Understanding Patient Safety Confidentiality
The regulation implementing the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005 (PSQIA) was published on November 21, 2008, and became effective on January 19, 2009 (42 CFR Part 3). In addition, PSQIA also authorized the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to list patient safety organizations (PSOs). PSOs are the external experts that collect and review patient safety information.
Patient Safety and Quality Improvement
AGENCY: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Office for Civil Rights, Department of Health and Human Services.
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: The Secretary of Health and Human Services adopted rules to implement certain aspects of the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005, Pub. L. 109–41, 42 U.S.C. 299b–21—b–26 (Patient Safety Act). The final rule established a framework by which hospitals, doctors, and other health care providers may voluntarily report information to Patient Safety Organizations (PSOs), on a privileged and confidential basis, for the aggregation and analysis of patient safety events.
The confidentiality provisions sought to improve patient safety outcomes by creating an environment where providers may report and examine patient safety events without fear of increased liability risk. Greater reporting and analysis of patient safety events will yield increased data and better understanding of patient safety events.