Common formats


Coding the Location of the Event or Unsafe Condition
Simple crosswalk with NHSN codes available

One common question CHPSO receives is about coding the location of the event, as the AHRQ common formats codes are new to many. The entire set of locations is listed below. Because most hospitals are reporting data to NHSN and have coded their locations according to that standard, CHPSO has developed a crosswalk that allows organizations to, when faced with a question about an unusual department, to rapidly identify the proper code. As always, please call us if you have any questions. We’re eager to help.


Framework for Common Formats

The current version is 1.2, issued April 4, 2012. Documentation is available at the PSO Privacy Protection Center.


ONC Takes Steps to Promote Common Formats

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has taken several steps to increase reporting to PSOs and facilitate providers’ ability to collect data and solve problems. Among other actions, ONC has established prizes for application development and has proposed placing Common Formats (the national standard taxonomy and electronic format for reporting to PSOs) into meaningful use criteria.


CMS’ Position on the Common Formats

On March 15, 2013, CMS issued a Survey and Certification letter supporting use of the Common Formats to improve adverse event tracking. They state:


PSO Privacy Protection Center

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s (AHRQ) Privacy Protection Center provides technical assistance to PSOs by ensuring patient safety event data is nonidentifiable when submitted to AHRQ’s Network of Patient Safety Databases. The center also provides technical assistance on using Common Formats.