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ONC Launches Reporting Patient Safety Event Challenge

April 13, 2012—The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology April 11 announced requirements and registration details for a new “Reporting Patient Safety Events Challenge.” The ONC hopes to facilitate increased reporting of adverse patient safety events through a more streamlined process to patient safety organizations (PSOs).

ONC is seeking multi-disciplinary teams to develop an application that eases the reporting of internal incident reports in hospitals and ambulatory care settings. Applicants will need to create a process that allows individuals to file a report electronically using standardized data that are compatible with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s (AHRQ’s) common formats. Hospital staff also must be able to add details from follow-up investigations and be able to seamlessly submit these reports to one or more PSOs, non-PSO public health, or health oversight organizations along with state and federal programs or accrediting or certifying bodies.

In the current system, healthcare providers are able to submit internal incident reports freely to PSOs without fear of legal discovery. These data are intended to improve the health care system by leading to the identification and reduction of medical errors.  However, the current reporting process can be burdensome. Quality and risk management staff must convince physicians and nurses to investigate an incident, fill out appropriate forms, and submit this information by fax to the multiple national and state PSOs.

ONC will award one prize each of $50,000, $15,000, and $5,000. To be eligible, participants must submit their applications by July 23, 2012.  For additional information, please visit the Reporting Patient Safety Events Challenge Web site.


Scott Wetzel, M.P.P.
Lead, Quality Reporting
Telephone: 202-828-0495


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