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Toolkits

Patient safety toolkits provide practical applications of PSNet research and concepts for front line providers to use in their day to day work. These toolkits contain resources necessary to implement patient safety systems and protocols.

Latest Toolkits

National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Safety in Mental Health. Manchester, UK: University of Manchester; May 31, 2021

System failures require multifactorial assessment to install targeted improvements. This toolkit examines 10 areas of focus for organizations to assess the safety of mental health services in emergent and primary care settings to minimize patient suicide and self-harm. Areas of focus include post-discharge follow-up, admissions, and family engagement.
Tools/Toolkit

Betsy Lehman Center. September 2021.

Clinicians involved in adverse events that harm patients can struggle to come to terms with error. This toolkit is designed to assist organizations in the development of initiatives to support clinicians and staff after an adverse event. Areas of focus include leadership buy-in, policy development, and training. An implementation guide is also provided.

Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; August 2021. AHRQ Publication No. 21-0047-2-EF.

Patient and family engagement is core to effective and safe diagnosis. This new toolkit from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality promotes two strategies to promote meaningful engagement and communication with patients to improve diagnostic safety: (1) a patient note sheet to help patients share their story and symptoms and (2) orientation steps to support clinicians listening and “presence” during care encounters.

All Toolkits (286)

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Boston, MA:  Institute for Healthcare Improvement; 2020.

Hospital crisis management, preparation, and planning are of heightened interest due to the COVID-19 emergency. This assessment tool examines hospital readiness for the patient surge due to the pandemic. The assessment tool helps organizations examine support structures, monitoring, infection control, supply and space capabilities, and staff support mechanisms to proactively address concerns to prepare for future challenges.

Baltimore MD: University of Maryland School of Pharmacy; 2020.

Medication management has been affected in a variety of settings due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This guide highlights strategies to ensure safe medication delivery in long term care. Tactics highlighted include medication discontinuation and alignment of medication administration times.

Child Health Patient Safety Organization. Washington DC: Children's Hospital Association; May 2020.

Effective communication is an important component of diagnostic accuracy. Shaped with data collected by a patient safety organization, this five section toolkit features tactics to support effective communication across diagnostic process in children’s hospital care, including the use of time outs, case analysis and communication gap assessment.

Circle Up for COVID-19 Training. Center for Medical Simulation.

Communication strategies are important for engaging staff in behaviors that support effective teamwork. This website highlights a process that involves briefings, supportive conversations, and debriefings as a communication structure for use during COVID-19 care episodes and other complex interactions.
Krukas A, Franklin ES, Bonk C, et al. Patient Safety. 2020;2.
Intravenous vancomycin is an antibiotic with known medication safety risk factors. This assessment is designed to assist organizations to review clinician and organizational knowledge, medication administration activities and health information technology as a risk management strategy to minimize hazards associated with vancomycin use. 

American Society of Anesthesiologists, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Pain Alleviation Toolkit.  March 12, 2020.

Communication and shared decision-making are fundamental tactics to guide clinical team and patient efforts to minimize the potential for prescription opioid misuse. This tool kit includes modules for providers that outline practice and communication strategies to help with postoperative pain. Patient and family materials in the kit focus on safe medication disposal and instructions for tracking pre- and post-surgery pain levels.
Multi-use Website

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). March 2020.

This website provides a report and data repository representing medical offices that administered the AHRQ Medical Office Survey on Patient Safety (SOPS) Culture. Insights on safety culture reflect practices from 1,475 medical offices and more than 18,000 respondents.
Choosing a Patient Safety Organization. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; March 2020. AHRQ Publication No. 20-0030
Patient safety organizations (PSOs) collect and analyze protected incident data from across the United States. Expert analysis of PSO data can be utilized to inform design and implementation of local initiatives. This brochure provides guidance for health care organizations regarding benefits of working with a PSO and what to consider when choosing one.
Horsham, PA: Institute for Safe Medication Practices; 2020.
This updated report outlines 16 consensus-based best practices to ensure safe medication administration, such as diluted solutions of vincristine in minibags and standardized metrics for patient weight. The set of recommended practices has been reviewed and updated every two years since it was first developed in 2014 to include actions related to eliminating the prescribing of fentanyl patches for acute pain and use of information about medication safety risks from other organizations to motivate improvement efforts. The 2020 update includes new practices that are associated with opioids and automated dispensing cabinet overrides. ISMP is currently seeking insights as to the implementation of the current best practices. Survey responses are due by July 30, 2021.
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. 2019.
Structured processes are important strategies for embedding safe care practices. This tool kit shares training modules and tools to support a 4-point practice to improve antibiotic prescribing and reduce hospital-acquired infections. Elements of the process center on diagnosis, testing, reassessment and duration.
Canadian Institute for Health Information. Canada continues to lag behind other OECD countries on measures of patient safety. Ottawa, ON: Canadian Institute for Health Information; 2019.
This fact sheet presents a comparative analysis of 57 health indicators across 12 countries worldwide and gives Canada's current status on a variety of patient safety measures. While Canada showed strengths in reporting and responding to incidents, the data revealed a 14 percent increase in retained foreign objects since the previous analysis. 
Horsham, PA: Institute for Safe Medication Practices; 2019.
Hospitalized patients are at risk for medication errors. This set of tips seeks to help hospitalized patients contribute to the safe use of medications in their care. Recommendations include that patients know the reason they are taking each medication, speak up if any medications look different than previously, and talk with pharmacists when picking up discharge medications.
Duke Center for Healthcare Safety and Quality.
Improving teamwork and communication is a continued focus in the hospital setting. This toolkit is designed to help organizations create a culture that embeds teamwork into daily practice routines. Topics covered include team leadership, learning and continuous improvement, clarifying roles, structured communication, and support for raising concerns.
Canadian Patient Safety Institute: 2019.
Structured approaches to managing negative psychological consequences of medical errors on health care professionals, patients, and families are important for emotional healing and organizational learning. This webinar series featured discussions on peer support efforts and a toolkit for Canadian health care workers.
Boston, MA: Institute for Healthcare Improvement; 2019.
This toolkit provides access to nine key tools to help organizations improve teamwork, incident analysis, and communication as well as templates to support their use and instructions to begin associated processes. Featured tools include the Situation-Background-Assessment-Recommendation approach, huddle agendas, and failure modes and effects analysis.

ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute Care Edition. April 25, 2019.

Newborns assigned temporary names are at increased risk for patient misidentification and wrong-patient errors. This newsletter article reports on the role of electronic health records in newborn misidentification and the unintended consequences associated with a Joint Commission set of recommendations to reduce risk. 
Commentary
Spine Intervention Society; SIS.
This resource provides newsletters that target concerns associated with spinal pain interventions and offers safety strategies. The collection focuses on three primary areas: procedural contraindications, procedure-related complications, and injectate-related complications such as the safe use of multi-dose and single-dose vials.
Horsham, PA; Institute for Safe Medication Practices: February 2019.
Drawing on information gathered from the ISMP Medication Errors Reporting Program, this fact sheet provides a comprehensive list of commonly confused medication names, including look-alike and sound-alike name pairs. Drug name confusion can easily lead to medication errors, and the ISMP has recommended interventions such as the use of tall man lettering in order to prevent such errors. An error due to sound-alike medications is discussed in this AHRQ WebM&M commentary.