Top 10 patient safety strategies that can be adopted now (AHRQ)

Making Health Care Safer II: An Updated Critical Analysis of the Evidence for Patient Safety Practices (AHRQ Evidence Report No. 211) updates the 2001 report, Making Health Care Safer: A Critical Analysis of Patient Safety Practices (AHRQ Evidence Report No. 43). The 2001 report 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.

After analyzing 41 patient safety practices, an international panel of patient safety experts identified 22 strategies ready for adoption based on the strength and quality of evidence:. Enough evidence exists that health systems and institutions can move forward in implementing these strategies to improve the safety and quality of health care.

Of the 22 strategies identified in Making Health Care Safer II, 10 are "strongly encouraged" for adoption based on the strength and quality of evidence:

1.Preoperative checklists and anesthesia checklists to prevent operative and postoperative events.
2.Bundles that include checklists to prevent central line-associated bloodstream infections.
3.Interventions to reduce urinary catheter use, including catheter reminders, stop orders, or nurse-initiated removal protocols.
4.Bundles that include head-of-bed elevation, sedation vacations, oral care with chlorhexidine, and subglottic-suctioning endotracheal tubes to prevent ventilator-associated pneumonia.
5.Hand hygiene.
6."Do Not Use" list for hazardous abbreviations.
7.Multicomponent interventions to reduce pressure ulcers.
8.Barrier precautions to prevent healthcare-associated infections.
9.Use of real-time ultrasound for central line placement.
10.Interventions to improve prophylaxis for venous thromboembolisms.

Links to resources and further information.

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