Sunday, October 19, 2008

Recent Patient Safety Actions

A grant for $100,000 awarded to the HSC Rural and Community Health Institute will help healthcare providers in twenty Texas rural hospitals use their administrative data to measure the quality and safety of patients. The funding will help the rural healthcare providers comply with some of the federal and state regulations that are specific to monitoring and evaluating patient care.

The HSC Rural and Community Health Institute will use the funding to increase involvement in the Texas Rural Health Partnership Program (TRHP) a partnership formed with the Dallas Fort Worth Hospital Council. TRHP uses specially designed software that cleanses and corrects patient administrative data to help hospitals. The Partnership also offers assistance in obtaining data from billing vendors, analyzes data trends and reports, and provides training and staff support. TRHP also assists hospitals with measurement by using AHRQ’s improvement indicators.

Information on becoming a Patient Safety Organization is now available from HHS in the form of an interim guide outlining how to become a Patient Safety Organization. PSOs were set up to provide a secure environment where clinicians and healthcare organizations can voluntarily collect, aggregate and analyze data to reduce the risks associated with patient care. The interim guidance allows AHRQ to receive applications from qualified entities that want to become PSOs. This guidance will remain effective until HHS issues a final rule for PSOs which is expected to be released by the end of 2008.

The interim guide describes how an organization may become a PSO. The first step is obtain a certification form available on AHRQs PSO web site ( that must be submitted. The web site includes more details on the certification process and has instructions for submitting the form either electronically or via mail.