The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the Health IT Patient Safety Action and Surveillance Plan this week. Health Information Technology can eliminate medical errors, improve the quality of care, protect patients and make the healthcare system more efficient. The Plan, which builds on the Department’s overall commitment to patient safety, is open for public comment through Feb. 4, 2013 and addresses recommendations made in the 2011 Institute of Medicine (IOM) Report, Health IT and Patient Safety: Building Safer Systems for Better Care.
“This report will help all of us better use health IT to deliver high quality care and improve patient safety," said National Coordinator for Health IT Farzad Mostashari, M.D.
Clinicians who report adverse events provide necessary data for developers, providers, researchers and policymakers to improve the safety of health IT and make care safer. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) will propose using electronic health record certification criteria to make it easier for clinicians to report patient safety events. Working with ONC, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will align its health and safety standards and guidance for providers and suppliers. CMS will also develop training for surveyors that enhances their ability to identify safe and unsafe practices associated with health IT.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s (AHRQ) Common Formats will give providers common definitions and reporting formats to improve how they gather, review and report adverse event data. AHRQ will also encourage reporting to Patient Safety Organizations (PSOs) and increase health care provider adoption of the formats.
Please see the plan here.