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New AHRQ Evidence Report Details Top Patient Safety Strategies

In a major effort to help health care systems protect the safety of patients in the United States, HHS’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) released a new evidence report on patient safety interventions. Making Health Care Safer II: An Updated Critical Analysis of the Evidence for Patient Safety Practices assesses the evidence for 41 patient safety strategies and most strongly encourages adoption of the top 10. The strategies can help prevent medication errors, bedsores, healthcare-associated infections and other patient safety events.

The new report emphasizes evidence about implementation, adoption and the context in which safety strategies have been used. This helps clinicians understand what works, how to apply it and under what circumstances it works best so it can be adapted to local needs. Many of the strategies are already widely in use and some are based on CDC guidelines. Others have shown great promise but remain uncommon in practice. The report also identifies gaps where more research can further advance patient safety.

The new report was prepared by AHRQ Evidence-based Practice Centers at the RAND Corporation, the University of California, San Francisco/Stanford University, Johns Hopkins University, and ECRI Institute, with input and recommendations from a team of patient safety experts. For more information and to view or download the report, please visit http://www.ahrq.gov/research/findings/evidence-based-reports/ptsafetyuptp.html.