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AHRQ picks 10 patient-safety organizations


By Jean DerGurahian
Posted: November 5, 2008 - 12:01 am ET
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The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality designated its first 10 patient-safety organizations covered under interim guidelines as HHS continues to hammer out a final rule governing how the organizations will collect and share patient-safety data.

The 10 designees will work under contract with providers to collect and report information about medical errors. The companies and associations that will operate the patient-safety organizations are: California Hospital Association and California Association of Hospitals and Health Systems; ECRI Institute; Florida Patient Safety Corp.; Quality Health Strategies; Human Performance Technology Group; Institute for Safe Medication Practices; Missouri Center for Patient Safety; Peminic; Harbor Medical; and University HealthSystem Consortium.

Patient-safety organizations can conduct data collection under the interim guidelines, but this is only the beginning of implementation. Organizations listed under the interim guidelines will have to ensure their data-collection activities comply with the final regulations when they are released. The current designation allows the organizations to move forward with reviewing their data standards and finalizing contracts with providers, said Becky Miller, executive director of the Missouri Center for Patient Safety. “We’re waiting for those final regulations.”

The final rule—expected by year-end—will be the implementation of the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005, through which the federal government hopes to create a network of PSOs that will analyze patient-safety incidents and establish best practices and other quality improvements.

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