Select the Prospective PSO Authorized Official (AO)
Decide who will serve as the PSO's Authorized Official (AO) and, if desired, select another individual to serve as the PSO point of contact. The Patient Safety Rule relies primarily upon written attestations by the PSO's AO to demonstrate that an entity may be listed and later remain listed as a PSO. The AO must have full authority to sign the certification for listing forms containing the attestations. The AO is responsible for the veracity of all of the attestations and all aspects of PSO compliance.
AHRQ will want to communicate directly with the AO in all technical assistance calls and in the event of a compliance assessment. For this reason, consider whether the AO will—or will not—be a member of the PSO workforce as that term is defined in the Patient Safety Rule and any implications that may have for the AO in performing his or her responsibilities for the PSO. For example, if an AO is not a workforce member and needs access to PSWP to perform these responsibilities, the PSO will need to determine how PSWP can be permissibly disclosed to the AO. Similarly, a component PSO that designates a senior executive of its parent organization as AO should determine how the PSO will meet its attestations to maintain PSWP securely from, and prevent unauthorized disclosures to, its parent organization in light of such an arrangement.
For more information, see the Guide entitled "What is the Role of the PSO Authorized Official?" (PDF, 466 KB).
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