Patient Safety Organization

Amer­i­can Medical Foundation Patient Safety Orga­ni­za­tion (AMFPSO)

The Amer­i­can Medical Foundation is listed as a Patient Safety Orga­ni­za­tion (PSO) autho­rized by the Agency for Health­care Research and Qual­ity (AHRQ), on behalf of the Sec­re­tary of the U.S. Depart­ment of Health and Human Services.

What is a Patient Safety Orga­ni­za­tion (PSO)?

PSOs are designed to help clin­i­cians, hos­pi­tals and health care orga­ni­za­tions improve the care they deliver to patients by encour­ag­ing them to con­duct qual­ity and safety analy­ses. Through fed­eral pro­tec­tions of legal priv­i­lege and con­fi­den­tial­ity, which are autho­rized by the Patient Safety and Qual­ity Improve­ment Act of 2005, PSOs fos­ter a cul­ture of safety and cre­ate a secure envi­ron­ment where providers can col­lect and ana­lyze data to iden­tify and reduce the risks and haz­ards asso­ci­ated with patient care.

How can Peer Review be protected?

Peer Review can be per­formed under the PSO and not be sub­ject to legal dis­cov­ery in accor­dance with fed­eral law.  A Patient Safety Eval­u­a­tion Sys­tem will be estab­lished, and the infor­ma­tion, such as a sen­tinel event analy­sis (for exam­ple) becomes part of the Patient Safety Work Prod­uct and is not dis­cov­er­able.  It is priv­i­leged and con­fi­den­tial under Fed­eral law. Peer review con­fi­den­tial­ity laws are incon­sis­tent and dif­fer from state to state.  In some states such as Florida and Ken­tucky, peer review pro­tec­tions are non-existent. There­fore, it is impor­tant to have con­fi­dence that data col­lected is secure.

Why should you con­tract with AMFPSO?

  • The Afford­able Care Act (Sec­tion 1311) man­dates that all hos­pi­tals over 50 beds must estab­lish a Patient Safety Eval­u­a­tion Sys­tem under a PSO, in order to con­tract with Insur­ance Exchange Qual­i­fied Health Plans.
  • There is no statu­tory limit on the num­ber of PSO’s that a health care orga­ni­za­tion can have. So belong­ing to another PSO, to col­lect Risk Man­age­ment data, for exam­ple, does not pre­vent con­tract­ing with AMFPSO to pro­tect patient care data.
  • Since PSO’s have many dif­fer­ent pur­poses, it is impor­tant to join with one that spe­cial­izes in peer review and education. AMFPSO is ideal for that pur­pose and has the expe­ri­ence and rep­u­ta­tion for excellence.

AMFPSO Qual­ity Self Improve­ment Audit Program ®

The AMFPSO now pro­vides a Qual­ity Self Improve­ment Audit Pro­gram® in every medical and sur­gi­cal spe­cialty.  For over 25 years, AMF has been nation­ally rec­og­nized for its abil­ity to address the issues of qual­ity in all spe­cial­ties includ­ing inter­ven­tional car­di­ol­ogy, pace­maker and ICD uti­liza­tion, returns to surgery and surgical outcomes, radi­ol­ogy inter­pre­ta­tion error rates and pathol­ogy error rates.

With the Qual­ity Self Improve­ment Audit Pro­gram® and our spe­cially devel­oped tools, we are now able to assist hospitals in addressing other issues of medical neces­sity, re-ad­mis­sions and more.

Read about our pro­gram in Cath Lab Digest, June 2013

How AMFPSO Works with Hos­pi­tals to Pro­tect Peer Review

The Patient Safety and Qual­ity Improve­ment Act of 2005 (PSQIA) and the reg­u­la­tions there under that were issued in Novem­ber 2008 allow orga­ni­za­tions engaged in “patient safety activ­i­ties” to use and share infor­ma­tion related to those activ­i­ties with­out fear that the infor­ma­tion will be dis­cov­ered in a law­suit.  As the pre­am­ble to the reg­u­la­tions states:  For the first time, there will now be a uni­form set of Fed­eral pro­tec­tions that will be avail­able in all states and U.S. ter­ri­to­ries and that extend to all health care prac­ti­tion­ers and insti­tu­tional providers.” 

Thus, in order to gain the pro­tec­tion for patient safety work prod­uct pro­vided by the law, health care providers must first estab­lish a rela­tion­ship with a PSO.   PSOs are orga­ni­za­tions that share the goal of improv­ing the qual­ity and safety of health care delivery.

By pro­vid­ing both priv­i­lege and con­fi­den­tial­ity, PSOs cre­ate a secure envi­ron­ment where clin­i­cians and health care orga­ni­za­tions can col­lect, aggre­gate, and ana­lyze data, thereby improv­ing qual­ity by iden­ti­fy­ing and reduc­ing the risks and haz­ards asso­ci­ated with patient care.

Thus, hos­pi­tals and other providers that con­tract with Amer­i­can Medical Foundation Patient Safety Orga­ni­za­tion (AMFPSO) can per­form peer review under AMFPRO and share infor­ma­tion to the AMFPSO and have that infor­ma­tion, as well as reports back from the AMFPSO pro­tected from dis­cov­ery in almost any kind of state or fed­eral civil, crim­i­nal and admin­is­tra­tive pro­ceed­ings, includ­ing mal­prac­tice law­suits. Infor­ma­tion being col­lected by the provider for report­ing to the AMFPSO would also be pro­tected from dis­cov­ery, as would any analy­sis of that infor­ma­tion by the AMFPSO.   The pro­tec­tion pro­vided by the PSQIA goes far beyond any­thing cur­rently pro­vided by state peer review laws.

PSOs also are designed to aggre­gate data across mul­ti­ple health care provider groups, which will help iden­tify issues quickly and allow improved early warn­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tion about ways of reduc­ing risk and improv­ing qual­ity. As de-identified data become avail­able from PSOs, a Net­work of Patient Safety Data­bases will receive, ana­lyze, and report trend data nation­ally which will be included in AHRQ’s annual National Health­care Qual­ity Report.

We know that clin­i­cians and health care orga­ni­za­tions want to par­tic­i­pate in efforts to improve patient care, but they often are inhib­ited by fears of lia­bil­ity and sanc­tions,” said AHRQ Direc­tor Car­olyn M. Clancy, M.D.  “PSOs facil­i­tate a shared-learning approach that sup­ports effec­tive inter­ven­tions to reduce risk of harm to patients and improve quality.”

For fur­ther infor­ma­tion please call our offices at  215–545-6363 .