HHS Wants Patient Safety Database

Here's more news on health networks.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, another arm of the Department of Health and Human Services, issued May 21 a request for proposals

for a Network of Patient Safety Databases, which will house information on aggregated patient safety information. The data will not have any personally identifiable information.

The network will contain information submitted by physicians on a confidential basis about “close calls” in clinical procedures. The RFP does not define a “close call," but I imagine it can range from prescribing the wrong drug to surgically removing a healthy, rather than a diseased, organ. The close calls will be reported to Patient Safety Organizations, which are just now being created. The PSOs will use the aggregated information to improve the quality of care.

The network contract will run for three years, and although the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality did not provide a value for the contract, it probably is big enough to attract the attention of a wide range of systems integrators.