Patient Safety Organization (PSO) for EMS

PSOs for Ambulance (Air, Ground & Fire) Services

Many states around the nation do not provide adequate confidentiality, or peer review protections for EMS services and providers. A solution to overcome this barrier comes to you via participation with a Patient Safety Organization (PSO). We offer federal-based confidentiality protection for your safety and quality improvement work.

“EMS agencies can become members of PSOs and not only achieve protection of their own processes but also benefit from the collective knowledge and understanding provided by the PSO and its members.” – The National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT)

Save lives, improve patient and provider safety with privileged, confidential data.

The Center for Patient Safety (CPS) was one of the first federally designated Patient Safety Organizations (PSO) in 2008 and the first to offer PSO services for EMS in 2009. Today, we are one of the largest, most active, and most diverse PSOs in the country. We are the only PSO with a standard set of data collection points specific to EMS.

Find out more about the benefits of joining the Center for Patient Safety’s PSO!

What is a PSO?

pso_logoIn July 2005, Congress developed the federal Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005 (PSQIA) in response to the Institute of Medicine report, To Err Is Human. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) oversees the Patient Safety Rule.

The Patient Safety Act and the Patient Safety Rule provide a structure for PSOs while the legislation provides confidentiality and privilege protections (inability to introduce the protected information in a legal proceeding), when certain requirements are met. The program intentionally differentiates PSO work from most regulatory and mandatory reporting programs.

Check out the most commonly used PSO acronyms.

How do PSOs improve safety?

PSOs support the collection, analysis, sharing and learning from incidents, near misses and unsafe conditions in through the use of Common Formats for uniform reporting of patient safety events. The information collected helps to determine what medical errors are occurring and why in order to prevent them from occurring again.

  • PSOs aggregate data from many providers to identify risk patterns of care and system failure
  • PSOs allow providers to work together in a confidential, protected space
  • PSOs do not impose fines or other punitive results for participating – PSOs are not a regulatory body
  • PSOs assure participating providers their safety work will not be used against them

What can your EMS Agency/Organization protect?

  • Call review documentation
  • Documentation and conversations related to investigations of incident reports
  • Internal studies on medication and other types of errors
  • Case reviews by your agency’s Medical Director
  • Regional quality committee meetings (certain conditions must be present)
  • Most any electronic or paper documentation, notes, and data related to your agency’s safety and quality improvement processes

Who can participate with a PSO?

Any licensed provider can participate with a PSO and receive the protections, including but not limited to, ambulance services (EMS), nursing homes, home health and hospice, pharmacies, hospitals, health systems, medical offices, and ambulatory surgery centers (ASC).

Why join a PSO?

  • Protecting. A PSO offers a way for licensed healthcare providers to receive federal confidentiality and privilege protections of the federal Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005.
  • Learning. Working with a (PSO) offers learning & educational opportunities.
  • Preventing. A PSO can recommend proactive measures from lessons learned to assist in the prevention of future adverse events.

How to select a PSO?
With more than 80 PSOs and each one different from the next in it’s offerings, outreach, capabilities, mission, etc, it’s important to select the most appropriate PSO for your organization. Check out: How to Find the Best PSO for You or visit AHRQ’s Listed PSOs.

It’s easy to work with CPS!

The Center for Patient Safety is a highly active and engaging PSO. We have the tools and resources to help you join our PSO quickly and efficiently. We will help you every step of the way. Patient safety is all we do – and we want you to be successful!

Find out more about the benefits of joining the Center for Patient Safety’s PSO!

Additional Resources:

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The Center for Patient Safety believes that collaboration and sharing are the best ways to drive improvement. We strive to provide the right solutions and resources to improve healthcare safety and quality.