Health Catalyst launches patient safety organization for hospitals and health systems

Sept. 12, 2018

Health Catalyst launched its federally-certified Health Catalyst Patient Safety Organization (HC PSO) that protects all-cause-harm patient safety data derived from the company’s Patient Safety Monitor suite of software applications. Health Catalyst Patient safety experts will work closely with clients to collect, detect, intervene, learn, and prevent all-cause patient harm, all within the legal-protection of the HC PSO.

Tens of thousands of patients die every year in U.S. hospitals due to avoidable errors, according to numerous studies. The Journal of Patient Safety reports that avoidable non-lethal harm events affect up to 5 million patients per year. Yet fewer than 5% of adverse patient events are reported, making it difficult, if not impossible, to intervene in the events leading to harm. The threat of legal action can dissuade health systems from finding the root causes of patient harm and implementing prevention protocols.

In response to this dilemma, the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005 establishes strong federal confidentiality and privilege protections for information that clinicians and provider organizations assemble and develop when conducting quality and safety deliberations and analysis within a PSO. Health Catalyst PSO is certified by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and listed as one of the nation’s 82 PSOs. It provides a safe, confidential and collaborative environment for hospitals to assess threats to patient safety, reduce the risk of harm, advance a culture of safety, and improve care processes to reduce or eliminate harm, free from the threat of legal discovery.

HC PSO members can learn best practices from other participating peer-organization members in an open, confidential environment. Collaboration is extended as organizations work with the HC PSO advisory team, which has more than 100-person-years of applied safety experience in organizations. Combined, the HC PSO will translate learnings from the nation’s best patient safety evaluation systems into systematic, sustainable improvement in outcomes for patient populations.

Other HC PSO membership services include:

  • Semi-weekly reviews of patient safety data for trends, dissemination of learnings, and identification of improvement opportunities
  • Patient safety governance consultation from the HC PSO team for effective adoption and stewardship of patient safety work
  • Quarterly in-person and remote visits where the HC PSO team meets with the organization’s leadership to consult on improving safety culture, best practices, and optimizing outcomes
  • Support for members’ legal counsel on patient-specific data access subpoenas and PSO data grievance handling

Beginning in 2019, HC PSO member organizations will also participate in one of Health Catalyst’s patient safety collaboratives, where they can share and learn with peer organizations across the country.

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