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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 (264)

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Canadian Institute for Health Information, Canadian Patient Safety Institute.
Reducing preventable harm associated with health care is a worldwide goal. This Canadian initiative developed a measure to track unintended harm in acute care hospitals, a toolkit to accompany reduction efforts, and a report that explains how the measure can help assess the results of improvement efforts.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; CMS.
The Partnership for Patients program is credited with supporting harm reduction in hospitalized patients across the United States through the Hospital Engagement Networks (HEN). This fact sheet summarizes the next round of funding that will build on HEN accomplishments to support innovation with a goal of reducing hospital-acquired conditions and preventable readmissions by 2019.
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.
Boutwell A, Bourgoin A , Maxwell J, et al. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; September 2016. AHRQ Publication No. 16-0047-EF.
This toolkit provides information for hospitals to help reduce preventable readmissions among Medicaid patients. Building on hospital experience with utilizing the materials since 2014, this updated guide explains how to determine root causes for readmissions, evaluate existing interventions, develop a set of improvement strategies, and optimize care transition processes.
Bell BG, Spencer R, Marsden K, et al. InnovAiT: Education and inspiration for general practice. 2016;9.
Although most patient safety efforts have focused on inpatient care, the majority of health care actually takes place in the ambulatory setting. This toolkit for general practitioners in the United Kingdom provides various instruments to help prevent and analyze safety problems. Materials include a trigger tool, medication reconciliation form, and significant event audit template.
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.
Measurement Tool/Indicator
Joint Commission Center for Tranforming Healthcare.
Development of high reliability remains an elusive goal for health care organizations. The Joint Commission has also advocated for achieving high reliability in health care. This website collects evidence and existing tools to help organizations work toward high reliability, including the ORO 2.0 assessment tool to enable hospital leaders evaluate their culture, leadership, and performance.
Kaprielian VS; Sullivan DT; Josie King Foundation.
The experience of Sorrel King and the death of her daughter has motivated health care leaders and the industry to improve patient safety. This curriculum provides a set of materials that incorporates lessons from Josie's Story into existing educational programs.
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; May 2016.
Traditionally, health systems have disclosed adverse events to patients only through a lengthy process that involves providing limited information to patients and families, avoiding admissions of fault, and emphasizing protection of the clinicians involved. This approach may harm safety culture and has been criticized as not being patient-centered. Some pioneering institutions, such as the University of Michigan Health System, began implementing an alternative approach known as "communication and resolution," which emphasizes early disclosure of adverse events and proactive attempts to reach an amicable solution. Early adopters of this method have achieved notable results, including a decline in malpractice lawsuits. The CANDOR toolkit, developed by AHRQ as part of the Medical Liability Reform and Patient Safety Initiative, provides tools for health care organizations to implement a communication-and-resolution program. The toolkit includes videos, slides, gap analysis assessments and teaching materials. It has been tested in 14 hospitals in several different states. A PSNet interview with the chief risk officer of the University of Michigan Health System discusses the organization's pioneering efforts to implement a communication-and-response system.
Measurement Tool/Indicator
National Quality Forum.
Patient safety organizations collect data across various systems and states. This site supports review and comment of versions of common formats developed to provide a standardized method to collect and report incident data to patient safety organizations. 
Partnership for Health IT Patient Safety. Plymouth Meeting, PA: ECRI; February 2016.
Electronic health records have potential to improve health care, but they may also introduce unanticipated risks. This report describes the results of a group convened to explore strategies to enhance health IT safety. Focusing on copying and pasting health data from one record to another as the first area of concern, the report recommends enabling systems to identify what data has been copied in the electronic health record and where it came from, providing training to ensure the safe use of copy and paste, and regularly track and assess copying and pasting practices. The report includes tools to related to the recommendations. A WebM&M commentary explores the hazards associated with the use of copy and paste.
Horsham, PA: Institute for Safe Medication Practices; 2013.
Root cause analysis offers a structured way to detect and address system weaknesses. This workbook illustrates how root cause analysis can be applied to community pharmacy services to identify problems and design an action plan to implement improvement strategies.
Leeds, UK: Clinical Support Audit Unit, Health and Social Care Information Centre. 2012-2017.
The NHS Safety Thermometer was a tool developed by the National Health Service to facilitate staff participation in measuring patient harm in various care environments. This report collection explores the data collected on four types of health care–acquired conditions (pressure ulcers, falls, catheter–associated urinary tract infections, and venous thromboembolisms) in NHS patients over a 5-year period. The NHS Safety Thermometer is no longer used as an official data type. 
Measurement Tool/Indicator
National Quality Forum; NQF.
The National Quality Forum (NQF) has been a leader in defining patient safety reporting measures. This website provides information about the third cycle of an NQF patient safety project that solicited new measures and reviewed existing patient safety metrics. A final report is now available.
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; AHRQ; Sorra J; Gray L; Franklin M; Streagle S; Tesler R; Vithidkul A.
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 tool will help organizations develop an action plan and proactively discuss potential barriers to safety culture improvement efforts and how to address them.
National Quality Measures Clearinghouse; NQMC.
Parents can help to recognize and report problems that occur when their children receive inpatient care. This quality measure has been developed to assist hospitals in tracking how often clinicians prevent mistakes while providing care for pediatric patients and whether they inform parents about ways to report concerns.
Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; October 2015.
Catheter–associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) are common complications in hospitalized patients. This toolkit was developed as part of a national implementation project to reduce rates of CAUTIs in hospitals and apply principles of the comprehensive unit-based safety program. The toolkit includes modules that focus on implementation, sustainability, and resources to help hospitals design CAUTI prevention efforts at the unit level.
Chicago. IL: AHA Trustee Services, Health Research and Education Trust; February 2018.
Leadership commitment to improvement efforts is key to sustain patient safety initiatives. This toolkit consists of a workbook, board engagement self-assessment tool, and video modules to help leadership translate efforts from the board room to the front line to reduce medical errors in their hospitals.
Multi-use Website
Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare; TST.
Patient falls are preventable and can be addressed through quality and safety strategies. This toolkit provides a process to help health care organizations determine factors that contribute to falls in their facilities and design interventions to drive improvement.