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Patient Safety E-Newsletter

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May 14, 2008, Issue No. 44

Patient Safety Message of the Month

Nurses play a vital role in improving the safety and quality of patient care—not only in the hospital or ambulatory treatment facility, but in community settings. Nurses need to know what proven techniques and interventions they can use to enhance patient outcomes.

(For more information on new resource for nurses by AHRQ and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, go to item no.1.)

Today's Headlines:

  1. AHRQ and RWJF release new resource for nurses
  2. New guide for establishing a patient safety advisory council now available
  3. Register now to submit data for AHRQ's Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture Database
  4. Health IT Web conference set for May 15
  5. AHRQ's consumer advice column now featured on AARP's Bulletin Today
  6. AHRQ patient safety grantee receives honor from the Society of Hospital Medicine
  7. Visit the AHRQ Patient Safety Network Web site
  8. AHRQ in the patient safety professional literature—some useful citations

1. AHRQ and RWJF Release New Resource for Nurses

AHRQ and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation have jointly sponsored the development of a new patient safety resource for nurses. Patient Safety and Quality: An Evidence-Based Handbook for Nurses examines the broad range of issues involved in providing high quality and safe care across health care settings. This three-volume resource contains 89 contributions that represent the work of a broad range of nurses and other patient safety researchers throughout the Nation. Select to review the publication. A print copy of the publication or a CD-ROM is available by sending an E-mail to

2. New Guide for Establishing a Patient Safety Advisory Council Now Available

AHRQ researchers have developed a new guide for hospital leaders and others who want to learn how to get patients and families to partner with health care providers on community-based patient safety advisory councils. The Guide for Developing a Community-Based Patient Safety Advisory Council was developed through AHRQ's Partnerships in Implementing Patient Safety grants program by a team of researchers led by Kathryn Leonhardt, M.D., of Aurora Health Care in Wisconsin. Select to view the guide.

3. Register Now to Submit Data for AHRQ's Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture Database

Register now to submit data for AHRQ's Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture database, a national repository for data collected using AHRQ's Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture. Hospitals and health systems that have completed administration of the survey can submit their data by June 30. Select to register for data submission.

Previously reported data is included in the recently released Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture: 2008 Comparative Database Report. New data will be included in an update report published in 2009. For questions on data submission, send an E-mail to

4. Health IT Web Conference Set for May 15

The AHRQ National Resource Center for Health Information Technology is sponsoring a free Health IT Web conference. The Importance of Evaluation in Health IT Implementation: Practical Advice for Providers and Healthcare Organizations will be held May 15 from 1:30 p.m.-3 p.m. EDT. This session will discuss the importance of evaluating health IT projects, including outcomes related to quality and patient safety, and describe the evaluation tools available on AHRQ's Health IT Web site. This event is intended for clinicians, clinical managers, health care executives, and others involved in the implementation of health IT systems, equipment, and applications.

5. AHRQ's Consumer Advice Column Now Featured on AARP's Bulletin Today

AHRQ's online and concise consumer advice columns, authored by AHRQ Director Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D., are designed to help consumers better navigate the health care system. AARP, with over 39 million members, is now making these advice columns available through AARP's Bulletin Today, a monthly news publication that reaches influential consumers and policymakers. Select to read all of Dr. Clancy's advice columns.

6.  AHRQ Patient Safety Grantee Receives Honor from the Society of Hospital Medicine

The Society of Hospital Medicine recently presented AHRQ grantee Greg Maynard, M.D., and his team with its first-ever Team Approaches in Quality Improvement Award. The award was given in recognition of the team's approach to designing a venous thromboembolism prevention protocol. The project, "Optimizing Prevention of Hospital-Acquired Venous Thromboembolism," has now been implemented at over 25 sites. By using proven performance improvement methodology and a multidisciplinary structure, this team designed a venous thromboembolism prevention protocol for all adult hospital patients at their academic medical center. The award was presented at Society of Hospital Medicine's annual meeting on April 3 in San Diego, CA. Select to view the press release.

7. Visit the AHRQ Patient Safety Network Web Site

AHRQ's national Web site—the AHRQ Patient Safety Network, or AHRQ PSNet—continues to be a valuable gateway to resources for improving patient safety and preventing medical errors and is the first comprehensive effort to help health care providers, administrators, and consumers learn about all aspects of patient safety. The Web site includes summaries of tools and findings related to patient safety research, information on upcoming meetings and conferences, and annotated links to articles, books, and reports. Readers can customize the site around their unique interests and needs through the Web site's unique "My PSNet" feature. To visit the AHRQ PSNet Web site.

8. AHRQ in the Patient Safety Professional Literature—Some Useful Citations

We are providing the following hyperlinks to abstracts of journal articles describing AHRQ-funded research. If you are having problems accessing the abstracts because of firewalls or specific settings on your individual computer systems, you should ask your technical support staff for possible remedies.

Arora VM, Johnson JK, Meltzer DO, Humphrey HJ. A theoretical framework and competency-based approach to improving handoffs. Qual Saf Health Care 2008 Feb;17(1):11-4. Select to read an abstract of the study.

Meropol SB, Chan KA, Chen Z, Finkelstein JA, Hennessy S, Lautenbach E, Platt R, Schech SD, Shatin D, Metlay JP. Adverse events associated with prolonged antibiotic use. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf 2008 May;17(5):523-32. Select to read an abstract of the study.

Welker JA, Huston M, McCue JD. Antibiotic timing and errors in diagnosing pneumonia. Arch Intern Med 2008 Feb 25;168(4):351-6. Select to read an abstract of the study.

AHRQ's Patient Safety E-Newsletter Contact:

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Current as of May 2008


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