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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 3259 Results

ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute care edition. January 12, 2023;28(1):1-4.

The patient safety movement has raised awareness of the presence of multiple factors that align to result in patient harm, yet implementing processes to fully examine and change practice from that perspective is challenged. This article discusses this situation and provides recommendations to orient improvement efforts toward deeper investigation methods to identify latent contributors to care failure.
Krombach JW, Zürcher C, Simon SG, et al. Anaesth Crit Care Pain Med. 2022;42:101186.
Checklists have been highlighted as a cognitive aid to decrease omissions of care in surgery and other routine and critical events. This study evaluated a pre- and post-anesthesia induction checklist to determine the omission rate and impact on patient safety. Use of the checklist reduced omission rates significantly during both pre- and post-induction periods. However omission remained high at 32% and 40%, respectively and use of the checklists remained low.

Goldstein J. New York Times. January 23, 2023.

Active errors are evident when they occur, yet systemic weaknesses, if not addressed, allow them to repeat. This story examines poor epidural methods of one clinician that coincided with lack of organizational practitioner monitoring, unequitable maternal care for black women and clinician COVID fatigue to contribute to patient death.

Grimm CA. Washington DC: Office of the Inspector General; Nov 2022. Report no. OEI-07-20-00500.

Misdiagnosis can result in inappropriate medication use. This report examined the overuse of antipsychotics in nursing homes and resident harms. These recommendations from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General include heightened evaluation and oversight of medication use and better documentation of diagnosis with medication orders as avenues for improvement.
Food and Drug Administration and Institute for Safe Medication Practices. Plymouth Meeting, PA; Institute for Safe Medication Practices; January 2023.
Mistakes associated with look-alike medication names are a safety concern in health care. Tall man, or mixed case, lettering is one recommended strategy to reduce confusion associated with similarities in drug names. This list includes medications recognized by clinicians and professional organizations as those suited for the application of mixed case lettering to make their use safer.
Dixit RA, Boxley CL, Samuel S, et al. J Patient Saf. 2023;19:e25-e30.
Electronic health records (EHR) may have unintended negative consequences on patient safety. This review identified 11 articles focused on the relationship between EHR use and diagnostic error. EHR issues fell into three general areas: information gathering, medical decision-making, and plan implementation and communication. The majority of issues were a related to providers’ cognitive processing, revealing an important area of research and quality improvement.
Greig PR, Zolger D, Onwochei DN, et al. Anaesthesia. 2022;Epub Dec 14.
Cognitive aids, such as checklists and decision aids, can reduce omissions in care and improve patient safety. This systematic review including 13 randomized trials found that cognitive aids in clinical emergencies reduced the incidence of missed care steps (from 43% to 11%) and medical errors, and improved teamwork, non-technical, and conflict resolution scores.

Institute for Healthcare Improvement. Mar 14 - May 16, 2023.

Root cause analysis (RCA) is a widely recognized retrospective strategy for learning from failure that is challenging to implement. This series of webinars will feature an innovative approach to RCA that expands on the concept to facilitate its use in incident investigations. Instructors for the series will include Dr. Terry Fairbanks and Dr. Tejal K. Gandhi.
Baldwin CA, Hanrahan K, Edmonds SW, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2023;49:14-25.
Unprofessional and disruptive behavior can erode patient safety and safety culture. The Co-Worker Observation System (CORS), a peer-to-peer feedback program previously used with physicians and advance practice providers, was implemented for use with nurses in three hospitals. Reports of unprofessional behavior submitted to the internal reporting system were evaluated by the CORS team, and peer-to-peer feedback was given to the recipient. This pilot study demonstrated that the implementation bundle can be successful with nursing staff.
Heesen M, Steuer C, Wiedemeier P, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e1226-e1230.
Anesthesia medications prepared in the operating room are vulnerable to errors at all stages of medication administration, including preparation and dilution. In this study, anesthesiologists were asked to prepare the mixture of three drugs used for spinal anesthesia for cesarean section. Results show deviation from the expected concentration and variability between providers. The authors recommend all medications be prepared in the hospital pharmacy or purchased pre-mixed from the manufacturer to prevent these errors. 
Cohen AL, Sur M, Falco C, et al. Diagnosis (Berl). 2022;9:476-484.
Clinical reasoning is now a common method to improve diagnostic decision making, and several tools have been developed to assess learners’ clinical reasoning. In this study, hospital faculty and pediatric interns used the Assessment of Reasoning Tool (ART) to assess, teach, and guide feedback on the interns’ clinical reasoning. Faculty and interns report the ART framework was highly structured, specific, formative, and facilitated goal setting.

