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.
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.
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.
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.
This Web site provides information and tools that support an educational campaign to encourage high-quality communication about medication use. The annual observance is in October and the last observance focused on the theme of "Medication Adherence – On track with your meds and your health".
A series of patient safety brochures, videos and infographics directed toward specific areas of care that encourages patients to take an active role by asking questions and addressing problems with their providers. Topics include preventing falls, medication safety, and safe surgery. Available in both English and Spanish.
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. 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.
Durham, NC: Duke Center for Healthcare Safety and Quality; June 2019.
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.
The AHRQ Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit, 2nd edition, can help primary care practices reduce the complexity of health care, increase patient understanding of health information, and enhance support for patients of all health literacy levels.
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.
SIDM Patient Engagement Committee. Evanston, IL: Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine; October 2018.
Patient engagement has been promoted as a strategy to enhance safety in health care. This toolkit helps patients organize information about their medical history, current concerns, symptoms, and medications to prepare them for medical appointments.
Health Education England, Public Health England, National Health Service England; NHS England and Community Health and Learning Foundation.
Limits in patients' ability to understand health instructions and information affects the safety of their care. This toolkit provides resources related to health literacy including a business case for interventions, educational materials, and guides for engaging patients in discussions about low health literacy.
Davis K, Collier S, Situ J, et al. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; December 2017. AHRQ Publication No. 1800051EF.
Transitions are known to be vulnerable to communication errors. This toolkit focuses on patient transitions between ambulatory care environments and encourages staff to engage patients and families in their care to prevent errors during care transitions.
Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; July 2017.
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.
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.
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.
Engaging patients and families in safety can uncover concerns and inform improvement efforts. This three-component toolkit provides resources that focus on incident management, patient safety management, and system factors to prevent and respond to failures or near misses.
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