In 2002, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania created the Patient Safety Authority, the “PSA”, to monitor all medical mistakes at health care facilities, including hospitals, free-standing surgical centers, birthing centers and abortion clinics in the Commonwealth (nursing home incidents are also documented, under a another agency).  Pursuant to the law which created the PSA, all these facilities must report every medical mistake to the Pennsylvania Patient Reporting System, which is operated by the PSA.  All mistakes must be reported, from “near-miss incidents” to serious injuries.

The PSA helps Pennsylvania healthcare facilities take their knowledge and expertise to the next level by working with each other to prevent medical errors and improve patient safety. Through these collaborative efforts, the PSA has been able to engage in review of numerous issues, including wrong-site surgery, mislabeling blood specimen events, harmful falls, surgical-site infections, central-line associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) and adverse drug events.

The PSA is funded through a fee collected from all facilities that report to it. By centralizing the accrual of such information, the PSA can examine incidents statewide over a period of time and this enables the Authority to recognize trends and then recommend practices that make medical facilities safer. The PSA is supported by a Board of Directors that includes three physicians, three attorneys, three nurses, a pharmacist and a non-healthcare worker.

The PSA has given the state a great way to track and stay on top of these incidents. If you are interested to find out more information you can visit their website here. On their website they offer not only information about the incidents but also educational tools that can help keep patients safe.