Virginia Patient Safety Organization

Virginia Patient Safety Organization (PSO)


The mission and primary activity of the Virginia PSO is to conduct Patient Safety Activities in order to assist PSO members in improving patient safety and the quality of health care delivery.

About Us:

The Virginia PSO is a component organization of the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association and the VHHA Foundation, formerly known as the Virginia Hospital Research & Education Foundation, created under the authority of the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005.

The Virginia PSO was established to assist Virginia hospitals, health systems, and other health care organizations in providing the safest and highest quality of care to their patients.

The Virginia PSO is supported by the ECRI Institute. ECRI, formerly known as the Emergency Care Research Institute, is a nonprofit organization that researches ways to improve patient care that works with PSO members to provide feedback and analysis about the patient safety data submitted by participating providers. The feedback will help providers identify strategies to improve patient safety and healthcare quality using:

  • Web-based data collection with standardized data formats.
  • Automated reports on events submitted by members and on aggregated events at the national level.
  • PSO Navigator™, ECRI Institute’s quarterly advisory, which provides aggregate and de-identified data, lessons learned and evidence-based best practices and solutions.
  • Independent critique of root-cause analyses and other patient safety and quality analyses.

Benefits of Virginia PSO Participation:

  • Mechanism for data aggregation and learning about ways to avoid harm – The PSO structure ensures uniform collection (using the AHRQ common formats) and aggregation of meaningful adverse event data, including root cause analyses, for the purpose of analysis, trending and identification of improvement opportunities and avoidance of harm across multiple organizations using both state and national comparative data.
  • Demonstrating commitment to improving patient safety in Virginia – Participation in a PSO demonstrates your facility’s accountability for safety improvement to providers, the public and public officials. By pooling resources and sharing ideas with other PSO participants you will have the opportunity to proactively improve patient safety.
  • Legal protection – The Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005 establishes strong federal confidentiality and privilege protections for information that clinicians and provider organizations assemble and develop when conducting quality and safety deliberations and analysis within a PSO.
  • Regulatory compliance – There is a provision in the federal Affordable Care Act that will obligate health plans participating in health insurance exchanges to ensure that by January 1, 2015, all hospitals greater than 50 beds with whom they contract are “utilizing a patient safety evaluation system as described in part C of title IX of the Public Health Service Act” (the section of federal law establishing PSOs). Joining a PSO by the end of 2014 would ensure compliance with this ACA requirement.

How to Join:

Hospitals that wish to participate in the Virginia PSO must sign a separate PSO Membership Agreement and pay an annual fee. For more information, please contact Kristie Burnette at or (804) 965-1226.