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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 369 Results

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.
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. 
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.

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.

WebM&M Case November 16, 2022

A 61-year-old women with a mechanical aortic valve on chronic warfarin therapy was referred to the emergency department (ED) for urgent computed tomography (CT) imaging of the right leg to rule out an arterial clot. CT imaging revealed two arterial thromboses the right lower extremity and an echocardiogram revealed a thrombus near the prosthetic heart valve. The attending physician ordered discontinuation of warfarin and initiation of a heparin drip.

Kawsar M, Linander I. Sex Reprod Healthc. 2022;34:100786.
Trans and gender-nonconforming (TGNC) people may delay or avoid seeking healthcare due to experiences with biased or uninformed providers. This study focuses specifically on obstetric and gynecological care providers who provide care to TGNC people. Participants described challenges at the clinic level (e.g., needing at least one knowledgeable and interested clinician) and administrative level (e.g., trans men who have a cervix do not get automatic reminders for PAP tests) that can prevent TGNC people from receiving equitable care.
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.
WebM&M Case October 27, 2022

A 49-year-old woman presented to an Emergency Department (ED) with abdominal pain nine hours after discharge following outpatient laparoscopic left oophorectomy. The left oophorectomy procedure involved an umbilical port placed using an Optiport visual trocar, a suprapubic port, and two additional ports laterally.

Healy M, Richard A, Kidia K. J Gen Intern Med. 2022;37:2533-2540.
The language used in progress notes in the electronic health record (EHR) can influence the attitudes of and treatment given by subsequent clinicians. This review describes words and phrases that are stigmatizing and provides neutral alternatives (e.g., person with substance use disorder instead of addict). Patients in minoritized groups may be especially impacted by stigmatizing language in progress notes.   
Redmond S, Barwise A, Zornes S, et al. Health Serv Insights. 2022;15:117863292211235.
Various factors – including organizational, interpersonal clinician, and patient factors – can contribute to diagnostic errors and delays. This survey of 220 clinicians explored the perceived frequency of different factors contributing to diagnostic errors or diagnostic delay. Findings suggest that system and processes, care team interactions, provider factors, cognitive factors, and patient factors were perceived to contribute to diagnostic error and delay with similar frequency.
Curated Libraries
October 10, 2022
Selected PSNet materials for a general safety audience focusing on improvements in the diagnostic process and the strategies that support them to prevent diagnostic errors from harming patients.
Suneja M, Beekmann SE, Dhaliwal G, et al. Diagnosis (Berl). 2022;9:332-339.
Delayed diagnosis of infectious diseases can lead to serious patient harm. This survey of over 500 infectious disease clinicians revealed that diagnostic delay often involved diagnoses of infective endocarditis and epidural abscesses. Respondents identified several factors contributing to diagnostic delays including usual clinical presentations and the timing of infectious disease consultations.
WebM&M Case August 31, 2022

A 65-year-old female with a documented allergy to latex underwent surgery for right-sided Zenker’s diverticulum. Near the conclusion of surgery, a latex Penrose drain was placed in the neck surgical incision. The patient developed generalized urticaria, bronchospasm requiring high airway pressures to achieve adequate ventilation, and hypotension within 5 minutes of placement of the drain. The drain was removed and replaced with a silicone drain. Epinephrine and vasopressors were administered post-operatively and the patient’s symptoms resolved.

WebM&M Case August 31, 2022

A 49-year-old woman was referred by per primary care physician (PCP) to a gastroenterologist for recurrent bouts of abdominal pain, occasional vomiting, and diarrhea. Colonoscopy, esophagogastroduodenoscopy, and x-rays were interpreted as normal, and the patient was reassured that her symptoms should abate. The patient was seen by her PCP and visited the Emergency Department (ED) several times over the next six months. At each ED visit, the patient’s labs were normal and no imaging was performed.

AMA J Ethics. 2022;24(8):e715-e816.

Health inequity is recent expansion in the patient safety canon. This special issue examines poor access, quality of care, and health status as contributors to patient harm. Articles discuss race, gender, and ethnicity as factors generating unsafe experiences for patients.
WebM&M Case August 5, 2022

This WebM&M highlights two cases where home diabetes medications were not reviewed during medication reconciliation and the preventable harm that could have occurred. The commentary discusses the importance of medication reconciliation, how to compile the ‘best possible medication history’, and how pharmacy staff roles and responsibilities can reduce medication errors.

Weston M, Chiodo C. AORN J. 2022;115:569-575.
Unintentionally retained foreign objects can be exacerbated by fatigue, distractions, and communication errors. This article highlights the importance of effective teamwork, high reliability orientation, and standardized surgical count methods to minimize the persistent problem of retained surgical items.

Moss LD. Clinical Advisor. June 29, 2022.

Health disparities perpetuated by structural racism degrade patient safety. This article discusses the influence of implicit biases on care delivery and highlights the increased interest and research being generated to improve understanding and initiative design to reduce the impact of implicit bias on care.

Villarosa L. New York, NT: Doubleday: 2022. ISBN 9780385544887. 

Health inequities are receiving increased attention as a patient safety issue. This book examines the persistent problem of systemic racism on the health of Black patients. It summarizes the evidence on how racism affects health care and discusses strategies for improvement such as reducing gaps in implicit bias content in curriculum.