Friday, July 12, 2013

This Seems Like A Pretty Important Step To Me. Addressing Health IT Safety.

The following appeared a little while ago:

HHS finalizes health IT safety plan

July 2, 2013 | By Susan D. Hall
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has released a final health IT safety plan to eliminate medical errors related to technology and better protect patients.
The plan further builds on recommendations from a 2011 Institute of Medicine report and from public comments, based on proposals released in December, according to an announcement.
It calls for shared responsibility within HHS and for significant participation from the private sector. Its planned actions fall into three categories, including:
  • Learn: To make it easier for clinicians to report patient safety events and risks from using EHRs; to collect and analyze data on patient safety events; to incorporate health IT safety in post-market surveillance of EHRs.
  • Improve: To use Meaningful Use and the National Quality Strategy to establish and advance health IT patient safety priorities; to incorporate safety into certification criteria for health IT products; to investigate and take corrective action as necessary.
  • Lead: To encourage private-sector leadership and shared responsibility for health IT patient safety; to develop a strategy and recommendations for an appropriate, risk-based regulatory framework for health IT; and to establish an ONC Safety Program to coordinate implementation of the Health IT Safety Plan.
More here with links to the plan:
There is more coverage here:

HHS signs off on IT patient-safety plan

Posted: July 2, 2013 - 3:45 pm ET
HHS has released its final plan to address patient safety issues arising from the use of health information technology. But putting in place a framework to monitor and then act on those issues remains a work in progress.
One significant change, however, compared to a draft plan released in December, was the addition of a role for the Joint Commission to assist HHS' Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology in “detecting and proactively addressing potential health IT-related safety issues,” according to a five-page fact sheet (PDF) about the plan.
The Joint Commission will investigate and analyze health-IT related adverse events, develop follow-up and corrective action plans and create a database of sentinel events for research and develop a scheme to classify them. The one-year contract is for $524,017 through June 2014, with a one-year option for $248,245. The contract requires the Joint Commission to prepare a final report and a research paper on IT-linked sentinel events after the first year.
The plan also calls for tools to be built into electronic health records systems and other HIT to facilitate the reporting of possible HIT-linked safety incidents, both internally and to patient safety organizations, which, under the plan, are a first aggregation point for such reports outside of an organization.
ONC will “propose standards and certification criteria that make it easier for providers to quickly generate incident reports from data stored in” EHRs, the fact sheet said. One of those standards, developed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, are “common formats” for incident reporting, which need to be updated “so that clinicians can more easily record and report” HIT-related incidents.
“Now the planning stage is over; today's the day the program gets launched,” said Dr. Jacob Reider, chief medical officer at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at HHS, which released the 47-page “Health Information Technology Patient Safety Action and Surveillance Plan” today.
Lots more here:
Also there is more found here:

ONC plan makes reporting IT hazards easy

Posted on Jul 02, 2013
By Erin McCann, Associate Editor
With sights set on utilizing health IT to curb the alarming number of medical errors that transpire each year, ONC officials unveiled Tuesday their final plan to bolster patient safety initiatives nationwide. 
Officials say the Health IT Patient Safety Action & Surveillance Plan builds on recommendations from the 2011 Institute of Medicine report on Health IT and Patient Safety. ONC has created the Health IT Patient Safety Program, within the Office of the Chief Medical Officer, to coordinate this undertaking.
“When implemented and used properly, health IT is an important tool in finding and avoiding medical errors and protecting patients,” said National Coordinator for Health IT Farzad Mostashari, MD, in a July 2 press statement. “This plan will help us make sure that these new technologies are used to make health care safer.”
The plan outlines the responsibilities to be shared across HHS and details significant participation from the private sector.
More here:
I found it very interesting just how clear the authors are that this is all a work in progress and that there are still many more questions than answers.

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