AHRQ provides additional information and clarification on the PSO listing process, listed PSOs, the Patient Safety Rule, and other PSO activities, such as the Common Formats. PSOs, health care providers, and other interested parties should contact AHRQ with requests for technical assistance.
OCR is responsible for the investigation and enforcement of the confidentiality provisions of the Patient Safety Rule. OCR will investigate allegations of violations of confidentiality through a complaint-driven system. To the extent practicable, OCR will seek cooperation in obtaining compliance with the confidentiality provisions, including providing technical assistance.
The Patient Safety Rule establishes in Subpart B the requirements that an entity must meet to seek listing, and remain listed, as a PSO. The Patient Safety Rule relies primarily upon a system of attestations, which places a significant burden for understanding and complying with these requirements on the PSO. However, the Patient Safety Rule also authorizes AHRQ to conduct reviews (including announced or unannounced site visits) to assess PSO compliance.
Congress vested the authority for implementing the Patient Safety Act with AHRQ by incorporating its provisions into AHRQ's authorizing statute. As the lead Federal agency for patient safety research, AHRQ is an appropriate partner for PSOs and health care providers.
AHRQ is responsible for the provisions dealing with the listing of PSOs such as administering the certification processes for listing; verifying that PSOs meet their obligations under the Patient Safety Rule; working with PSOs to correct any deficiencies in their operations; and, if necessary, revoking the listing of a PSO that remains out of compliance with the requirements. The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) administers and enforces the confidentiality protections provided to PSWP.