Technical specifications for AHRQ's Common Formats allow electronic collection of patient safety data
Research Activities, May 2010, No. 357
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) released technical specifications for its revised Common Formats (Version 1.1) that make possible electronic data collection and reporting of patient safety information in the hospital setting, including adverse events, near misses, and unsafe conditions. Technical specifications promote standardization by ensuring that data collected by Patient Safety Organizations (PSOs) and other entities are clinically and electronically comparable. The technical specifications provide direction to software developers. They specify rules for data collection and submission, as well as providing guidance on how and when to create data elements, their valid values, conditional and go-to logic, and reports.
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. 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.
AHRQ's revised Common Formats (Version 1.1) and the technical specifications, along with accompanying user information, are available at no charge through AHRQ's PSO Web site at http://www.pso.ahrq.gov.