Patient Safety & PSOs

Improving the quality of care is critical to the mission of improving our health care delivery system. Making strides in patient safety has also become an important business objective as financial success has become directly linked to quality and patient safety improvement. These efforts require focus on operational elements such as system design, data reporting, event analysis and collaborative learning. To maximize participation and buy-in to patient safety work, these efforts should be designed in a way that maximizes protection in the litigation and regulatory arenas.

The Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005 (the “PSQIA”) created a largely unprecedented way to conduct patient safety activities in a legally protected environment in which to study medical error reduction.  The healthcare industry learned from others that in order to achieve and sustain remarkable levels of safety, workers must feel safe participating in discussions and activities that involve the level of critical self-analysis and engagement required to operate safely in a consistent and reliable manner.  The PSQIA allows for the creation of Patient Safety Organizations (“PSOs”) with a goal of creating a culture conducive to improving the quality of patient care within a confidential and nonpunitive environment – a “safe space” for patient safety work.  A powerful benefit of a component PSO, as a unit or division of a parent organization with interest in improving patient safety, is the ability to share patient safety findings widely across affiliated providers.

Hancock Daniel is a national leader in assisting healthcare clients in the design of confidential patient safety systems and quality review networks.  We have worked with national and other providers on the formation and operation of PSOs and have seen significant rates of improvement in both reporting and error reduction in many settings.  While the mission and scope of activities can vary depending on client needs, the core activities include work around data collection regarding harm events, near misses, and unsafe conditions; serious event analysis and investigations; and the creation of learning tools and collaboratives.  There is great room for non-punitive physician quality reviews and collegial learning and support.  Aligning these activities to work parallel with, rather than in opposition to, an organization’s peer review networks, provides for maximum effectiveness of an organization’s patient safety and quality activities as a whole.

Patient Safety Services:

  • Identify individualized approach to patient safety and quality review
  • Formation and Implementation of Federally Certified Patient Safety Organizations
    1. PSO formation strategy
    2. PSO certification
    3. Developing PSO infrastructure
    4. Day-to-day guidance on operational matters
    5. PSO compliance
  • Quality Committee design to meet regulatory and accreditation objectives
  • Peer Review structure development
  • Clinically Integrated Network Patient Safety Support Systems
  • Responding to regulatory requests and investigations related to patient safety incidents
  • Formation of Joint Peer Review Committees
  • Formation of Centralized Credentialing Services


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