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Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request

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Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, HHS.




This notice announces the intention of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to request that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approve the proposed information collection project: “Collection of Information for Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's (AHRQ) Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture Comparative Database.” In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501-3521, AHRQ invites the public to comment on this proposed information collection.


Comments on this notice must be received by July 15, 2013.


Written comments should be submitted to: Doris Lefkowitz, Reports Clearance Officer, AHRQ, by email at

Copies of the proposed collection plans, data collection instruments, and specific details on the estimated burden can be obtained from the AHRQ Reports Clearance Officer.

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Doris Lefkowitz, AHRQ Reports Clearance Officer, (301) 427-1477, or by email at

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Proposed Project

Collection of Information for Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's (AHRQ) Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture Comparative Database.

Request for information collection approval. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) requests that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) reapprove, under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, AHRQ's collection of information for the AHRQ Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture (Hospital SOPS) Comparative Database; OMB NO. 0935-Start Printed Page 288490162, last approved on May 5th, 2010. The Hospital SOPS Comparative Database consists of data from the AHRQ Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture. Hospitals in the U.S. are asked to voluntarily submit data from the survey to AHRQ. The database was developed by AHRQ in 2006 in response to requests from hospitals interested in knowing how their patient safety culture survey results compare to those of other hospitals in their efforts to improve patient safety.

Background on the Hospital SOPS. In 1999, the Institute of Medicine called for health care organizations to develop a “culture of safety” such that their workforce and processes focus on improving the reliability and safety of care for patients (IOM, 1999; To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System). To respond to the need for tools to assess patient safety culture in health care, AHRQ developed and pilot tested the Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture with OMB approval (OMB NO. 0935-0115; Approved 2/4/2003). The survey was designed to enable hospitals to assess staff opinions about patient safety issues, medical error, and error reporting and includes 42 items that measure 12 dimensions of patient safety culture. AHRQ released the survey to the public along with a Survey User's Guide and other toolkit materials in November 2004 on the AHRQ Web site. Since its release, the survey has been voluntarily used by hundreds of hospitals in the U.S.

Rationale for the information collection. The Hospital SOPS survey and the Hospital SOPS Comparative Database are supported by AHRQ to meet its goals of promoting improvements in the quality and safety of health care in hospital settings. The surveys, toolkit materials, and comparative database results are all made publicly available along with technical assistance, provided by AHRQ through its contractor at no charge to hospitals, to facilitate the use of these materials for hospital patient safety and quality improvement.

This study is being conducted by AHRQ through its contractor, Westat, pursuant to AHRQ's statutory authority to conduct and support research on healthcare and on systems for the delivery of such care, including activities with respect to: the quality, effectiveness, efficiency, appropriateness and value of healthcare services; quality measurement and improvement; and database development. 42 U.S.C. 299a(a)(1), (2), and (a)(8).

Method of Collection

All information collection for the Hospital SOPS Comparative Database is done electronically, except the Data Use Agreement (DUA) that hospitals sign in hard copy and fax or mail back. Registration, submission of hospital information, and data upload is handled online through a secure Web site. Delivery of confidential hospital survey feedback reports is also done electronically by having submitters enter a username and password and downloading their reports from a secure Web site.

Survey data from the AHRQ Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture is used to produce three types of products: (1) An annual Hospital SOPS Comparative Database Report that is made publicly available in the public domain; (2) Individual Hospital Survey Feedback Reports that are confidential, customized reports produced for each hospital that submits data to the database; and (3) Research data sets of individual-level and hospital-level de-identified data to enable researchers to conduct analyses.

Estimated Annual Respondent Burden

Hospitals administer the AHRQ Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture every 20 months on average. Therefore, the number of hospital submissions to the database varies because hospitals do not submit data every year. Data submission is typically handled by one point-of-contact (POC) who is either a hospital patient safety manager or a survey vendor. The POC completes a number of data submission steps and forms, beginning with completion of an online Eligibility and Registration Form. The POCs typically submit data on behalf of 3 hospitals, on average, because many hospitals are part of a multi-hospital system that is submitting data, or the POC is a vendor that is submitting data for multiple hospitals. Exhibits 1 and 2 are based on an estimated 304 individual POCs who will complete the database submission steps and forms in the coming years, not based on the number of “hospitals.” The Hospital Information Form is completed by all POCs for each of their hospitals. The total annual burden hours are estimated to be 1,793.

Exhibit 2 shows the estimated annualized cost burden based on the respondents' time to submit their data. The cost burden is estimated to be $91,297 annually.

Exhibit 1—Estimated Annualized Burden Hours

Form nameNumber of respondents/POCsNumber of responses per POCHours per responseTotal burden hours
Eligibility/Registration Form and Data Submission30415.61,702
Data Use Agreement30413/6015
Hospital Information Form30435/6076
*The Eligibility and Registration Form requires 3 minutes to complete; however about 5.5 hours is required to prepare/plan for the data submission. This includes the amount of time POCs and other hospital staff (CEO, lawyer, database administrator) typically spend deciding whether to participate in the database and preparing their materials and data set for submission to the database, and performing the submission.

Exhibit 2—Estimated Annualized Cost Burden

Form nameNumber of respondents/POCsTotal burden hoursAverage hourly wage rate*Total cost burden
Eligibility/Registration Form and Data Submission3041,702$50.95$86,717
Data Use Agreement3041550.33755
Hospital Information Form3047650.333,825
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*Wage rates were calculated using the mean hourly wage based on occupational employment and wage estimates from the Dept of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics' May 2012 National Industry-Specific Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates NAICS 622000—Hospitals, located at​oes/​current/​naics3_​622000.htm. Wage rate of $50.33 is based on the mean hourly wages for Medical and Health Services Managers (11-9111). Wage rate of $50.95 is the weighted mean hourly wage for: Medical and Health Services Managers (11-9111; $50.33 × 2.6 hours = $130.86), Lawyers (23-1011; $72.71 × 0.5 hours 436.36), Chief Executives (11-1011($95.36 (0.5 hours = $47.68), and Database Administrators (15-1141; $35.20 × 2 hours = $70.40) [Weighted mean = ($130.86 + 36.36 + 47.68 + 70.40)/5.6 hours = $285.3015.6 hours = $50.95/hour].

Request for Comments

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, comments on AHRQ's information collection are requested with regard to any of the following: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of AHRQ health care research and health care information dissemination functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of AHRQ's estimate of burden (including hours and costs) of the proposed collection(s) of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information upon the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and included in the Agency's subsequent request for OMB approval of the proposed information collection. All comments will become a matter of public record.

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Dated: May 7, 2013.

Carolyn M. Clancy,

AHRQ Director.

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[FR Doc. 2013-11340 Filed 5-15-13; 8:45 am]