This article provides an overview of the National Patient Safety Board Act of 2022; legislation which has been introduced in the USA to establish an independent federal agency dedicated to preventing and reducing healthcare-related harms.
What is the National Patient Safety Board?
Since early 2021 there has been a growing coalition of healthcare organisations and groups calling to create the National Patient Safety Board in the United States. This is a proposed federal agency with the goal of preventing and reducing patient safety events in healthcare settings, modelled after the National Transportation Board and the Commercial Aviation Safety Team.
Nanette Barragán, US representative for California’s 44th Congressional District, has announced the introduction of new legislation intended to establish a National Patient Safety Board as a non-punitive, collaborative, independent agency to address safety in healthcare. Its proposed duties are:
- Supporting Federal departments and agencies in monitoring and anticipating patient safety events with patient safety data surveillance technologies.
- Providing expertise to study the context and causes of patient safety events and solutions.
- Formulating recommendations and solutions to prevent patient safety events from occurring.
In carrying out this role, the National Patient Safety Board would be required to submit annual reports to the United States Congress and would also be able to hold hearings, take testimony, receive evidence and issue reports as appropriate.
It’s proposed to comprise:
- Five Board members, each nominated by the President, by and with the advice and consent for the US Senate, for a term of 6 years.
- A Chair and Vice Chair, designated by the President from among the members of the Board to serve a term of 3 years.
It is also proposed that it establishes and maintains a public-private team, known as the Health Care Safety Team, to sit underneath this to review, update and prioritise patient safety event measures and data sources related to patient and provider safety in healthcare settings, including survey data, electronic health records data, claims data, health information exchange data and reports of patient safety events.
National Patient Safety Board campaign
You can find out more details about the campaign to support the creation of a National Patient Safety Board, and if relevant how to contact your US House member’s office in regards to this, here.
- National Patient Safety Board, About, Last Accessed 9 December 2022.
- National Patient Safety Board, A New Solution to Address the Problem of Medical Errors, 26 July 2022.
- Business Wire, House Bill Establishes Federal Agency Dedicated to Patient Safety, 8 December 2022.
- H.R.9377 - 117th Congress (2021-2022): National Patient Safety Board Act of 2022, 1 December 2022.