AHRQ names GE Healthcare as patient safety organization

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has named GE Healthcare as a Patient Safety Organization (PSO). With this federal certification, GE will be listed as an official PSO and will be able to gather hospital safety data, analyze it ,and provide confidential feedback to the facilities in a legally protected environment.

Sixteen hospitals, most of them in Rhode Island, already participate in GE's PSO, and the big healthcare services and health IT vendor plans to enroll other facilities across the country.

GE's PSO gives its members a common medical event reporting platform, with comprehensive data analytics and advisory support to identify the root causes of risk. Although GE itself doesn't have expertise in patient safety, its PSO has partnered with the SAS Institute to create the infrastructure necessary to de-identify and analyze the data that the PSO captures on its web-based platform.

Interestingly, GE's press release barely mentions the company's role as an information technology vendor. There is no indication of a link between GE's hospital information system and the error reporting platform.

Congress established the PSO system in 2005 to encourage healthcare systems to voluntarily report and share information on quality and safety issues without fear of legal discovery. Except for GE, there are no other major software vendors among the 80 AHRQ-certified PSOs in 29 states and the District of Columbia.

To learn more:
- read the GE press release
- see the AHRQ list of certified PSOs