Patient Safety Resources

The Patient Safety Committee maintains these resources. ASCLS most recently published a position paper on patient safety in 2015 entitled, "Patient Safety and Clincal Laboratory Science."

ASCLS has a long history of supporting the role of Medical Laboratory Professionals (defined for the purposes of this paper as Medical Laboratory Scientists, Medical Laboratory Technicians, Clinical Laboratory Assistants and Phlebotomists) in improving patient care, by promoting improvements in the delivery of laboratory testing services, enhancing educational requirements for Medical Laboratory Professionals, and identifying advanced practice opportunities for the profession.  The next step in improving patient care is to fully integrate patient safety concepts and competencies into clinical laboratory science practice.

The Committee contributed to and endorses the online course Patient Safety for Educators: Methods for Teaching Future Medical Laboratory Professionals available on ASCLS CE.

Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Healthcare Institute for Quality Improvement: Overview of basic concepts on Quality Improvement.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's (AHRQ) mission is to improve the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care for all Americans (formerly known as the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research). Information for consumers and patients, as well as healthcare professionals. Includes funding opportunities. Quality Tools is a compilation of practical tools for assessing, measuring, promoting, and improving the quality of health care. Its purpose is to give health plans, providers, purchasers, consumers, and policymakers easy access to a variety of resources they can use to improve the delivery of care, inform decisions, and educate people about their health care needs. 

American Society of Quality: A broad variety of quality resources, some of which require payment or membership. 

College of American Pathologists (CAP) Laboratory Patient Safety Plan: Includes Laboratory Patient Safety Plan and examples of methods of evaluation. In the Past Q-Probes Studies section, one can access published articles from Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.

Center for Phlebotomy Education: Website dedicated to providing educational materials and resources to those who perform, teach, or supervise blood specimen collection procedures. Includes online CE, products for purchase, literature references, subscription services, phlebotomy certification information and free eNewsletter. 

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid: Main Medicare/Medicaid web site. CMS has an increasing focus on clinical outcomes and quality of care.

Consumers Advancing Patient Safety (CAPS): A consumer-led nonprofit organization formed to be a collective voice for individuals, families and healers who wish to prevent harm in healthcare encounters through
partnership and collaboration. CAPS envisions a partnership between consumers and providers to create global healthcare systems that are safe, compassionate and just. The website has links to tools; this link is to a transitions tool entitled Taking Charge of Your Healthcare: Your Path to Being an Empowered Patient.

Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement: ICSI is a non-profit organization that brings together diverse groups from Minnesota and Wisconsin to transform the health care system to deliver patient-centered and value- driven care. The website includes practice guidelines, patient education materials, and information on ICSI initiatives.

Institute for Healthcare Improvement: The Institute for Health Improvement has multiple quality initiatives. This is a link to their free audioconferences that work through all sorts of problems, including patient safety.

International Sharps Injury Prevention Society: Consortium of vendors, for-profit and non-profit healthcare providers presenting targeted education and resources about needle stick prevention. Geared more toward healthcare worker safety than patient safety.

Joint Commission Laboratory National Patient Safety Goals: Details the rationale and performance expectations for the Laboratory National Patient Safety Goals.

Josie King Foundation: Resource Center with books, articles, web sites with patient safety information, including an on-line discussion group

The Leapfrog Group: The Leapfrog Group is a voluntary program which works with employer members to encourage transparency and easy access to health care information as well as rewards for hospitals that have a proven record of high quality care. Includes hospital rating data, searchable by state.

Massachusetts Coalition for the Prevention of Medical Errors: A public website that lists NEWS articles for a patient safety concerns. Several Initiatives have been undertaken to review concerns for patient safety, i.e. Reducing
Medication Errors in a variety of settings; giving anticoagulant therapy, medication in Ambulatory Settings, medications in Acute Care facilities, etc., other initiatives include Reporting Requirements, Educational Programs, Defining Accountability of Patient Safety and more. There is an online resource, "Consumer Guide to Medications" for the general public. This site received the Leaders in Quality Award from the Massachusetts Medical Law Reports RX for Excellence Award in 2008 for promoting high standards that ensure safety in care or products for patients and education to improve safety and manage risks in health care.

