Society for Vascular Surgery Forms Patient Safety Organization

The Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS) is now listed as a Patient Safety Organization (PSO) by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), on behalf of the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

PSOs are designed to help clinicians, hospitals, and health care organizations improve the care they deliver to patients by encouraging them to conduct quality and safety analyses. Through federal protections of legal privilege and confidentiality, which are authorized by the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005,

PSOs foster a culture of safety and create a secure environment where providers can collect and analyze data to identify and reduce the risks and hazards associated with patient care.

"SVS has always been focused on research to improve the care of vascular patients," said Richard Cambria, M.D., SVS president-elect and chair of the SVS PSO Governing Council. "Our membership (3,300-plus) includes primarily vascular surgeons who work collaboratively on practice guidelines to ensure the best outcomes for vascular patients. This PSO designation solidifies our mission and strengthens the commitment to people with vascular disease as well as to educate the public about good vascular health."

PSOs also are designed to aggregate data across multiple health care provider groups, which will help identify issues quickly and allow improved early warning and communication about ways of reducing risk and improving quality. As de-identified data become available from PSOs, a Network of Patient Safety Databases will receive, analyze, and report trend data nationally which will be included in AHRQ's annual National Healthcare Quality Report.

"We know that clinicians and health care organizations want to participate in efforts to improve patient care, but they often are inhibited by fears of liability and sanctions," said AHRQ Director Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D. "PSOs facilitate a shared-learning approach that supports effective interventions to reduce risk of harm to patients and improve quality."

To learn more about PSOs or to view an updated directory of all listed PSOs, visit the AHRQ PSO website at www.pso.ahrq.gov.

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