Founding Legislation

The Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005 (Patient Safety Act) authorized the creation of Patient Safety Organizations (PSOs) to improve the quality and safety of U.S. health care delivery. The Patient Safety Act encourages clinicians and health care organizations to voluntarily report and share quality and patient safety information without fear of legal discovery. The federal legislation was signed into law by President Bush and can be located at http://www.pso.ahrq.gov/statute/pl109-41.pdf.

   

The goal of the Act is to increase the likelihood that all people who seek health care in Nebraska are not
harmed by the care that is intended to help them. To achieve this goal, the Act provides for and promotes the establishment of a private, nonprofit patient safety organization, which is independent of state agencies—The Nebraska Coalition for Patient Safety. The Act seeks to create a culture of safety in Nebraska health care by providing for the following:

(1) legal protection for information about patient safety events that are reported to a patient safety organization for the purposes of quality improvement and patient safety—this legal protection
is essential for establishing the transparency necessary for a culture of safety within a health care organization,

(2) the reporting of aggregate information by providers and organizations about patient safety events to a patient safety organization, and

(3) the public reporting of aggregate patient safety events and sharing of information by a patient safety organization to improve the systems used to deliver health care in Nebraska. This shared information includes evidence-based practices, protocols, identification of system sources of errors, and methods of implementing and sustaining organizational change.

The Nebraska Coalition for Patient Safety is comprised of the five founding organizations that are committed to ensuring the safety and quality of health care in Nebraska. These organizations are: the Nebraska Academy of Physician Assistants, the Nebraska Hospital Association, the Nebraska Medical Association, the Nebraska Nurses Association, and the Nebraska Pharmacists Association.

The Coalition is governed by a 12 to 15 member board of directors that includes representation from each of the founding organizations plus at least one consumer member.