What is the Network of Patient Safety Databases?
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services was directed in the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005 (PDF, 191 KB) to create and maintain a Network of Patient Safety Databases (NPSD) to provide an interactive, evidence-based management resource for healthcare providers, Patient Safety Organizations (PSOs) listed by AHRQ, and others. AHRQ, the lead agency for patient safety, implements the NPSD.
Initially, the NPSD contains non-identifiable data derived from patient safety work product submitted by PSOs from across the country. This rich data source makes it possible to identify and track patient safety concerns for the purpose of learning how to mitigate patient safety risks and reduce harm across healthcare settings nationally. By enabling providers, PSOs, and eventually others to contribute non-identifiable patient safety data to the NPSD, the stage has been set for breakthroughs in our understanding of how best to improve patient safety. By contributing data to a PSO that submits to the NPSD, providers can accelerate the pace at which the NPSD can advance knowledge about patient safety.
The NPSD uses visualization products to develop informational tools, including dashboards and chartbooks, to make the data available for meaningful, national learning purposes. One way that information resulting from analyses of trends and patterns of healthcare errors based on NPSD data will be made available to the public is through AHRQ's National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report. AHRQ anticipates that the NPSD data will be used in other reports that contribute to improving patient safety.