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AHRQ launches new Web site to provide a single national source for patient safety findings and resources

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has launched a new Web site that will serves as a national "one-stop" portal of resources for improving patient safety and preventing medical errors. The site, AHRQ's Patient Safety Network, or PSNet, can be found at

PSNet represents the first comprehensive effort to help health care providers, administrators, and consumers learn about all aspects of patient safety. The site provides a wide variety of information on patient safety resources, tools, conferences, and more.

PSNet users can customize the site around their unique interests and needs by creating a "My PSNet" page. For example, a pharmacist interested in how bar coding can help prevent medication errors will be able to set up the site to automatically collect the latest articles, news, and conferences on this topic. Similarly, anesthesiologists and other physicians, nurses, hospital administrators, and others can customize and search the site to best meet their needs.

In addition, subscribers can access weekly PSNet updates on patient safety findings, literature, tools, and conferences, as well as a carefully annotated collection of sentinel patient safety journal articles in a "Classics" section. The site was developed by the same team of researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, that developed AHRQ's popular WebM&M online patient safety journal, which will now be accessible on PSNet.

Robert Wachter, M.D., Associate Chairman of UCSF's Department of Medicine and Chief of the Medical Service at UCSF Medical Center, leads the project team that developed the site. Dr. Wachter notes that until about 5 years ago, there was remarkably little evidence to inform decisions about patient safety, despite the incredibly high stakes. Now, with the advent of PSNet and other AHRQ-supported patient safety initiatives, the challenge has shifted from making decisions with an insufficient amount of information to managing a growing but unorganized treasure trove of data and tools.

PSNet is the latest patient safety improvement initiative by AHRQ, which leads the Federal effort to improve patient safety and reduce medical errors. For further information on PSNet, please visit the site at

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