Patient Safety Organization (PSO)

Tennessee Hospital Association PSO, a component of the Tennessee Hospital Association


In an effort to help healthcare organizations advance patient safety through learning from adverse events, the federal government established patient safety organizations (PSOs) via the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005 (PSQIA). 

In the PSO program, member organizations voluntarily share adverse event information to a PSO for aggregation and analysis. The reported information, known as ‘patient safety work product (PSWP)’, receives federal confidentiality and privilege protection. As PSOs analyze adverse event information from multiple organizations, they gain insights into common contributing factors, event trends, and key learnings that are then shared with PSO member organizations through personal feedback, development of guidelines, or education offerings such as publications, webinars, and inservices.

Share - Protect - Learn - Improve

Tennessee Hospital Association PSO is a federally certified patient safety organization under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). THA PSO contracted ECRI and Institute for Safe Medication Practices Institute PSO (ECRI/ISMP PSO) to provide a secure warehouse for reported safety event information and assist with data analysis, member feedback, and education offerings. This gives THA PSO members the benefit of local support and access to resources from a long-standing, well-regarded healthcare safety organization. Because ECRI/ISMP PSO is a contractor for several PSOs, they provide a multi-PSO safety event database to which individual PSO member organizations can compare their aggregate information. Hospitals and other healthcare providers located or headquartered in Tennessee are eligible to join THA PSO.

  • It is the mission of THA PSO to advance a culture of safety and high reliability; increase knowledge and adoption of best safety practices; and prevent patient harm or risk of harm through protected sharing, analysis, and learning from patient safety events and near misses.

  • The purpose of THA PSO is to make healthcare delivery safer and more effective among member providers through the provision of patient safety activities as defined in the Patient Safety Quality Improvement Act (PSQIA).

Hospitals or other hospital-owned healthcare providers that wish to participate in the THA PSO program must sign a PSO Membership Agreement and pay an annual fee. Tennessee-based regional healthcare systems may join as a system, including hospitals located in border states. For more information, please contact Karizma Whitfield, TCPS Program Manager, at 615-401-7427.

Reported patient safety work product (PSWP) is protected by federal law. It may not be used in criminal, civil, administrative, or disciplinary proceedings. PSWP may only be disclosed pursuant to an applicable disclosure permission specified in the Patient Safety Rule.

These protections are in place to encourage participation in the reporting and study of patient safety events. Strong privacy and confidentiality protections may lead providers to discuss adverse events, and the causes of those events, without the fear of liability from the information shared regarding the events. As more providers participate in sharing and discussing patient safety events, there will be more opportunity to acknowledge and address the causes of events and to improve patient safety.


PSO Quick Links


Access to this website requires a username and password, which can be obtained by contacting Karizma Whitfield.

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Patient Safety Organization (PSO)