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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 96 Results
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. Since 2003, Minnesota hospitals have been required to report such incidents. The 2022 report summarizes information about 572 adverse events that were reported, representing a significant increase in the year covered. Earlier reports prior to the last two years reflect a fairly consistent count of adverse events. The rise documented here is likely due to demands on staffing and care processes associated with COVID-19 and general increases in patient complexity and subsequent length of stay. Pressure ulcers and fall-related injuries were the most common incidents recorded. Reports from previous years are available.
Bowman CL, De Gorter R, Zaslow J, et al. BMJ Open Qual. 2023;12:e002264.
Never events are catastrophic adverse events resulting in patient death or significant disability that are largely preventable. This narrative synthesis describes which events organizations most frequently identify as never events, and which are most commonly described as entirely preventable. 125 unique never events were identified, nearly 20% of which were classified as entirely preventable. The most frequent never events were wrong site or wrong patient surgery, wrong surgical procedure, and unintentionally retained objects.
Arad D, Rosenfeld A, Magnezi R. Patient Saf Surg. 2023;17:6.
Surgical never events are rare but devastating for patients. Using machine learning, this study identified 24 contributing factors to two types of surgical never events - wrong site surgery and retained items. Communication, the number and type of staff present, and the type and length of surgery were identified contributing factors.
Patient Safety Surveillance Unit. Department of Health, Perth: Western Australia.
This annual report shares the results of Western Australia's sentinel event reporting program. Medication errors were the highest recorded sentinel event in the latest period. The data is placed in the context of the overall data collected over the last 5 years of the program.
Joint Commission.
This website provides sentinel event data reported to The Joint Commission, which includes information on sentinel events reported from January through December 2022. Falls, unintended retained foreign bodies, and delays in treatment were among the most frequently submitted incidents in this time period which represents a 19% increase over 2021. The data and graphs are updated regularly and include a 5 year trend analysis and specific analysis associated with event type by year from 2018 through 2022.
Vacheron C-H, Acker A, Autran M, et al. J Patient Saf. 2023;19:e13-e17.
Wrong-site, wrong-procedure, and wrong-patient errors (WSPEs) are serious adverse events. This retrospective analysis of medical liability claims data examined the incidence of WSPEs in France between 2007 and 2017. During this ten-year period, WSPEs accounted for 0.4% of all claims. Procedures on the wrong organ were most common (44%), followed by wrong side (39%), wrong person (13%) and wrong procedure (4%). The researchers found that the average number of WSPEs decreased after implementation of a surgical checklist.
Minyé HM, Benjamin EM. Br Dent J. 2022;232:879-885.
High reliability organization (HRO) principles used in other high-risk industries (such as aviation) can be applied patient safety. This article provides an overview of how HRO principles (preoccupation with failure, situational awareness, reluctance to simplify, deference to expertise, and commitment to resilience) can be successfully applied in dentistry.
Krenzischek DA, Card E, Mamaril M, et al. J Perianesth Nurs. 2022;37:827-833.
Patients and caregivers are important partners in promoting safe care. Findings from this cross-sectional study reinforce the importance of patients’ perceived roles in ensuring safe surgery and highlight the importance of patient engagement in mitigating surgical site errors.

Farnborough, UK: Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch; June 2021.

Wrong site/wrong patent surgery is a persistent healthcare never event. This report examines National Health Service (NHS) reporting data to identify how ambulatory patient identification errors contribute to wrong patient care. The authors recommend that the NHS use human factors methods to design control processes to target and manage the risks in the outpatient environment such as lack of technology integration, shared waiting area space, and reliance on verbal communication at clinic.
Olivarius‐McAllister J, Pandit M, Sykes A, et al. Anaesthesia. 2021;76:1616-1624.
UK Regulators measure never events to assess hospital safety culture and dictate reimbursement. The authors suggest that regulators focus on reducing the national never event rate through shared learning and an integrated system-wide approach, rather than concentrating on underperforming, outlier hospitals where factors such as safety culture maybe contributing to increased rates of never events.
