What is the Network of Patient Safety Databases (NPSD)?
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services was directed in the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act (PSQIA) (PDF, 191 KB) of 2005 to create and maintain a NPSD to provide an interactive, evidence-based management resource for health care providers, Patient Safety Organizations (PSOs) listed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and others. AHRQ, the lead agency for patient safety, is authorized to implement the NPSD. View the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005 (PDF, 58 KB).
An immediate goal for AHRQ is to encourage voluntary reporting of information that could be used for national learning to improve patient safety and prevent harm. Additionally, over the long term, AHRQ will assess the feasibility of a single point of access for qualified researchers.
Initially, the NPSD contains nonidentifiable data derived from patient safety work product (PSWP) 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 health care settings nationally.
The NPSD will use 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 health care errors based on NPSD data will be made available to the public is through annual quality reports prepared by AHRQ, known as the National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report. Data from the NPSD will be used to prepare a report on effective strategies for reducing medical errors and increasing patient safety.