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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

NIHCM Foundation. Washington DC: National Institute for Health Care Management. August 2, 2022.

Preventable maternal morbidity is an ongoing challenge in the United States. This infographic shares general data and statistics that demonstrate the presence of racial disparities in maternal care that are linked to structural racism. The resource highlights several avenues for improvement such as diversification of the perinatal staffing and increased access to telehealth.

Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; July 2022.  AHRQ Publication No. 22-0038.

Diagnostic improvement continues to gain focus as a goal in health care. The Measure Dx tool provides teams with guidance and strategies to detect and learn from diagnostic errors in their organizations. It includes a checklist to gauge readiness for implementation, measurement strategies, and recommendations for analyzing data and translating findings into front line care. 

Rockville, MD: Agency for Health Quality and Research; June 2022.

The potential for workplace violence degrades patient and staff safety. AHRQ is developing a survey item set that will help nursing homes identify and improve factors associated with workplace safety. The Workplace Safety Supplemental Item Set will assess the extent to which nursing homes’ organizational culture supports workplace safety. The new supplemental item set can be administered optionally at the end of the SOPS Nursing Home Survey. AHRQ will build this new measure of workplace safety upon its existing and highly successful SOPS program. This announcement calls for nursing homes to participate in a pilot study to test the application of the supplemental item set in the field.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. 

Effective measurement of diagnostic error is essential for understanding the problem and generating improvements. The Common Formats provide a standard terminology for voluntary reporting of diagnostic errors to patient safety organizations. This website provides access to tools supporting use of the Common Formats that include forms and a users' guide.

All Toolkits (46)

1 - 20 of 46 Results
Horsham, PA: Institute for Safe Medication Practices; 2022.
This updated report outlines 19 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 2022 update includes new practices that are associated with oxytocin, barcode verification in vaccine administration, and high-alert medications. 

Institute for Safe Medication Practices

The perioperative setting is a high-risk area for medication errors, should they occur. This assessment provides hospitals and outpatient surgical providers a tool to examine their medication use processes and share data nationwide for comparison. Organizational participation can identify strengths and gaps in their systems to design opportunities that prevent patient harm. 

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.

AHA Team Training and Project Firstline. Chicago, IL: American Hospital Association, Center for Disease Control and Prevention; July 2021.

Problems in communication are common contributors to patient care mistakes. This toolkit draws from experience with the TeamSTEPPS model to highlight best practices in the use of huddles, debriefs and other teamwork improvement strategies.
Azam I, Gray D, Bonnett D et al. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; February 2021. AHRQ Publication No. 21-0012.
The National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Reports review analysis specific to tracking patient safety challenges and improvements across ambulatory, home health, hospital, and nursing home environments. The most recent Chartbook documented improvements in approximately half of the patient safety measures tracked. This set of tools includes summaries drawn from the reports for use in presentations to enhance distribution and application of the data.
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.

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
SIS Patient Safety Committee. Spine Intervention Society.
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; 2018.
Standardized practices have not been uniformly adopted to support safe IV medication therapy. This risk assessment tool will help organizations proactively identify process weaknesses that could contribute to patient harm. Users of the guide can also contribute to a national effort to collect data on current IV push practices. The data collection process is now closed.
Chicago, IL: Health Research & Educational Trust; 2018.
Proactive identification of conditions that degrade the diagnostic process can drive improvement. This toolkit provides resources to help organizations seeking to improve diagnosis. The publication includes case studies that illustrate implementation challenges and provides infrastructure enhancement suggestions for hospital teams as they design interventions to reduce diagnostic errors.
University of Utah Drug Information Service; ASHP; American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.
Efforts to limit the availability of opioids has led to a shortage of needed medications. This fact sheet provides strategies for organizations who seek to improve management of injectable opioids while taking into account both safety and supply availability.
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; AHRQ.
Preventing surgical complications including surgical site infections are a worldwide target for improvement. This toolkit builds on the success of the Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program to initiate change. The tools represent practical strategies that helped members of a large-scale collaborative to identify areas of weakness, design improvements, and track the impact of the interventions.
Horsham, PA: Institute for Safe Medication Practices; 2017.
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.
Measurement Tool/Indicator
Institute for Safe Medication Practices; ISMP.
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. 
Boutwell A, Bourgoin A , Maxwell J, et al. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; September 2016. AHRQ Publication No. 16-0047-EF.
This toolkit provides information for hospitals to help reduce preventable readmissions among Medicaid patients. Building on hospital experience with utilizing the materials since 2014, this updated guide explains how to determine root causes for readmissions, evaluate existing interventions, develop a set of improvement strategies, and optimize care transition processes.
Measurement Tool/Indicator
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.
Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; October 2015.
Catheter–associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) are common complications in hospitalized patients. This toolkit was developed as part of a national implementation project to reduce rates of CAUTIs in hospitals and apply principles of the comprehensive unit-based safety program. The toolkit includes modules that focus on implementation, sustainability, and resources to help hospitals design CAUTI prevention efforts at the unit level.
Chicago. IL: AHA Trustee Services, Health Research and Education Trust; February 2018.
Leadership commitment to improvement efforts is key to sustain patient safety initiatives. This toolkit consists of a workbook, board engagement self-assessment tool, and video modules to help leadership translate efforts from the board room to the front line to reduce medical errors in their hospitals.
Institute for Safe Medication Practices; ISMP.
There is a noted lack of agreement on measures to study and track safety hazards and the effectiveness of improvement strategies. This survey sought input from the field to inform the development of a list of medication-related measures to communicate concerns related to drug class, technology use, and medication administration practices as a way to provide data to senior management in an easily accessible format.