Organizations and Relationships

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)

AHRQ is one of 11 agencies within the Federal government’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). AHRQ, as the lead Federal agency for patient safety research, has been charged with overseeing the implementation of the Patient Safety Act. PSOs, health care providers, and other interested parties should contact AHRQ at with requests for assistance.

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR)

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has responsibility for interpreting and enforcing the confidentiality provisions of the Patient Safety Act.

PSO Privacy Protection Center (PSO PPC)

AHRQ created the PSO Privacy Protection Center (PSOPPC) to assist PSOs in rendering the data they submit to the NPSD contextually non-identifiable. The PSO PPC also maintains AHRQ’s Common Formats, which include common definitions and reporting formats to more easily compare data about patient safety events.

Network of Patient Safety Databases

The Patient Safety Act requires AHRQ to administer a Network of Patient Safety Databases (NPSD), which will analyze and report on national, non-identifiable, aggregated patient safety event information.

National Quality Forum

The National Quality Forum, under contract to AHRQ, serves as a neutral forum for obtaining public review and expert opinion regarding each version of the Common Formats.