Press Release

Statement on HHS' Proposal to Establish Patient Safety Organizations

Rich Umbdenstock
President and CEO
American Hospital Association

February 12, 2008

Hospitals are extremely pleased that the Department of Health and Human Services has released the long-awaited rules to establish Patient Safety Organizations (PSOs).  Hospitals strongly support the creation of PSOs as one of the most important tools to spur safer patient care. 

Improving patient safety is at the heart of every hospital's mission.  Unfortunately, we know that in health care, errors can occur and often a hospital is on its own in determining strategies to help prevent errors from occurring again.  PSOs provide a better way for all hospitals that participate to learn from each other.  Hospitals will be able to look to their PSO to help identify the underlying causes of errors so that all health care providers can implement strategies to prevent harm to patients. 

Hospitals have already waited two years for this rule and this is only a first step in the process toward establishing PSOs.  We will continue to work with HHS to ensure the timely creation of PSOs so that all patients can benefit from health care improvements.

About the AHA

The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks, other providers of care and 43,000 individual members. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. For more information, visit the AHA website at

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