Framework for Common Formats

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

The Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005 (Patient Safety Act, Statute) establishes a framework by which doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers may voluntarily report information on a privileged and confidential basis regarding patient safety events and quality of care. The Patient Safety Act provides for voluntary formation of Patient Safety Organizations (PSOs), which can be public or private organizations, to collect, aggregate, and analyze information regarding the quality and safety of care delivered in any health care setting.

The statute authorizes the collection of this information in a standardized manner, as explained in the Patient Safety Rule published in the Federal Register on November 21, 2008: 73 FR 70732-70814 (Regulations). As requested by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has coordinated the development of a set of common definitions and reporting formats (Common Formats) that facilitate the voluntary collection of patient safety event information and the reporting of this information to PSOs.