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Washington Highlights

AHRQ Announces New Hospital Common Formats

April 20, 2012—The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) April 5 announced in the Federal Register the availability of Common Formats - Hospital Version 1.2 for public review and comment. The common formats are a set of common definitions and reporting requirements that allow providers to collect and submit standardized information nation-wide on patient safety events (PSEs).

The Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-41) and subsequent Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Final Rule, promulgated in 2008, established Patient Safety Organizations (PSO) to use common formats to collect and analyze patient safety data relating to the quality and safety of health care providers [see Washington Highlights, Sept. 5, 2008]. Common formats are used to document patient safety concerns involving unsafe conditions and safety incidents that affected or nearly affected a patient. Hospital Version 1.2 incorporates features from two new event-specific formats: Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) [see Washington Highlights, Nov. 4, 2011] and Device or Medical/Surgical Supply including HIT Device.

The Office of the National Coordinator for HIT also recently launched a “Reporting Patient Safety Events Challenge,” with the goal of developing a PSE reporting system that is compatible with the common formats. Additional details and information on Hospital Version 1.2 are available on the National Quality Forum website.


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


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Washington Highlights, a weekly electronic newsletter, features brief updates on the latest legislative and regulatory activities affecting medical schools and teaching hospitals.

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