New Event-Specific Common Formats Available from AHRQ
HHS’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) developed Common Formats – Hospital Version 1.2 which incorporates the event-specific formats entitled Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) and Device or Medical/Surgical Supply including Health Information Technology (HIT) Device. Common Formats – Hospital Version 1.2 also includes minor changes to existing modules and technical specifications.
The Common Formats, which are authorized by the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005 (Patient Safety Act), establish a standard language, definitions, technical requirements, and reporting specifications that patient safety, quality, and risk managers, clinicians, and others can use to collect patient safety event information. Patient Safety Organizations (PSOs) use Common Formats to ensure consistency in reporting patient safety event information and allow aggregation and analysis of comparable, interoperable data at provider, PSO, and national levels.
This version (dated April 2012) is currently available for public review and comment. Visit the PSO Privacy Protection Center for the most current versions of the Common Formats.
|To access the most current versions of the Common Formats, go to the Patient Safety Organization (PSO) Privacy Protection Center (PPC) Web site.|
What Are Common Formats?The term "Common Formats" refers to the common definitions and reporting formats that allow health care providers to collect and submit standardized information regarding patient safety events. Additional details about the conceptual framework for the content and structure of the Common Formats can be found at http://www.pso.ahrq.gov/formats/eventdesc.htm.
The Common Formats apply to all patient safety concerns, including:
- Incidents—patient safety events that reached the patient, whether or not there was harm;
- Near misses or close calls—patient safety events that did not reach the patient; and
- Unsafe conditions—circumstances that increase the probability of a patient safety event.
- Event descriptions (descriptions of patient safety events and unsafe conditions to be reported),
- Specifications for patient safety aggregate reports and individual event summaries,
- Delineation of data elements to be collected for different types of events to populate the reports,
- A users guide and quick guide, and
- Technical specifications for electronic data collection and reporting.
The Common Formats include two general types of formats, generic and event-specific. The generic Common Formats pertain to all patient safety concerns. The three generic formats are: Healthcare Event Reporting Form, Patient Information Form, and Summary of Initial Report. These formats are paired with event-specific Common Formats pertaining to frequently occurring and/or serious patient safety events. When used as designed, the Common Formats allow collection of information on all harms to patients: “all-cause harm.” To see the full list of event-specific formats for both the acute care hospital and skilled nursing facility settings, go to the PPC Web site.
Future versions of the Common Formats are being developed for ambulatory settings, such as ambulatory surgery centers, and physicians' and practitioners' offices.
How Does AHRQ Develop the Common Formats?AHRQ convenes the PSWG to assist AHRQ with developing and maintaining the Common Formats. The PSWG includes major health agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)—the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Health Resources and Services Administration, Indian Health Service (IHS), National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine, Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), Office of Public Health and Science, and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration—as well as the Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
When developing Common Formats, AHRQ first reviews existing patient safety event reporting systems from a variety of health care organizations (select for list). In collaboration with the PSWG and Federal subject matter experts, AHRQ drafts and releases beta versions of the Common Formats for public review and comment.
Through a contract with AHRQ, NQF solicits feedback on each version of the Common Formats from private sector organizations and individuals. The NQF, a nonprofit organization that focuses on health care quality, then convenes an expert panel to review the comments received and provide feedback. Based upon the expert panel's feedback, AHRQ, in conjunction with the PSWG, further revises the Common Formats.
Most recently, AHRQ and the PSWG developed Common Formats—Hospital Version 1.2, which features new content to incorporate the event-specific formats entitled Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) and Device or Medical/Surgical Supply including Health Information Technology (HIT) Device. In addition to including the VTE and Device/HIT formats, Common Formats—Hospital Version 1.2 also includes minor changes to existing modules and technical specifications. These Common Formats (dated April 2012) are currently available for public review and comment at www.psoppc.org.
How Will the Data Be Used?The most important use of the Common Formats is to support local quality improvement activities, as both the Common Formats individual event summary and aggregate reports can provide immediate feedback at the provider level. In addition, the Common Formats can be used to report to relevant external entities, including PSOs, the NPSD (as authorized by the Patient Safety Act), accrediting bodies, and institutions with reporting requirements. AHRQ will use data collected from the NPSD to analyze national and regional patient safety event statistics, including trends and patterns. Findings are to be made public and included in AHRQ's annual National Healthcare Quality Report.
How Will AHRQ Continue To Refine the Common Formats?AHRQ is committed to continuing refinement of the Common Formats. The Agency is specifically interested in obtaining feedback from both the private and public sectors—particularly from those who use the Common Formats—to guide their improvement.
Where Can I Find the Common Formats?The most recent versions of the Common Formats are available on the PSO PPC Web site.
How Can I Comment on the Common Formats?To provide feedback on the Common Formats, go to the National Quality Forum (NQF) Web site for Common Formats.
|The "AHRQ Common Formats" logo may be displayed by any organization that is using the Common Formats developed by AHRQ. Please note that an entity does not need to be listed as a PSO to employ the Common Formats and thus display the logo. The formats are available in the public domain to facilitate their wide-spread adoption and implementation. Entities who display the logo should use the Common Formats as a whole; however, entities that have a limited focus may use the Common Formats that pertain only to that area|