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.
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.
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.
High-alert medications have the potential to cause substantial patient harm if administration mistakes occur. This assessment tool will enable organizations across a range of care environments to determine opportunities for improvement in 11 high-alert medication categories. In addition, the tool provides an opportunity for organizations to submit their data anonymously to a national data collection effort led by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices to define the current state of high-alert medication practices in health care. The data submission process is now closed.
Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; 2017.
Both organizational culture and the physical environment affect the safety of care delivery. This toolkit provides resources to help organizations assess hazards related to the design of their facilities. The toolkit focuses on six areas of safety: infections, falls, medication errors, security, injuries of behavioral health, and patient handling.
Drug shortages can contribute to treatment delays and complications that lead to patient harm. This survey sought insights from hospital directors of pharmacy regarding their experiences with drug shortages over the past 6 months.
Health literacy is important for effective care communications and safe medication use. This toolkit provides resources associated with medication therapy management and patient health literacy. Materials include health literacy assessments and guidance for prescription medicine instructions. A past PSNet perspective discussed the role of health literacy in patient safety.
Texting as a communication method in the clinical environment is convenient, but it introduces distraction that can result in error. This survey sought to track the prevalence of medical order texting to better understand its impact on care processes.
Institute for Healthcare Improvement, National Patient Safety Foundation. Cambridge, MA: Institute for Healthcare Improvement; 2017.
Although patient safety is considered a noble goal in health care, garnering the resources for improvement efforts can be hindered by other demands. This toolkit provides strategies for health care leaders to develop a business case for patient safety efforts to generate support for organizational investments. Materials include assessments and templates for financial documents and presentation materials.
Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; December 2014.
Ambulatory surgery centers provide care to growing numbers of patients. This toolkit draws from AHRQ's Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program to help ambulatory surgical center teams develop communication and teamwork skills to reduce infections and other iatrogenic harms.
Horsham, PA: Institute for Safe Medication Practices; March 2017.
This tool provides institutions with the capacity to assess use of antithrombotic agents, submit data to the Institution for Safe Medication Practices for self-assessment scores, compare practices with other hospitals, and allow the development of an ongoing progress report.
Verbal orders are prevalent in all care environments, but they are often complex communications that can place patients at risk for harm. Given the increase of electronic prescribing, this survey explores current verbal medication ordering practices and strategies to ensure their effectiveness.
Performing incident analysis can help organizations understand why adverse events occur and how to prevent them. This toolkit provides a framework to help organizations gather insights from staff, patients, and family members regarding what caused the failure and why it happened and to guide efforts to prevent similar incidents.
Murthy VH. New England Journal of Medicine. 2016;375.
Large-scale and individualized strategies are needed to address opioid misuse. This website provides resources related to a national initiative to improve opioid prescribing practices by obtaining physician commitment to adhere to guidelines and screening methods.
Lioce L, Lopreiato J, Downing D, et al, eds and the Terminology and Concepts Working Group. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; January 2020. AHRQ Publication No. 20-0019.
The terms in the initial collection have been expanded to reflect changes in the field which now inlcudes artificial intelligence and gamification. The document will continue to be refined and expanded over time.
AHRQ Center for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety; Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
Antimicrobial stewardship is one strategy to reduce health care–associated infections in a variety of settings. This guide provides detailed instructions and four adaptable toolkits to establish antimicrobial stewardship programs in nursing homes.
Canadian Institute for Health Information, Canadian Patient Safety Institute.
Reducing preventable harm associated with health care is a worldwide goal. This Canadian initiative developed a measure to track unintended harm in acute care hospitals, a toolkit to accompany reduction efforts, and a report that explains how the measure can help assess the results of improvement efforts.
The Partnership for Patients program is credited with supporting harm reduction in hospitalized patients across the United States through the Hospital Engagement Networks (HEN). This fact sheet summarizes the next round of funding that will build on HEN accomplishments to support innovation with a goal of reducing hospital-acquired conditions and preventable readmissions by 2019.
Philadelphia, PA: Pew Charitable Trusts; September 6, 2016.
The usability of electronic health record (EHR) systems can affect clinicians' ability to provide safe patient care. This fact sheet summarizes the results of a stakeholder meeting that explored usability problems and identified three improvement strategies that focused on effective testing, user assessment of EHR safety, and sharing of lessons learned.
Bell BG, Spencer R, Marsden K, et al. InnovAiT: Education and inspiration for general practice. 2016;9.
Although most patient safety efforts have focused on inpatient care, the majority of health care actually takes place in the ambulatory setting. This toolkit for general practitioners in the United Kingdom provides various instruments to help prevent and analyze safety problems. Materials include a trigger tool, medication reconciliation form, and significant event audit template.
Mistakes associated with look-alike medication names are a safety concern in health care. Tall Man 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 Tall Man lettering to make their use safer.
Joint Commission Center for Tranforming Healthcare.
Development of high reliability remains an elusive goal for health care organizations. The Joint Commission has also advocated for achieving high reliability in health care. This website collects evidence and existing tools to help organizations work toward high reliability, including the ORO 2.0 assessment tool to enable hospital leaders evaluate their culture, leadership, and performance.
Kaprielian VS; Sullivan DT; Josie King Foundation.
The experience of Sorrel King and the death of her daughter has motivated health care leaders and the industry to improve patient safety. This curriculum provides a set of materials that incorporates lessons from Josie's Story into existing educational programs.
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