Prevention, Privilege and Protection


Ellen Martin, Director of Clinical Safety Research, A&M Rural and Community Health Institute, Texas A&M University

Speaker bio:

Ellen currently serves as the Director of Clinical Safety Research for the Texas A&M Rural Community and Health Institute Patient Safety Organization. She has been registered nurse for 34 years and has held a variety of roles from direct patient care to nursing leadership. Ellen holds certifications in healthcare quality and patient safety and for over 20 year has worked in a variety of roles in healthcare quality, patient safety, and risk management across the continuum of care. She is passionate about continuous improvement of systems and processes using an appreciative inquiry approach so that teams can enjoy their work while ensuring the best possible outcomes for those in their care.

Overview Summary:

The federal Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005 (Patient Safety Act) was designed to strike a balance between maintaining confidentiality and legal protections for reporting of safety event information and maintaining accountability and patient rights. Federally listed Patient Safety Organizations (PSOs) work with healthcare providers to promote a culture of safety in several ways including data collection and analysis of patient safety event data and provide feedback to support organizational learning to reduce the risks and hazards associated with patient care. In this program, participants will learn about the provisions of the Patient Safety Act, review the patient safety event life cycle, and discuss evidence-based strategies prevent patient harm.


  • Describe the legal privilege and protections afforded to members of a federally-listed Patient Safety Organization.
  • Discuss ways that federally-listed PSO programs support members to improve quality and patient safety.
  • Identify two evidence-based strategies that have been shown to prevent or mitigate patient harm.

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