Your browser doesn't support JavaScript. Please upgrade to a modern browser or enable JavaScript in your existing browser.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Agency for Healthcare Research Quality
PSO Home Patient Safety Organizations Stethoscope

PSO Resources

The Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005 (Patient Safety Act) authorized the creation of PSOs to improve quality and safety by reducing the incidence of events that adversely affect patients. To implement the Patient Safety Act, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) published the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Final Rule (Patient Safety Rule).

PSO Compliance Self-Assessment Guide

The Patient Safety Rule authorizes AHRQ to conduct reviews (including announced or unannounced site visits) to assess PSO compliance with listing requirements. To assist PSOs in making the required attestations and preparing for a compliance review, AHRQ developed a Patient Safety Organizations: A Compliance Self-Assessment Guide (PDF File, 345 KB; PDF Help) to suggest approaches for thinking systematically about the scope of these requirements and what compliance may mean for an individual PSO.

Note: The questions contained within the PSO Compliance Self-Assessment Guide are illustrative only. They do not establish new standards nor are they intended to provide the only way in which to meet regulatory standards. An individual PSO should use this Guide as a starting point for assessing whether its approach to compliance has taken into account all of the most relevant questions and issues, given its mission, the services and expertise it offers providers, and its operational model for carrying out patient safety activities.


AHRQ administers the provisions of the Patient Safety Rule dealing with PSO listing and operations. For general information regarding the PSO initiative, AHRQ developed a PSO brochure (PDF file, 300 KB; PDF Help) that is designed to inform clinicians and health care providers about the benefits of working with a PSO. A document is now available that helps providers select a PSO appropriate for their needs, Choosing a Patient Safety Organization (PDF file, 1.1 MB; PDF Help). AHRQ also developed a Common Formats brochure (PDF file, 330 KB; PDF Help) that is designed to increase awareness of Common Formats among patient safety officers, risk managers, and others. To learn more about AHRQ's Common Formats, please go to:

If you would like to order printed copies of these brochures, please contact the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse toll-free at 1-800-358-9295 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) or via email at:

Federal Register Notices

The Federal Register is the official publication for rules, proposed rules, and notices of Federal agencies and organizations, as well as executive orders and other presidential documents. The list below includes all of the Federal Register notices published in conjunction with the release of the Common Formats and the PSO Compliance Self-Assessment Guide.

Common Formats

Site Specific Releases

Modules to Enhance Releases

PSO Compliance

PSO Home
Listed PSOs
Administrative Information/Forms
Common Formats
Hospital Readmissions
Network of Patient Safety Databases
Legislation, Regulations, and Guidance
PSO Contacts
AHRQAdvancing Excellence in Health Care
AHRQ footer - print version only