Symbria SAFE, thanks to the patient safety organization (PSO) structure intentionally established by the federal government, is able to facilitate transparency related to patient safety data, fearless investigation into root causes, frank and open discussion about solutions, and lasting quality improvement. Symbria SAFE is one of 81 PSOs currently listed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).
In 2009, the Department of Health and Human Services issued the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement final rule authorizing the creation of PSOs to improve quality and safety through the collection and analysis of data on patient events. Organizations that are eligible to become PSOs include public or private entities, for-profit or not-for-profit entities, provider entities such as hospital chains, and other entities that establish special components to serve as PSOs.
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.
While information found in a patient’s billing or medical records is typically discoverable for a legal action, data reported to and analyzed within Symbria SAFE is protected from subpoena in legal proceedings because of its PSO status.
Symbria SAFE allows Symbria’s client communities the opportunity to participate in a secure data collection and reporting environment that enables detailed and sophisticated data compilation, analysis, benchmarking, and sharing related to patient safety and quality. Data collected could include both quantifiable data as well as qualitative reporting, such as caregiver impressions or other information that typically is not found in mandatory reporting.
Symbria SAFE results and reporting can improve the accuracy of monitoring the aggregate number and causes of patient safety events and also allow our clients to compare their outcomes to those reported by other Symbria SAFE members. Symbria SAFE analytics and reporting is helping to develop insights into the root causes of patient safety events.
The scope of Symbria SAFE could also broaden to include peer reviews, clinical practice protocols, tracking and reporting, the storing of quality and safety meeting minutes, outcome reports, and near misses.