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Tools/Toolkit > Fact Sheet/FAQs
Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; October 2001. AHRQ Publication No. 01-0017.
A brief presentation of "pearls" to allow consumers to take an active role in preventing medical errors.
Web Resource > Multi-use Website
Oakbrook Terrace, IL: Joint Commission.
This campaign provides sets of materials to enable patients and families to engage in making their health care experiences as safe as possible. Topics covered include safe surgery, pain management, medication safety, and most recently, infection prevention. Each topical package includes infographics, videos, instruction guides, and a podcast.
Journal Article > Study
Kwaan MR, Studdert DM, Zinner MJ, Gawande AA. Arch Surg. 2006;141:353-358.
This AHRQ-supported study analyzed information from nearly 3 million operations between 1985 and 2004, discovering a rate of 1 in 112,994 cases of wrong-site surgery. Investigators further evaluated cases with available medical records, all of which were among the malpractice claims. In doing so, they noted that the Joint Commission's Universal Protocol might have prevented only 62% of the cases reviewed. At the rates reported, the authors suggest that the average large hospital may be involved in such an event every 5 to 10 years, a rate 10 times less frequent than retained foreign bodies. They also point out that while wrong-site surgery is a devastating and unacceptable outcome, current efforts to implement protocols may not prevent every event and may, in turn, create inefficiency in related processes. The authors offer a series of recommendations for a model site-verification protocol. The American College of Surgeons offers a fact sheet on correct-site surgery geared toward patient education.
Journal Article > Study
Waterman AD, Gallagher TH, Garbutt J, Waterman BM, Fraser V, Burroughs TE. J Gen Intern Med. 2006;21:367-370.
This AHRQ–funded study used more than 2000 telephone interviews with recently discharged patients to demonstrate that patients who are most comfortable with error prevention were more likely to take specific action compared to those who are less comfortable. The authors report that although the majority of patients expressed comfort in asking questions about medications and general medical questions, far fewer actively engaged in marking their incision site or asking about handwashing. A past study discussed how to improve patients' perceptions of safety in hospitals, including educational interventions that might empower patients to take greater preventive action, as outlined in this study.