Omar I, Singhal R, Wilson M, et al. Int J Qual Health Care. 2021;33:mzab045.
Never events, a significant type of adverse event, should never occur in healthcare. This study analyzed 797 surgical never events that occurred from April 2012 to February 2020 in the National Health Service (NHS) England and categorized them into three main categories: wrong-site surgery (53.58%), retained items post-procedure (44.54%), and wrong implant/prosthesis (1.88%). In total 56 common general surgery never events have been found. Being aware of the common themes may help providers to develop more effective strategies to prevent these adverse events.
Yonash RA, Taylor M. Patient Safety. 2020;2:24-39.
Wrong-site surgeries can lead to serious patient harm and are considered never events by the National Quality Forum. Based on events reported to the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Reporting System between 2015 and 2019, the authors identified an average of 1.42 wrong-site surgery events per week and found that three-quarters of events resulted in temporary or permanent patient harm. The authors present several evidence-based strategies to reduce the likelihood of wrong-site surgery, including preoperative and intraoperative verification, site marking, and timeouts.  
Anderson JE, Watt AJ. Int J Qual Health Care. 2020;32:196-203.
Using a Safety-II framework, the authors used a mixed-methods approach to retrospectively analyze root cause analysis (RCA) reports of ‘never events’ occurring in the United Kingdom to characterize proposed actions, insights and recommendations to prevent future events. The analysis found that proposed actions were generally of low-to-moderate effectiveness, and that despite identifying systems challenges and weaknesses, many reports did not include proposed actions to mitigate or remove risks. The authors conclude that applying concepts from resilient healthcare can identify vulnerabilities and opportunities for strengthening the RCA system and improving the quality of RCA reports.
Geraghty A, Ferguson L, McIlhenny C, et al. J Patient Saf. 2020;16.
Operating room list errors are often cited as leading to wrong-side, wrong-site or wrong-procedure errors. This retrospective study analyzed two years of data from the United Kingdom and found that while no wrong-side, wrong-site or wrong-procedure surgeries were performed during the period, 0.29% of cases (86 cases) included a list error. Wrong-side list errors accounted for the majority of all list errors (72%). Tracking and reducing operating room list errors may help to prevent wrong-side, -site, or -procedure errors.
Graham C, Reid S, Lord TC, et al. Br Dent J. 2019;226:32-38.
Reporting and avoidance of “never events,” such as a wrong tooth extraction, is important for providing consistently safe dental care. This article describes changes made in safety procedures, including introducing surgical safety briefings or huddles in an outpatient oral surgery unit of the United Kingdom’s National Health Service, that eliminated never events for more than two years.
Stahl JM, Mack K, Cebula S, et al. Mil Med. 2019.
This retrospective study of dental patient safety reports in the military health system demonstrated an increase in reported events, which may reflect improvements in safety culture. Wrong-site surgery was the most common adverse event, suggesting the need to enhance safety practices in dentistry.
Neily J, Soncrant C, Mills PD, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2018;1:e185147.
The Joint Commission and National Quality Forum both consider wrong-site, wrong-procedure, and wrong-patient surgeries to be never events. Despite improvement approaches ranging from the Universal Protocol to nonpayment for the procedures themselves and any consequent care, these serious surgical errors continue to occur. This study measured the incidence of incorrect surgeries in Veterans Health Administration medical centers from 2010 to 2017. Surgical patient safety events resulting in harm were rare and declined by more than two-thirds from 2000 to 2017. Dentistry, ophthalmology, and neurosurgery had the highest incidence of in–operating room adverse events. Root cause analysis revealed that 29% of events could have been prevented with a correctly performed time-out. A WebM&M commentary examined an incident involving a wrong-side surgery.
Engelhardt KE, Barnard C, Bilimoria KY. JAMA. 2017;318:2033-2034.
This commentary describes a case of wrong-site surgery, an erroneous breast biopsy, and the resulting disclosure of the error and investigation. Root cause analysis uncovered multiple process vulnerabilities. The authors suggest that errors provide opportunities to design system solutions to prevent errors.