The following resources can help healthcare professionals improve the safety and quality of services to patients.
AHRQ Patient Safety Education and Training Catalog
Listing of hundreds of patient safety programs available in the U.S.
Words to Watch (National Patient Safety Foundation)
Many patients have trouble understanding words used by doctors and in healthcare institutions. This fact sheet provides a quick reference of words that patients struggle to understand and possible alternatives.
Taking Care of Myself: A Guide for When I Leave the Hospital (Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality)
An easy-to-read guide that can be used by both hospital staff and patients during the discharge process; provides a way for patients to track their medication schedules, upcoming medical appointments, and important phone numbers.
Preventing Falls in Hospitals: A Toolkit for Improving Quality of Care
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, January 2013
A toolkit focused on overcoming the challenges associated with developing, implementing, and sustaining a fall prevention program.
Improving Employee Vaccination Rates
Vital Signs, Making Health Care Safer: Stop Infections from Lethal CRE Germs Now
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, March 2013
Monograph: Preventing Central Line-Associated Infections: A Global Challenge, A Global Perspective
The Joint Commission, May 2012
A Norovirus Outbreak Control Resource Toolkit for Healthcare Settings
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Partnering to Heal: Teaming Up Against Healthcare-Associated Infections
Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Open School
Reform in Action: Reducing Avoidable Hospital Readmissions
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
AHRQ Quality Indicators Toolkit for Hospitals: Improving Performance on the AHRQ Quality Indicators
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, November 2011
A toolkit to help hospitals understand AHRQ’s quality indicators and use them to improve quality and patient safety.
Quality of Care
Rapid Response Teams
Rapid response teams play an important role in advancing patient safety by increasing the early detection of patients in trouble and identifying opportunities to prevent adverse events. The Institute for Healthcare Improvement describes the importance of establishing a rapid response team and provides a practical approach for getting started.
Strong Start for Mothers and Newborns
The Strong Start initiative supports reducing the risk of significant complications and long-term health problems for both expectant mothers and newborns.
Tapping Front-Line Knowledge: Identifying Problems as They Occur Helps Enhance Patient Safety
Luther K, Resar RK. Tapping front-line knowledge. Healthcare Executive. 2013 Jan/Feb;28(1):84-87.
This article describes a methodology, developed and tested by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, that helps front-line staff to “see” patient safety problems in their systems and enables them to solve the problems and share that learning with others. (Free registration required for article access)
TeamSTEPPS is a an evidence-based teamwork system designed for health care professionals that is a powerful solution to improve patient safety within your organization and to improve communication and teamwork skills among health care professionals.
Safety Cross Toolkit
Preventing Wrong-Site Surgery (Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority)
Analysis of wrong-site surgery events in Pennsylvania suggests opportunities for prevention. Many steps of preparing the patient for an operation and performing an operation can lead down the path of wrong-site surgery. Preventing wrong-site surgery may require attention at every step of the process.
Strategies to Improve Patient Safety: The Evidence Base Matures
Wachter, RM, Pronovost, P,Shekelle, P. (2013). Annals of Internal Medicine. 158 (5 Part 1):350-352.
A reexamination of the evidence behind key patient safety strategies involving several systematic reviews that addressed the effectiveness of particular practices, paying attention to the importance of implementation, context, and any unintended consequences of safety interventions.
Making Health Care Safer II: An Updated Critical Analysis of the Evidence for Patient Safety Practices
Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality, March 2013
This report updates a 2001 report that analyzed the strength of evidence for patient safety practices in use at that time. The 2013 report analyzed a growing body of patient safety research to determine the level of evidence regarding the outcomes, as well as implementation, adoption, and the context in which safety strategies have been used.
Health Policy Brief: Patient Engagement
Health Affairs, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Health Policy Brief - February 14, 2013
People actively involved in their health and health care tend to have better outcomes—and, some evidence suggests, lower costs. This Health Policy Brief summarizes key findings on patient engagement published in the February 2013 issue of Health Affairs.