Work With a Patient Safety Organization

Thumbnail of Why Hospitals Value PSOs infographic from the Choosing a PSO Brochure

Working with a PSO, which is voluntary, offers several unique advantages that can enhance your patient safety and quality improvement activities. When a provider works with a PSO, many of the long-recognized impediments to successful quality and safety improvement projects can be overcome. Benefits of working with a PSO include:

  • Protections for patient safety and quality improvement information. The Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act (PSQIA) provides confidentiality protections and privilege protections (inability to introduce the protected information in a legal proceeding), when certain requirements are met.

  • All types of licensed or certified healthcare facilities and clinicians can benefit. Unlike some State protections that may only apply to certain information generated by hospitals or physicians, these apply to information that meets the definition of patient safety work product, which may be developed by individual clinicians, healthcare organizations, and any other entity that meets the Patient Safety Rule definition of a "provider."

  • Protections are nationwide and uniform. Federal confidentiality and privilege protections for patient safety work product apply in all U.S. States and territories, and across State lines.

  • Increased event data volume. As PSOs aggregate large volumes of event data from multiple providers, they are in a position to identify, analyze, and help to prevent patient safety events that are so rare, they may never come to the attention of an individual healthcare organization.

  • Customizable provider arrangements. Each PSO and the providers it works with determine the scope of the work they will do together under the Patient Safety Act.

To learn more about the benefits of working with a PSO, see the brochure Choosing a Patient Safety Organization (PDF, 0.8 MB).

Page last reviewed November 2020
Page originally created January 2014

Internet Citation: Work With a Patient Safety Organization. Content last reviewed November 2020. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.

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