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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 413 Results
Kelly D, Koay A, Mineva G, et al. Public Health. 2022;214:50-60.
Natural disasters and other public health emergencies (PHE), such as the COVID-19 pandemic, can dramatically change the delivery of healthcare. This scoping review identified considerable research examining the relationship between public health emergencies and disruptions to personal medication practices (e.g., self-altering medication regimens, access barriers, changing prescribing providers) and subsequent medication-related harm.
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.
Rodgers S, Taylor AC, Roberts SA, et al. PLoS Med. 2022;19:e1004133.
Previous research found that a pharmacist-led information technology intervention (PINCER) reduced dangerous prescribing (i.e., medication monitoring and drug-disease errors) among a subset of primary care practices in the United Kingdom (UK). This longitudinal analysis examined the impact of the PINCER intervention after implementation across a large proportion of general practices in one region in the UK. Researchers found the PINCER intervention decreased dangerous prescribing by 17% and 15% at 6-month and 12-month follow-ups, particularly among dangerous prescribing related to gastrointestinal bleeding.
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.
Wallerstedt SM, Svensson SA, Lönnbro J, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5:e2236757.
Criteria, such as the Screening Tool of Older Persons' Prescriptions (STOPP)/Screening Tool to Alert to Right Treatment (START) criteria, are tools used by clinicians to identify potentially inappropriate prescribing (PIM) and potential prescribing omissions (PPOs) among older adult patients. In this study, researchers evaluated three PIM/PPO criteria sets and found that all three performed poorly as diagnostic tools to identify inadequate drug treatment in older patients compared to counting the number of drugs on the patient’s medication list.
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.

Federal Office of Public Health. 2m2c Convention Centre, Montreux, Switzerland, February 23-24, 2023.

Medical errors continue to cause harm worldwide despite the planning and efforts to reduce them. This bi-yearly session will feature topics exploring the theme of “Less Harm, Better Care – from Resolution to Implementation.” It will cover weaknesses in improvement initiative implementation surfaced by the COVID-19 pandemic and offer approaches for addressing unsustainable program launches and implementation practices.

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.

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.
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.

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.