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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; 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.

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

The recognition of diagnosis as a team activity is energizing new diagnostic process initiatives. Building on the established TeamSTEPPS® principles, this new TeamSTEPPS course includes seven training modules, team and knowledge assessment tools, and implementation guidance to develop or enhance communication across the care team to improve the accuracy and timeliness of diagnosis.
Measurement Tool/Indicator
Joint Commission.
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.

All Toolkits (51)

1 - 20 of 51 Results
Measurement Tool/Indicator
Joint Commission.
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.
Multi-use Website
Institute for Healthcare Improvement.
This website provides resources for promoting patient safety during Patient Safety Awareness Week. The annual observance is held in March.
Tools/Toolkit

Betsy Lehman Center. September 2021.

Clinicians involved in adverse events that harm patients can struggle to come to terms with error. This toolkit is designed to assist organizations in the development of initiatives to support clinicians and staff after an adverse event. Areas of focus include leadership buy-in, policy development, and training. An implementation guide is also provided.
Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; October 2020.
The AHRQ Surveys on Patient Safety Culture™ (SOPS®) Medical Office Survey collects information from outpatient providers and staff about the culture of patient safety in their medical offices. The survey is intended for offices with at least three providers, but it also can be used as a tool for smaller offices to stimulate discussion about quality and patient safety issues. The survey is accompanied by a set of resources to support its use. The data submission window for 2021 is now closed.

AHA Physician Alliance. Chicago, IL: American Hospital Association. February 2021. 

Human factors engineering approaches improve safety, efficiency, and effectiveness in both normal and challenging times. This tool shares a human-factors structured approach to improving technology integration and adaptation into work processes to reduce burnout and its negative effects on worker and clinician wellbeing. 
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. 
Multi-use Website
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.
Duke Center for Healthcare Safety and Quality.
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.
Partnership for Health IT Patient Safety; ECRI.
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.
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.
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 Items 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.
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.
Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine; SIDM.
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. Faculty development videos are also provided to guide in use of the tool.
Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; 2017.
Both organizational culture and the physical environment affect the safety of care delivery. This toolkit provides resources to help organizations assess hazards related to the design of their facilities. The toolkit focuses on six areas of safety: infections, falls, medication errors, security, injuries of behavioral health, and patient handling.
Measurement Tool/Indicator
Institute for Safe Medication Practices; ISMP.
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. 
Lioce L, Lopreiato J, Downing D, et al, eds and the Terminology and Concepts Working Group. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; January 2020. AHRQ Publication No. 20-0019.
The terms in the initial collection have been expanded to reflect changes in the field which now inlcudes artificial intelligence  and gamification. The document will continue to be refined and expanded over time.
Philadelphia, PA: Pew Charitable Trusts; September 6, 2016.
The usability of electronic health record (EHR) systems can affect clinicians' ability to provide safe patient care. This fact sheet summarizes the results of a stakeholder meeting that explored usability problems and identified three improvement strategies that focused on effective testing, user assessment of EHR safety, and sharing of lessons learned.
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.