Patient Safety Work Product in a Non-Event Domain

A primary benefit of belonging to a patient safety organization (PSO) is the protection afforded to the member organization regarding patient safety work product (PSWP). CHPSO is a federally listed PSO under the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005 (PSQIA) and therefore:

  1. Any data or information that is reported by a CHPSO member to CHPSO which meets the standards of PSWP is privileged;
  2. Any analysis (including root cause analysis) or deliberations of the underlying data that are developed by a CHPSO member is privileged without being disclosed to the PSO; and
  3. Any data or information developed from the data by CHPSO is privileged.

As such, these data are not subject to:

  • Federal, State, local civil, tribal, criminal, or administrative subpoena or order
  • Discovery in connection with a Federal, State, or local civil, tribal, criminal, or administrative proceeding
  • Disclosure pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act or any other similar Federal, State, local, tribal law

In addition, PSWP cannot be admitted in a professional disciplinary proceeding of a professional disciplinary body. These protections apply even to PSWP which has be impermissibly disclosed.

The most common PSWP data type submitted to CHPSO comes in the form of a safety event report. These event reports are generally extracted from the organization’s event reporting systems. Extracted data are then mapped to the CHPSO database utilizing a modified version of the Common Formats for Event Reporting established by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

While CHPSO has long recognized that not all PSWP exists in an event report format, few organizations have disclosed non-event data types. To encourage organizations to share information that can help others improve the quality of healthcare delivery, CHPSO recently made changes to the database submission options with the addition of a new domain. This domain is designed to allow organizations to easily report or disclose PSWP that is not in the format of an individual safety event report. It allows contributors to upload these data through the NextPlane portal in a manner similar to the process for submission of safety event reports. Some examples of the types of data which can be submitted to CHPSO via this domain include information based on:

  • Best practices (privileged without reporting under #2 above)
  • Recordings
  • Audits (privileged without reporting under #2 above)
  • Causal analysis (privileged without reporting under #2 above)
  • Any other PSWP not associated specifically with an individual safety event report

If you are interested in learning more about the submission of data to this new domain please contact us via email, or call 916-552-2600. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have. If you are interested in learning more about how to develop and maintain your Patient Safety Evaluation System (PSES), CHPSO is offering a webinar on the topic of How to Create an Effective Patient Safety Evaluation System on November 19, 2019 from 10:00-11:00am Pacific.

*As a reminder, PSWP should be labeled for identification as “Patient Safety Work Product, Privileged and Confidential, Not Subject to Discovery, Cannot Be Used as Evidence” to ensure that all material is correctly identified.

“Ask CHPSO” is a regular column in the bimonthly Patient Safety News and is intended to provide answers to common inquiries. If you have a question, please contact us at (916) 552-2600 or All inquirers will remain anonymous.