The Common Formats establish a common method for healthcare providers to collect and exchange information for patient safety events. Any healthcare provider can use the Common Formats. In addition, use of the Common Formats will ensure consistency of reporting among patient safety organizations (PSOs) as they begin to standardize the collection of patient safety event information using common language, definitions, and reporting formats.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) designates Patient Safety Organizations (PSOs) to help hospitals with high readmissions rates improve their performance. In response to the ACA, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has made available resources for PSOs that wish to assist hospitals in reducing unnecessary readmissions. One of these resources is a new Common Format (Common Format–Readmissions Version 0.1 Beta). This Common Format will assist PSOs and health providers with collecting and aggregating standardized information about readmissions. The format aggregates and analyzes information such as the actions taken at the index hospitalization to prevent a readmission, risk factors for readmission, length of stay, presence of an adverse event, location of discharge setting, and other attributes. Using this standardized method of review, hospitals can identify factors associated with unnecessary readmissions. Also, they can compare their data to others and examine trends on a community, regional, and national level.
About the Project
NQF, on behalf of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), is coordinating a process to obtain comments from stakeholders about the Common Formats authorized by the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005 (Patient Safety Act). The term "Common Formats" refers to the common definitions and reporting formats that allow healthcare providers to collect and submit standardized information regarding patient safety and quality. For patient safety, the scope of Common Formats applies to all patient safety concerns including incidents, near misses or close calls and unsafe conditions.
To date NQF has collected comments on Common Formats for acute care hospitals in 0.1 Beta, Version 1.0, Version 1.1, Version 1.2; Skilled Nursing Facilities Version Beta; and Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) Version Beta. Other future versions of the Common Formats will be developed for additional care settings, such as ambulatory surgery centers, and physician and practitioner offices.
The newest Common Format – Readmissions Version 0.1 Beta includes an event description, a reporting form, a sample aggregate report and a user guide.
Common Formats Version 1.2 (acute care hospitals) include the event descriptions, reporting forms, a sample aggregate report, a user guide, and technical specifications.
The Common Formats reporting forms provide for basic information about all events and more granular information for the most commonly-occurring types of events. Event descriptions provide specific delineation of the information to be captured for each type of patient safety event. Sample reports give examples of the types of reports that will be available to Common Formats users. Technical specifications promote standardization by ensuring data collected by PSOs and other entities are clinically and electronically comparable.
For more information about the Common Formats, visit the AHRQ website at http://www.pso.ahrq.gov/formats/commonfmt.htm. The complete set of Common Formats, including generic and event-specific Common Formats, can be found at: PSO Privacy Protection Center.
The main purposes of the Common Formats are to:
- standardize patient safety event data collection, and
- facilitate aggregation of collected data for pattern analysis, learning, and trending of patient safety events.
NQF's Common Formats project enables AHRQ to receive and respond to stakeholder input and to receive expert guidance on refining the Common Formats.
NQF has established a process and tools for receiving comments on the Common Formats beginning with the release of each set and version and continuing for a specified period thereafter. This project is guided by an Expert Panel that considers and makes recommendations regarding comments from healthcare stakeholders. Previously, based upon the Expert Panel’s recommendations, AHRQ, in conjunction with an interagency Federal Patient Safety Work Group, revised and refined the Common Formats that are now available as Version 1.2. The Expert Panel will continue to use relevant elements of NQF's Consensus Development Process to receive and review comments on new and updated sets of the Common Formats; however, the process will not involve voting or endorsement of any product.
Funding for this project has been provided by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and under a contract provided by the Department of Health and Human Services in support of The Affordable Care Act (ACA).
For more information, please contact Melinda Murphy at 918-680-1239 or email@example.com.