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.
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.
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.
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.
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). March 2020.
This website provides a report and data repository representing medical offices that administered the AHRQ Surveys on Patient Safety Culture™ (SOPS®) Medical Office Survey. Insights on safety culture reflect practices from 1,475 medical offices and more than 18,000 respondents.
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; 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.
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.
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.
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.
Patient Safety and Risk Management Service Delivery and Safety. Geneva, Switzerland; World Health Organization: August 2019.
This publication highlights statistics that illustrate the global impact of patient harm. The information provided includes the number of hospitalized patients injured during the care process, global costs of medication-related harms, and risks associated with radiation use.
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.
NHS Improvement. London, UK: National Health Service; March 15, 2018.
Although focusing on system failure has been highlighted as key to improving patient safety, individual behaviors must also be recognized as contributors to risks. This guide provides tactics for managers to address concerns associated with practitioner performance that arise during incident investigations. The guide helps managers initiate constructive conversations with clinical staff when their performance creates conditions for unsafe care delivery.
Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. June 2017.
Communication in labor and delivery units can be challenging. This AHRQ-funded program draws from comprehensive unit-based safety program principles to reduce errors in maternal and neonatal care. The toolkit provides guidance and materials focused on enhancing teamwork skills, implementing perinatal safety strategies, and utilizing in situ simulation. Team training modules and care bundles are shared to enable skill development. A previous WebM&M commentary explored a near miss with a neonate.
Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; March 2018.
Organizational culture can affect the use of tools and processes implemented to improve safety. This release of the Health Information Technology Patient Safety Supplemental Item Set to be used in conjunction with the AHRQ Surveys on Patient Safety Culture™ (SOPS®) Hospital Survey can help organizations explore how culture affects the use of health information technology. Included with the data set is a report of initial results regarding its use in the field.
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.
Center for Health Design. Concord, CA: Center for Health Design; 2018.
Behavioral and mental health patients have unique concerns that affect their safety. This toolkit provides strategies, insights, and research to address vulnerabilities to this patient population. Design interventions to improve the service environment are also available.
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.
Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; November 2017.
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.
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