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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

Food and Drug Administration and Institute for Safe Medication Practices. Plymouth Meeting, PA; Institute for Safe Medication Practices; January 2023.
Mistakes associated with look-alike medication names are a safety concern in health care. Tall man, or mixed case, 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 mixed case lettering to make their use safer.

Collaborative for Accountability and Improvement Policy Committee. Seattle, WA: University of Washington; 2022

Communication and resolution programs (CRP) show promise for improving patient and clinician communication after a harmful preventable adverse event. This tool provides a framework for organizational messaging on CRPs for patients and families.
Multi-use Website
Institute for Healthcare Improvement.
This website provides resources for promoting patient safety during Patient Safety Awareness Week. The 2023 observance will be held March 12-18. 
Yount N, Edelman S, Sorra J, et al. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; November 2022. AHRQ Publication No. 23-0011.
Improving the culture of safety within health care is an essential component of preventing or reducing errors. Designed for users of the AHRQ safety culture surveys, this updated tool will help organizations develop an action plan and proactively discuss potential barriers to safety culture improvement efforts and how to address them. The revision is structured around a 3-step process that focuses on areas to improve, initiative planning, and plan communication. The kit now includes an action plan template.

All Toolkits (42)

Displaying 1 - 20 of 42 Results
Measurement Tool/Indicator
Joint Commission.
This website provides sentinel event data reported to The Joint Commission, which includes information on 1197 sentinel events reported in 2021 through the end of December. Unintended retained foreign bodies, falls and wrong–patient, wrong-site, wrong-procedures were the most frequently submitted incidents in this time period. The data and graphs are updated regularly and include specific analysis associated with event type by year from 1995 through the fourth quarter of 2021.

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. 

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. April 2021.

Safe diagnosis in medical offices is challenged by staff workload, communication, and poor information sharing. This Supplemental Item Set for the AHRQ Surveys on Patient Safety Culture™ (SOPS®) Medical Office Survey (MOSOPS) examines elements contributing to time availability, testing and referrals, and provider and staff communication. The Diagnostic Safety Supplemental Item Set was released in time for the scheduled Fall 2021 MOSOPS data submission.

The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Association and the Northwestern University Department of Dermatology.

Voluntary reporting systems collect adverse event data to inform improvement and education efforts. This site provides a platform for physicians and their staff to submit adverse experiences associated with dermatologic surgery equipment, medications or biologics.
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.
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.
Institute for Safe Medication Practices; ISMP.
Smart infusion pumps help prevent dosage errors and capture metrics on therapy delivery and omissions. This survey sought to gather data on how clinicians use infusion pump data to inform improvement efforts. 
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.
Incident Analysis Collaborating Parties. Edmonton, AB: Canadian Patient Safety Institute; 2012.
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.
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.
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.
Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; May 2016.
Traditionally, health systems have disclosed adverse events to patients only through a lengthy process that involves providing limited information to patients and families, avoiding admissions of fault, and emphasizing protection of the clinicians involved. This approach may harm safety culture and has been criticized as not being patient-centered. Some pioneering institutions, such as the University of Michigan Health System, began implementing an alternative approach known as "communication and resolution," which emphasizes early disclosure of adverse events and proactive attempts to reach an amicable solution. Early adopters of this method have achieved notable results, including a decline in malpractice lawsuits. The CANDOR toolkit, developed by AHRQ as part of the Medical Liability Reform and Patient Safety Initiative, provides tools for health care organizations to implement a communication-and-resolution program. The toolkit includes videos, slides, gap analysis assessments and teaching materials. It has been tested in 14 hospitals in several different states. A PSNet interview with the chief risk officer of the University of Michigan Health System discusses the organization's pioneering efforts to implement a communication-and-response system.
Measurement Tool/Indicator
National Quality Forum.
Patient safety organizations collect data across various systems and states. This site supports review and comment of versions of common formats developed to provide a standardized method to collect and report incident data to patient safety organizations. 
Horsham, PA: Institute for Safe Medication Practices; 2013.
Root cause analysis offers a structured way to detect and address system weaknesses. This workbook illustrates how root cause analysis can be applied to community pharmacy services to identify problems and design an action plan to implement improvement strategies.
Leeds, UK: Clinical Support Audit Unit, Health and Social Care Information Centre. 2012-2017.
The NHS Safety Thermometer was a tool developed by the National Health Service to facilitate staff participation in measuring patient harm in various care environments. This report collection explores the data collected on four types of health care–acquired conditions (pressure ulcers, falls, catheter–associated urinary tract infections, and venous thromboembolisms) in NHS patients over a 5-year period. The NHS Safety Thermometer is no longer used as an official data type. 
Measurement Tool/Indicator
National Quality Forum; NQF.
The National Quality Forum (NQF) has been a leader in defining patient safety reporting measures. This website provides information about the third cycle of an NQF patient safety project that solicited new measures and reviewed existing patient safety metrics. A final report is now available.
National Quality Measures Clearinghouse; NQMC.
Parents can help to recognize and report problems that occur when their children receive inpatient care. This quality measure has been developed to assist hospitals in tracking how often clinicians prevent mistakes while providing care for pediatric patients and whether they inform parents about ways to report concerns.
Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; October 2020.
Ambulatory surgery centers are increasingly being used to provide surgical care. The AHRQ Surveys on Patient Safety Culture™ (SOPS®) Ambulatory Surgery Center Survey seeks opinions from the field regarding safety culture in the ambulatory surgical center environment. The survey is presented with additional resources to help organizations assess their safety culture, including the results of a pilot program testing the survey and a user's guide.
National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention; NCCMERP.
Medication errors are a common factor in health care–associated harm. Lack of clarity on types of medication-related incidents has the potential to create confusion and hinder improvement efforts. This tool provides a decision tree to distinguish whether an incident is an adverse drug reaction, adverse drug event, or medication error and determine if it was preventable.
Fact Sheet/FAQs
London, England: NHS Resolution; 2018.
Although victims of adverse events have clearly expressed their preferences for full error disclosure, most physicians remain uncomfortable with disclosing and apologizing for errors. This leaflet offers information to help clinicians understand the value of effective apologies along with tips for organizations to support open disclosure efforts.