What is the NPSD’s Role in Quality and Patient Safety?
By enabling providers, PSOs, and, eventually others to contribute nonidentifiable patient safety data to the NPSD, the stage has been set for breakthroughs in our understanding of how best to improve patient safety. The NPSD will facilitate the aggregation of sufficient volumes of patient safety data to identify more rapidly the trends and underlying patterns of risks and hazards associated with quality and safety in the delivery of health care services. By contributing data to a PSO that submits to the NPSD (via the PSO Patient Privacy Protection Center), providers can accelerate the pace at which the NPSD can advance knowledge about patient safety.
By aggregating data submitted in AHRQ’s Common Formats for Event Reporting (a standardized reporting format using common language and definitions of patient safety events), the NPSD makes available a rich source of data regarding safety incidents, near misses (close calls), and unsafe conditions that are encountered in different types of health care settings. Analyses of these problems using this robust national data resource can help identify underlying causes and contributing factors and may offer possible solutions that embrace a culture of safety nationwide.