Department of Medicine

Toolkits and Guides




Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Toolkit – Measure Dx: A Resource To Identify, Analyze, and Learn From Diagnostic Safety Events

The Safer Dx team developed, pilot-tested, and evaluated this modular toolkit, which was funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). This toolkit guides clinicians, risk management personnel, quality and safety personnel, and healthcare organization leaders for implementing measurement strategies to identify, monitor, and learn from diagnostic safety events using different data sources: 1) data already collected for quality and safety purposes; 2) clinician and staff event reports; 3) patient-reported data; and 4) EHR-enhanced chart review. View the toolkit for free on the AHRQ website.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Toolkit – Calibrate Dx: A Resource to Improve Diagnostic Decisions 

The Safer Dx team developed and pilot-tested this toolkit that provides clinicians with guidance for evaluating and calibrating diagnostic performance for learning and improvement and details recommendations for implementing calibration strategies in operational settings. While Calibrate Dx was designed for individual clinicians, healthcare organization leaders, educators, trainees, and quality and safety professionals may also find the toolkit useful. View the toolkit for free on the AHRQ website.


Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Toolkit - Closing the Loop: A Guide to Safer Ambulatory Referrals in the EHR Era


The Safer Dx team helped to develop a toolkit by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement on Closing the Loop. The recommendations outlined in the toolkit are designed to help standardize the ways in which primary care practitioners activate referrals to specialists, and then keep track of the information over time. It describes a nine-step, closed-loop process in which all relevant patient information is communicated to the correct person through the appropriate channels and in a timely manner. As the process involves significant collaboration among all stakeholders, the toolkit includes both general recommendations as well as recommendations specific to each step in the process and each stakeholder group. View the toolkit on the IHI website.




Safer Dx Checklist: 10 High-Priority Practices for Diagnostic Excellence

The Safer Dx team developed an organizational self-assessment checklist in collaboration with the IHI that details 10 recommended practices for understanding the organization’s current diagnostic practices, ascertaining areas that need improvement, and monitoring progress toward diagnostic safety and excellence. View the checklist for free on the Joint Commission website.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Guide – Common Formats

In collaboration with AHRQ, the Safer Dx team created this guide that contains a compilation of standardized definitions and formats that enable uniform collection and analysis of patient safety information in a variety of clinical environments, including patient safety incidents, near misses, and unsafe conditions, for learning at the local, regional, and national levels. View the most updated version on the PSO Privacy Protection Center (PSOPPC) website.

Safety Assurance Factors for EHR Resilience: SAFER Guides

In collaboration with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) in 2014 and partially funded by CRE-12-033, the Safer Dx team co-developed the Safety Assurance Factors for EHR Resilience (SAFER) Guides in 2014 (updated in 2016) that help hospitals perform a safety assessment of their electronic health record (EHR) to address a wide range of patient safety issues related to health IT use.  and CMS began requiring these guides in 2022 for all US hospitals eligible for CMS payments and all Medicare Promoting Interoperability Program (MIP) eligible clinicians as part of the 2022 Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS)and Long-Term Care Hospital (LTCH) Prospective Payment System (PPS), which included the use of SAFER Guides as a new measure. Organizations can download the SAFER Guides and complete them locally for self-assessment of their degree of conformance to the Recommended Practices. The guides can be found online for free at the site.