What are the Common Formats?

The Patient Safety Act and Rule recognize that aggregation of patient safety events requires the use of common definitions and reporting formats. To facilitate the collection and reporting of patient safety events envisioned by the Patient Safety Act, AHRQ developed, and is continuing to expand develop, Common Formats for use in multiple health care settings by health care providers and PSOs. However, it is important to recognize that Common Formats can be used by providers and other organizations that do not work with a PSO but are dedicated to improving care quality.

Currently, the Common Formats are limited to patient safety reporting in three settings of care—acute care hospitals, community pharmacies and skilled nursing facilities.

AHRQ recently released Common Formats for Surveillance–Hospital for public review and comment. Until now, Common Formats have been designed to support only traditional event reporting. Common Formats for Surveillance–Hospital are designed to provide, through retrospective review of medical records, information that is complementary to that derived from event reporting systems. These Formats will facilitate improved detection of events and calculation of adverse event rates in populations reviewed.

Learn more about the Common Formats, or access the most current versions of the Common Formats, please go to http://www.psoppc.org.