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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

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.

Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; April 2022.

Healthcare-associated infections can result in significant morbidity and mortality. Developed by AHRQ, this customizable, educational toolkit uses the Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program (CUSP) and other evidence-based practices to provide clinical and cultural guidance to support practice changes to prevent and reduce central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) and catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) rates in intensive care units (ICUs). Sections of the kit include items such an action plan template, implementation playbook, and team interaction aids.

All Toolkits (19)

1 - 19 of 19 Results
Tools/Toolkit

RA-UK, the Faculty of Pain Medicine, RCoA Simulation and NHS Improvement

Standardization is a common strategy for preventing practice deviations that can contribute to harm. This tool outlines a three-step process for minimizing the occurrence of wrong-side peripheral nerve blocks that involves preparing for the procedure, stopping to perform a two-person site confirmation, and then administering the block.
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. 
Horsham, PA: Institute of Safe Medication Practices; 2021
Long-term care patients often have concurrent conditions that increase their risk of medication error. This fact sheet provides a list of potential high-alert medications prevalent in long-term care settings that should be administered with particular care due to the heightened potential for harm. A past PSNet perspective discussed medication safety in nursing homes.
Fact Sheet/FAQs
Classic
Horsham, PA; Institute for Safe Medication Practices: February 2019.
Drawing on information gathered from the ISMP Medication Errors Reporting Program, this fact sheet provides a comprehensive list of commonly confused medication names, including look-alike and sound-alike name pairs. Drug name confusion can easily lead to medication errors, and the ISMP has recommended interventions such as the use of tall man lettering in order to prevent such errors. An error due to sound-alike medications is discussed in this AHRQ WebM&M commentary.
Horsham, PA; Institute for Safe Medication Practices: 2018.
This fact sheet lists medications with a high risk of causing significant harm to patients when incorrectly administered. The 2018 publication reflects insights gathered through a survey of current medication use in acute care facilities. The update includes changes such as expanded examples of antithrombotic agents listed and removal of IV radiocontrast media due to lack of errors reported with its use.
Government Resource
National Health Service.
Data surveillance and transparency are core to measuring and informing improvement efforts. This website provides detailed data that links ambulatory care prescribing activity to National Health Service hospitalizations in an effort to clarify potential adverse medication events. The dashboard launched tracking gastrointestinal bleeding as an indicator of a medication-related adverse result and will expand to other indicators and conditions over time.
Toolkit
Choosing Wisely Canada.
Opioid misuse is a concern in both the United States and Canada. This campaign shares 14 specialty-specific recommendations to improve opioid safety in Canadian hospitals. An Annual Perspective discussed the opioid crisis as a patient safety concern.
Institute for Safe Medication Practices; ISMP.
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.
Chicago, IL: American Hospital Association, Health Research & Educational Trust; 2016.
Checklists are a recommended method to reduce omissions in care, despite controversies regarding their impact on safety. This toolkit provides a collection of checklists that have been developed and field tested by participants in the Hospital Engagement Network to prevent harm associated with the use of central lines, adverse drug events, and falls.

Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; December 2014.

Standardization has been embraced as a strategy to improve health literacy and to reduce patient misunderstanding of medication instructions. This tool provides standard language that clarifies directions for patients regarding when they should take their medications.
FDA Consumer Health Information. Silver Spring, MD: US Food and Drug Administration; September 20, 2016.
Highlighting how aging affects medication absorption that may lead to complications, this fact sheet offers recommendations for older patients to follow instructions, maintain a medication list, be aware of drug interaction potential, and perform an annual review of medications with clinicians to help them take prescriptions safely.
US Food and Drug Administration; FDA.
This fact sheet describes five ways patients can contribute to and ensure safe medication use, including speaking up about medical history, asking questions, and following directions on prescription labels. A question guide is also provided to help consumers become informed about their medications.
Multi-use Website
Hospital Engagement Network; HEN, Health Research & Educational Trust; HRET; American Hospital Association; AHA.
The Partnership for Patients initiative focuses on skill building, demonstration projects, and collaboratives to improve safety. This Web site provides resources related to this program to initiate, implement, and sustain strategies to prevent adverse drug events.
Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; July 2018.
The AHRQ Surveys on Patient Safety Culture™ (SOPS®) Community Pharmacy Survey and accompanying toolkit were developed to collect opinions of community pharmacy staff on the safety culture at their pharmacies.
Measurement Tool/Indicator
Institute for Safe Medication Practices
The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) administers this national reporting program, which collects confidential reports of medication errors and near misses directly from practitioners. Information is forwarded to the US Food and Drug Administration and product manufacturers. The program also provides access to ISMP's patient safety organization reporting mechanism and publishes the National Alert Network or NAN Alerts to share information generated from report analysis broadly to support learning.