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Using the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Patient Safety Indicators for Targeting Nursing Quality Improvement

Zrelak, Patricia A. PhD, RN, NEA-BC, CNRN; Utter, Garth H. MD, MSc; Sadeghi, Banafsheh PhD, MD; Cuny, Joanne MBA, RN; Baron, Ruth BScN, RN; Romano, Patrick S. MD, MPH

doi: 10.1097/NCQ.0b013e318237e0e3

Quantifying the critical impact nurses have on the prevention and early recognition of potential complications and adverse events, such as those identified by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) patient safety indicators (PSI), is becoming increasingly important. In this paper, we describe how the AHRQ PSI may be used to identify nursing-specific opportunities to improve care based on data from the national AHRQ PSI validation pilot project.

Center for Healthcare Policy and Research (Drs Zrelak, Utter, and Romano and Ms Baron), University of California, Davis; Departments of Surgery (Dr Utter), Internal Medicine (Drs Sadeghi and Romano), and Pediatrics (Dr Romano); and Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement Measure Testing and Quality Improvement (Ms Cuny), American Medical Association, Chicago, Illinois.

Correspondence: Patricia A. Zrelak, PhD, RN, Center for Healthcare Policy and Research, UC Davis Medical Center, 2103 Stockton Blvd, Ste 2224, Sacramento, CA 95817 (

Supported by the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality contract 290-04-0020.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Published online before print: November 2, 2011.

Accepted September 10, 2011

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.