Society of Hospital Medicine Listed as a Patient Safety Organization

February 18, 2011

The Patients Safety Organization designation will enable hospitals and health networks to more easily share their data while still remaining HIPAA-compliant.

The division of the Society of Hospital Medicine responsible for Quality Improvement programs has been officially recognized as a Patient Safety Organization by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the lead federal agency for improving the quality, safety, efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare. The Philadelphia, PA-based Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM) is one of the first professional medical societies with a division listed as a Patient Safety Organization (PSO).

In addition to placing SHM on a registry along with other forward-looking quality improvement (QI) and patient safety organizations, the PSO designation enables hospitals and health networks to more easily share their data while still remaining compliant with the HIPAA Act of 1996. The increased capacity for data sharing will create new opportunities for engagement with SHM's current and future performance improvement programs, such as Project BOOST.

Established by the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005, PSOs serve as independent, external expert organizations that can collect, analyze and aggregate information to help clinicians, hospitals and healthcare providers improve patient safety. The SHM PSO will offer confidential and professional expertise to hospitalists, hospitals and other healthcare providers seeking to understand and minimize the risks associated with patient care.

"SHM has already been actively involved at over 250 hospitals nationwide in helping to provide hospitalists with the tools and strategies to create real change," said SHM Chief Executive Officer Laurence Wellikson, MD, SFHM, in a press release. "SHM’s new PSO designation is an important recognition of our capabilities and leadership in developing effective patient safety and performance improvement initiatives in hospitals across the country. As a PSO, we are proud to be among the leaders in patient safety and quality improvement."

The PSO listing is further recognition of the Society of Hospital Medicine’s leadership role in improving the performance of US-based hospitals to benefit patients. To date, more than 250 hospital sites have used SHM’s mentored implementation programs to reduce readmissions, improve the management of diabetes and prevent venous thromboembolisms in hospitalized patients. SHM also offers free QI resources for hospitals at www.hospitalmedicine.org.

Representing the fastest growing specialty in modern healthcare, SHM is the leading medical society for more than 31,000 hospitalists and their patients. SHM is dedicated to promoting the highest quality care for all hospitalized patients and overall excellence in the practice of hospital medicine through quality improvement, education, advocacy and research.