common-formatsThe Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released a memo on March 15, 2013 explaining how use of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Common Formats can help hospitals improve  adverse event reporting and meet the CMS Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement (QAPI) requirements.

While use of AHRQ’s Common Formats is not mandatory for hospitals, CMS stated in its memo, “we suggest, however, that a hospital that uses the Common Formats and is adept at the analysis that this structured system permits, will be in a better position to meet the CMS QAPI requirements.”

An attachment to the memo defines the types of incidents, near misses and unsafe conditions that have potential for causing harm to patients but too frequently go unreported.  In addition, the supplemental document provides information regarding the structure generic and event-specific formats that can be used to report these potentially harmful events.

To read the March 15 CMS memo and the supplemental attachment, click here.