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TeamHealth Recognized by National Quality Agency
Date:7/1/2009

TeamHealth Demonstrates Ongoing Commitment to Patient Care through Patient Safety Organization Recognition

KNOXVILLE, Tenn., July 1 /PRNewswire/ -- TeamHealth announced today that it has been officially recognized as an organization committed to patient safety. On July 1, its patient safety organization -- the TeamHealth Patient Safety Organization (THPSO) -- was listed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the lead federal agency charged with improving the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of healthcare for all Americans, signifying that it has met the standards set by that federal agency. TeamHealth, the nation's largest provider of outsourced physician staffing and administrative services to hospitals and other healthcare providers, is the first national organization of its kind to achieve the formal designation of a listed PSO.

PSOs are designed to help clinicians, hospitals, and healthcare organizations improve patient care by encouraging them to conduct quality and safety analyses. Through federal protections of legal privilege and confidentiality authorized by the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005, PSOs foster a culture of safety and create a secure environment where providers can collect and analyze data to identify and reduce the risks and hazards associated with patient care.

"By undergoing the rigorous process to become a recognized listed Patient Safety Organization, TeamHealth underscores its mission to support its affiliated physicians and other providers in improving patient safety," says Lynn Massingale, MD, FACEP, executive chairman, TeamHealth. "We are proud to be the first national emergency medicine organization to receive this designation. This achievement exemplifies our commitment to improving the overall quality of medical care in the U.S., which has been the cornerstone of our organization for the past three decades."

"As members of the THPSO, TeamHealth affiliated providers can reap the benefits of participating in relevant continuing medical education, continuous quality improvement, and self-evaluation activities without fear of discoverability, thereby enhancing patient safety," states Gar LaSalle, MD, Chief Medical Officer, TeamHealth and THPSO Executive Director. "The Office of Civil Rights, the same agency that enforces HIPAA privacy requirements, will have official oversight of the confidentiality of material generated by the THPSO and will serve to ensure provider confidence that patient safety work product will not be disclosed outside of the PSO. I believe the THPSO will be a tremendous benefit to TeamHealth physicians and other clinicians in their commitment to further reduce risk and improve the quality of care and safety for the 11 million patients they treat annually."

The THPSO's primary focus will be to create and distribute educational and continuous quality improvement (CQI) initiatives to its members. This information will be developed by the regular collection of data from a number of different sources in order to analyze issues and develop CQI initiatives to enhance patient safety and thereby mitigate risk to patients and liability risk for TeamHealth's more than 6,200 affiliated providers.

"We know that clinicians and healthcare organizations want to participate in efforts to improve patient care, but they often are inhibited by fears of liability and sanctions," said AHRQ Director Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D. "PSOs facilitate a shared-learning approach that supports effective interventions to reduce risk of harm to patients and improve quality."

To learn more about PSOs or to view an updated directory of all listed PSOs, including the THPSO, visit the AHRQ PSO website at www.pso.ahrq.gov.

About TeamHealth

Founded in 1979, TeamHealth is headquartered in Knoxville, Tenn. Through its six principal service lines located in 12 regional sites, TeamHealth's more than 6,200 affiliated healthcare professionals provide emergency medicine, hospital medicine, teleradiology, urgent care, and pediatric staffing and management services to more than 550 civilian and military hospitals, clinics, and physician groups in 46 states. For more information about TeamHealth, visit www.teamhealth.com or call 800.818.1498.

Disclaimer: The TeamHealth Patient Safety Organization (THPSO) is a federally recognized Patient Safety Organization that acts independently of its parent organization, TeamHealth, Inc. The term "TeamHealth" represents TeamHealth, Inc., and all of its related entities. The term "TeamHealth affiliated providers" includes providers who contract with one of TeamHealth, Inc.'s affiliated entities. Neither TeamHealth, Inc., nor THPSO contract with providers to perform medical services, nor do these separate entities practice medicine in any way.


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