The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has published interim guidelines for creating a patient-safety organization while HHS continues to hammer out a final rule governing how PSOs will collect and share patient‑safety data.
The interim guide, published Wednesday in the Federal Register, allows qualified organizations to submit an application, which is available online. The AHRQ said it is going ahead with applicants while HHS finalizes its rule because of strong interest in the healthcare community. The final ruleexpected by year-endwill 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.
HHS proposed rule, released earlier this year, was met with relief from the industry, which wants to ensure any work conducted through PSOs is protected from liability. Data submitted and work conducted during the interim guidance period will be privileged and confidential under the Patient Safety Act, according to the AHRQ. -- by Jean DerGurahian
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