IOM Issues 10 HIT Recommendations for Patient Safety

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media , November 10, 2011

It says both the private and public sector need to impose greater oversight, with more required reporting. While there have been numerous reports in the media of how computers in healthcare systems have caused harm, there hasn't been a good analysis to assess the extent of the risk.

IOM Committee Recommendations

1. The Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) should publish an action and surveillance plan within 12 months that includes a schedule for
working with the private sector to assess the impact of health IT on patient safety and minimizing the risk of its implementation and use.  This would include funding from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the National Library of Medicine (NLM) for research, training, and education of safe practices such as those related to design, implementation and usability and safe use of health IT by health providers and patients.

Additionally, the IOM calls for the Office of National Coordinator (ONC) for Health IT to fund efforts to improve the way manufacturers and healthcare organizations assess the safety of health IT products, both as they are being designed and after they are marketed.

2. The HHS Secretary should ensure that health IT vendors support the free exchange of information about health IT experiences and issues and not prohibit sharing of such information, including details (e.g., screenshots) relating to patient safety.

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