The Pennsylvania legislature established the Patient Safety Authority in 2002 to provide statewide guidance and support to protect the 47 million patients who entrust Pennsylvania healthcare facilities with their lives each year. Seventeen years later, the Authority still is the only independent state agency of its kind in the United States.
The Authority’s vision is “safe healthcare for all patients,” which it strives to achieve by collecting and analyzing patient safety information, developing solutions to patient safety issues, and sharing this information through education and collaboration.
Pennsylvania Act 13 of 2002, the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error (MCARE) Act, requires all state hospitals, ambulatory surgical facilities, birthing centers, and certain abortion facilities to report all incidents of harm, real or potential, to the Authority via the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Reporting System (PA-PSRS), a confidential, online system—the largest event reporting database in the United States and one of the largest in the world.
The Authority analyzes and evaluates all reports submitted to PA-PSRS and makes recommendations for changes in healthcare practices and procedures which may improve patient safety in Pennsylvania facilities. The Authority's role is nonpunitive and is distinguished from the role of other state agencies involved in licensing healthcare facilities or individual providers.
The Authority operates from the Patient Safety Trust Fund, a dedicated Pennsylvania Treasury account, which is administered by the Authority and is independent of the Commonwealth General Fund. Patient Safety is fully supported by this fund.