National Committee for Quality Assurance: Resources include information on HEDIS and Quality Measurement including benchmarking as well as education.

National Patient Safety Foundation: Resources for healthcare professionals, patients/families and organizations. Special sections on Lucian Leape Institute reports, links to other patient safety websites, and information specific to patient safety research, grant awards.

The National Quality Forum: The National Quality Forum (NQF) is a nonprofit organization that aims to improve the quality of healthcare for all Americans by setting national priorities and goals for performance improvement, endorsing national consensus standards for measuring and publicly reporting on performance; and promoting the attainment of national goals through education and outreach programs. NFQ is working on National Voluntary Consensus Standards for Patient Safety, some of which may involve the laboratory.

The Patient Safety Company: This website markets their Clinical Risk Management System which provides a series ofmodules and extensions developed to reduce risk and to increase patient safety. This
international web based software solution is used to capture incidents and data, analyze data to find underlying causes, monitor progress and deliver measurable improvements in patient safety.

Patient Safety & Quality Healthcare (electronic journal): Bi-monthly journal, Patient Safety event calendar, Resource Center, and current patient safety news

Premier, Inc. : An alliance of hospitals and health systems, bringing nationwide knowledge to improve local healthcare by collecting and analyzing data from member hospitals, organizing committees of members to make decisions and set direction, sponsoring seminars and sharing best practices. The link is to a section of the website that contains resources and tools on healthcare safety and best practices such as HAIs and Needlestick prevention. Online resource designed to assist healthcare professionals in identification, evaluation and promotion of the application of best practices in all aspects of the preanalytical phase of laboratory testing in clinical medicine. Resources include educational materials, guidelines, flowcharts, and reference literature.

The Safety Lady: Commercial site presented by medical laboratory professional. Specializes in laboratory safety education for healthcare/laboratory professionals.

Veterans Health Administration National Center for Patient Safety (NCPS): A public website for health practitioners. It provides resources on patient safety, Tips & Tools, and current Alerts and Advisories of patient safety concerns and medical equipment hazards. These include cases and examples of errors that have occurred that threatened patient safety and the actions that were taken, (e.g., patient not acceptably identified due to a missing middle initial, dialysis equipment malfunction leading to blood hemolysis, blood contamination during dialysis). NCPS also has a section on safety issues that commonly arise, such as inaccurate glucometer results due to faulty batteries, errors due to inappropriate dosing of anticoagulants, etc.

Westgard QC: Sections on patient safety concepts, reference articles on safety/medical error preventions etc. Free access to articles is available with registration.

World Health Organization Patient Safety: Information and resources regarding global patient safety priorities.

The ASCLS Patient Safety Committee is developing Patient Safety Tips flyers for your use in providing testing information to your clients. We encourage you to customize, print (on two sides), and provide these flyers to your clients. 

Lipid Testing
    Adobe PDF (2017)

Personal Coumadin INR Tracking
    Adobe PDF (2017)

Genetic Testing
    Adobe PDF (2017)

Vitamin D
     Provider Brochure: Adobe PDF (2017)
     Patient Brochure: Adobe PDF (2017)

    Adobe PDF (2017)

Glucose Tolerance Test 
    Adobe PDF (2017)

Hydrogen Breath Test
    Adobe PDF (2017)

    Adobe PDF (2017)

24 Hour Urine Collection
    Adobe PDF (2017)

Diarrhea and Stool Testing

    Adobe PDF (2018)


If you have technical problems with these formats, please contact the Patient Safety Committee.

Clinical laboratory services are an integral component of the delivery of safe patient care. In order to continuously improve the safety of services provided, all laboratories should identify key measures and monitor their impact on patient safety as part of the laboratory's performance improvement activities.

The intent of this procedure is to standardize safety measures between organizations. Standardized measures will provide an opportunity for statistical benchmarking across the lab community. These benchmarks can then be used by healthcare organizations to establish realistic performance improvement goals, and ultimately improve patient safety.

Patient Safety Quality Improvement Process - This procedure will guide you through the steps of a patient safety quality improvement process.

Patient Safety Indicators for Performance Improvement - This document contains a list of patient safety indicators that could be used in the following procedure.

Patient Safety