Newman-Toker DE, Peterson SM, Badihian S, et al. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; December 2022. AHRQ Publication No. 22(23)-EHC043.

Although diagnostic accuracy in the emergency department (ED) is high, diagnostic errors still occur. This evidence review estimated that 1 in 18 ED patients receive an incorrect diagnosis, which translates to 7.4 million patients misdiagnosed every year (or 5.7% of all ED visits annually). Five conditions were found to be most vulnerable to misdiagnosis: stroke, heart attack, aortic aneurysm/ dissection, spinal cord injury and blood clots. The evidence review identified variation in diagnostic error rates across demographic groups; female sex and non-White race were often associated with increased risk for diagnostic errors. Serious misdiagnosis-related harms were often associated with clinician bedside judgement and other cognitive failures. 
Kaplan HM, Birnbaum JF, Kulkarni PA. Diagnosis (Berl). 2022;9:421-429.
Premature diagnostic closure, also called anchoring bias, relies on initial diagnostic impression without continuing to explore differential diagnoses. This commentary proposes a cognitive forcing strategy of “endpoint diagnosis,” or continuing to ask “why” until additional diagnostic evaluations have been exhausted. The authors describe four common contexts when endpoint diagnoses are not pursued or reached.
Perspective on Safety December 14, 2022

Ellen Deutsch, MD, MS, FACS, FAAP, FSSH, CPPS is a Medical Officer in the Center for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Dr. Deutsch is a pediatric otolaryngologist and has vast experience in simulation and resilience engineering. We spoke with her about resilient healthcare and how resilient engineering principles are applied to improve patient safety.

WebM&M Case December 14, 2022

This case describes a man in his 70s with a history of multiple myeloma and multiple healthcare encounters for diarrhea in the previous five years, which had always been attributed to viral or unknown causes, without any microbiologic or serologic testing. The patient was admitted to the hospital with gastrointestinal symptoms and diagnosed with cholecystitis and gangrenous gallbladder. Two months after his admission for cholecystitis, he was readmitted for severe vomiting and hypotension.

WebM&M Case December 14, 2022

A 62-year-old Spanish-speaking woman presented to the pre-anesthesia area for elective removal of a left thigh lipoma. Expecting a relatively simple outpatient operation, the anesthesiologist opted not to use a Spanish language translator and performed a quick pre-anesthesia evaluation, obtaining her history from the medical record. Unknown to the anesthesiologist, the patient was trying to communicate to him that she had undergone jaw replacement surgery and that her mouth opening was therefore anatomically limited.

WebM&M Case December 14, 2022

A 65-year-old man with metastatic liver disease presented to the hospital with worsening abdominal pain after a partial hepatectomy and development of a large ventral hernia. Imaging studies revealed perforated diverticulitis. A goals-of-care discussion was led by the palliative care service; the patient and his designated decision-makers chose to pursue non-operative management of diverticulitis.

WebM&M Case December 14, 2022

A 63-year-old woman was admitted to a hospital for anterior cervical discectomy (levels C4-C7) and plating for cervical spinal stenosis under general anesthesia. The operation was uneventful and intraoperative neuromonitoring was used to help prevent spinal cord and peripheral nerve injury. During extubation after surgery, the anesthesia care provider noticed a large (approximately 4-5 cm) laceration on the underside of the patient’s tongue, with an associated hematoma.

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.
Patient Safety Primer December 14, 2022

The rapid expansion of telehealth and the variation in implementation of new models of care into medical practice has resulted in emerging concerns regarding patient safety. This primer summarizes these concerns – including diagnostic errors, medication errors, and health equity considerations – as well as telehealth implementation strategies to enhance patient safety.