ISMP Gains Patient Safety Organization (PSO) Status

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has approved ISMP’s request for certification as a Patient Safety Organization (PSO), effective November 5, 2008. PSOs are organizations that have improvement of patient safety and quality as their primary mission and activities. They are being established by HHS under the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005 (Patient Safety Act).

In the past, physicians, other clinicians, and health care organizations have sometimes been reluctant to participate in external error reporting programs and/or data sharing for quality improvement purposes, for fear of legal liability. Since 1975, when ISMP’s error reporting program began, the Institute has never compromised reporter identity. Now, because reporting to a PSO confers both privilege and confidentiality to the information reported, the ISMP’s PSO status will afford an even higher level of protection when clinicians and organizations submit error data and other patient safety work to the Institute. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT LEGAL PROTECTION OF PATIENT SAFETY INFORMATION SUBMITTED TO ISMP.

Healthcare practitioners should continue to report medication and related device errors to ISMP as they have in the past. Pharmacy and Therapeutics, Patient Safety, and Quality committees in hospitals, health systems, and other healthcare organizations such as community pharmacies, outpatient centers, and physician practices can now work with ISMP under its PSO status to aggregate and analyze their internal information to better enable the identification and reduction of the risks and hazards associated with medication use in patient care. ISMP also can work with other PSOs to provide expert analysis as part of the services offered to their clients.

For additional information about ISMP’s consulting services for medication error prevention, click here or call 215-947- 7797.  


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