication errors and smart pumps, which include out-of-date drug libraries, omitted dose limits, and variable rate infusions. Recommendations for improvement include the creation, testing, and updating of drug libraries.
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.
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.

ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute care edition. October 6, 2022;27(20):1-5.

Patient resuscitation is a complex, distinct, team activity that can be prone to error. Pharmacists involved in codes reported concerns including errors with high-alert medications and communication gaps. Improvement recommendations focused on preparation for, actions during and post code phrases which included standardizing the practice of including pharmacists in codes, simulation, and regular debriefing.
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.