HHS published a proposed rule to create patient-safety organizations, or PSOs, a provision of the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005 to help providers collect and analyze patient-safety event information.
Under the rule, public and private for-profit and not-for-profit organizations could become certified through the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality as a PSO. The organizations will consult providers on patient-safety events and quality improvement initiatives in confidential and privileged settings.
Listing as a PSO will not entitle that organization to federal funding, HHS said in its rule, published in the Feb. 12 Federal Register.
Providers can submit patient-safety data to PSOs, which will be required to contract with a variety of providers and aggregate their safety information to help identify areas of healthcare improvement. Under a separate provision, the law will require HHS to develop patient-safety databases, which could be developed through the PSOs' data collection, although that stipulation is not in the current proposal.
"The provisions of this proposed rule greatly expand the potential for participation in patient-safety activities," HHS said in its rule.