Feds want consumers help in pinning down patient safety breaches

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Hoping to create a system for patients and their families to report safety events at healthcare facilities, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has filed a request with the Office of Management and Budget to test a prototype project.

“There is a growing body of evidence that many adverse medical events go unreported in current systems,” wrote AHRQ in a notice published in the Federal Register on Sept. 10. “Patient reports could complement and enhance reports from providers and thus produce a more complete and accurate understanding of the prevalence and characteristics of medical adverse events.”

The agency said it has already funded a prototype consumer-reporting system for patient safety and that the new project would test the prototype for its ability to record data from consumers about patient safety events defined as an incident or near miss by the AHRQ Common Format.

The agency said the project has three goals: develop and design a prototype system to collect information about patient safety events; develop and test online and telephone modes of a prototype questionnaire; and develop and test protocols for a follow-up survey of healthcare providers.

Click here for details on the project and a link to a comment-submission field.