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; 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.
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.
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.
Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; 2021.
The AHRQ Surveys on Patient Safety Culture™ (SOPS®) Hospital Survey Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture ask health care providers and staff about the extent to which their organizational culture supports patient safety. The release of the Workplace Safety Supplemental Item Set for use in conjunction with the AHRQ Hospital Survey helps hospitals assess how their workplace culture supports workplace safety for providers and staff. Included with the data set is a report of the pilot test of the finding.
National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Safety in Mental Health. Manchester, UK: University of Manchester; May 31, 2021
System failures require multifactorial assessment to install targeted improvements. This toolkit examines 10 areas of focus for organizations to assess the safety of mental health services in emergency and primary care settings to minimize patient suicide and self-harm. Areas of focus include post-discharge follow-up, admissions, and family engagement.
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.
AHA Team Training and Project Firstline. Chicago, IL: American Hospital Association, Center for Disease Control and Prevention; July 2021.
Problems in communication are common contributors to patient care mistakes. This toolkit draws from experience with the TeamSTEPPS model to highlight best practices in the use of huddles, debriefs and other teamwork improvement strategies.
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; 2020.
Hospital crisis management, preparation, and planning are of heightened interest due to the COVID-19 emergency. This assessment tool examines hospital readiness for the patient surge due to the pandemic. The assessment tool helps organizations examine support structures, monitoring, infection control, supply and space capabilities, and staff support mechanisms to proactively address concerns to prepare for future challenges.
Rockville, MD; Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic is placing surge demand and strain on health organizational, department, and unit-level capacity and personnel. This announcement features a prototype tool as a model for health systems to evaluate hospital-specific demand for medical and intensive care unit beds and the needed equipment to equip staff to keep patients safe during shifting conditions associated with providing care during an emerging crisis.
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.
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.
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.
Structured processes are important strategies for embedding safe care practices. This tool kit shares training modules and tools to support a 4-point practice to improve antibiotic prescribing and reduce hospital-acquired infections. Elements of the process center on diagnosis, testing, reassessment and duration.
Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; August 2019.
The Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program (CUSP), originally developed at Johns Hopkins Hospital by Dr. Peter Pronovost and colleagues, has been instrumental in driving patient safety improvement in several landmark patient safety initiatives. The CUSP approach emphasizes improving safety culture by through a continuous process of reporting and learning from errors, improving teamwork, and engaging staff at all levels in safety efforts. Most recently, an AHRQ-funded project using the CUSP model achieved a 40% reduction of central line–associated bloodstream infections in intensive care units nationwide. This toolkit includes modules on how to build the CUSP team, identify recurring safety concerns, and improve teamwork and communication.
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.
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.
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.
Please select your preferred way to submit a case. Note that even if you have an account, you can still choose to submit a case as a guest. And if you do choose to submit as a logged-in user, your name will not be publicly associated with the case. Learn more information here.