Patient Safety Organization (PSO)

What is a Patient Safety Organization (PSO)?

A patient safety organization (PSO) improves patient wellbeing and healthcare quality by working with healthcare providers to encourage a culture of safety. These organizations analyze data that is voluntarily reported to them by healthcare providers and offer feedback with the ultimate goal of minimizing patient risk and promoting learning.

PSOs were authorized by the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005 to help reduce events that adversely affect patients.

PSOs or healthcare providers carry out eight patient safety activities, which include:

  1. Collecting and analyzing patient safety work product (PSWP)
  2. Trying to improve the quality of healthcare delivery and patient safety
  3. Utilizing PSWPs to encourage a culture of safety, provide feedback, and minimize patient risk
  4. Developing and disseminating information regarding patients’ safety (e.g., protocols, recommendations, information on best practices)
  5. Utilizing qualified staff
  6. Maintaining procedures that preserve PSWP confidentiality
  7. Supplying appropriate PSWP safety measures
  8. Completing activities related to the patient safety evaluation systems and supplying feedback to participants

Why are PSOs important in healthcare?

Healthcare providers who work with PSOs receive expert guidance on their reported data, which allows PSOs to identify underlying causes of infrequent but often tragic patient events. They can then help providers reduce the risks and hazards.

The program is entirely voluntary, but it allows providers to improve patient care outcomes, which correlates to better patient care.