doctor at office.300Arkansas’ only patient safety organization, American Data Network PSO, recently became one of the first PSOs in the United States to successfully transmit data to the national Network of Patient Safety Databases. The NPSD is an information warehouse created to receive, analyze and report on non-identified and aggregated patient safety event data with the aim of improving healthcare quality through the reduction of medical errors.

The U.S. Congress called for the formation of the NPSD in 2005 when it passed the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act and authorized the creation of PSOs as an avenue through which healthcare organizations could voluntarily report and share data on adverse events without fear of legal discovery. Formed in 2009, today, ADN PSO is one of 76 federally designated PSOs in the country and works diligently to assist hospitals in collecting, aggregating and analyzing patient safety event data for the purpose of identifying patterns of failure and eliminating risk and harm to patients. ADN PSO serves as a safe harbor for its clients providing legal privilege and confidentiality protection of any information shared, assembled and reported for the conduct of patient safety activities.

ADN PSO’s incorporation of the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality’s Common Formats in developing its event reporting application, the Quality Assurance Communication tool, positioned ADN PSO to become one of the first reporting bodies in the country to submit data to the NPSD. The Common Formats, AHRQ’s standardized set of definitions and event reporting forms, facilitate accurate comparison of data and promote large-scale aggregation and learning from errors, near misses and unsafe conditions.

“Hospitals have been collecting patient safety data for years, but because they’ve been using different definitions and tools, too much disparity has made it difficult to pool that data and draw meaningful conclusions,” Stephanie Iorio, ADN PSO Director, said. “But that’s changing and we’re excited to be playing a role in bringing the industry a step closer to generating the information we all need to impact significant improvement in patient care.”

Baxter Regional Medical Center in Mountain Home, Ark. transitioned from paper event reporting to ADN’s event reporting application three years ago. “Even though Patient Safety Organizations are relatively new, I think that Baxter’s participation with a PSO speaks volumes as to how seriously we take patient safety,” the hospital’s Director of Quality, Karla Rainwater, BSN, said. “Hospitals so often tend to wait for mandate, but Baxter has taken a proactive approach with this. We’re ahead of the game because we’re already using the Common Formats to collect our event data, and we are proud to be contributing to an initiative that has the potential to transform patient safety.”

With its first successful transmission under its belt, ADN is moving forward with quarterly submissions to the NPSD. For more information regarding PSO participation, contact Phyllis Ragland by calling 501.225.5533 or by emailing