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.
Assessment can identify the current state of a process or program to reveal areas of weakness and inform improvement implementation efforts. This scenario-based tool focuses on 10 areas of an organization’s journey to support diagnostic safety.
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.
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.
Time pressure can negatively impact critical thinking, information gathering, and communication abilities. This tool builds teamwork and decision-making skills by testing participants as they work through a time-delimited scenario with a sick child to gather clues and determine a diagnosis.
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.
Stanford, CA; California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative: July 1, 2022.
This toolkit focuses on identification of, and rapid response to, sepsis in obstetric patients. It includes screening, evaluation and monitoring, and antibiotic use recommendations for maternal sepsis patient.
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.
Diagnostic error prevention in primary care is a persistent challenge. This AHRQ-funded toolkit provides guidance for ambulatory care organizations that seek to improve the reliability of diagnosis in children. The material focuses on tactics to enhance how practices recognize, track, and follow up on adolescent depression, pediatric elevated blood pressure, and actionable laboratory results.
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.
Partnership for Health IT Patient Safety. Plymouth Meeting, PA: ECRI; August 2018.
Inadequate follow-up of test results can contribute to missed and delayed diagnoses. Developing optimal test result management systems is essential for closing the loop so that results can be acted upon in a timely manner. The Partnership for Health IT Patient Safety convened a working group to identify how technology can be used to facilitate improved communication and timely action regarding test results. This report summarizes the methods used by the working group and their findings. Recommendations include improving communication by standardizing the format of test results, including required timing for diagnostic testing responses, automating the notification process in electronic health records, and optimizing alerts to reduce alert fatigue. A past WebM&M commentary discussed a case involving ambulatory test result management.
Clinical reasoning can be flawed due to bias, fatigue, or knowledge deficits. This tool provides a five-component mechanism to help instructors assess students' diagnostic reasoning abilities and guide feedback (i.e., hypothesis-directed data gathering, articulation of a problem representation, formulation of a prioritized differential diagnosis, diagnostic testing aligned with high-value care principles, and metacognition. Faculty development videos are also provided to guide in use of the tool.
This set of materials provides checklists, worksheets, and other aids to help implement a reliable critical test result communication program. A previous AHRQ WebM&M commentary addressed the issue of communication surrounding critical laboratory values.
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