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Author(s) National Research Council
Title Health IT and Patient Safety: Building Safer Systems for Better Care
Description To protect Americans from potential medical errors associated with the use of information technology in patient care, a new report by the Institute of Medicine calls for greater oversight by the public and private sectors. The report examines a broad range of health information technologies, including electronic health records, secure patient portals, and health information exchanges, but not software for medical devices. If implemented appropriately, health IT can help improve health care providersí performance, better communication between patients and providers, and enhance patient safety, which ultimately may lead to better care for Americans. Health IT is designed to help improve the performance of health professionals, reduce costs, and enhance patient safety. For example, the number of patients who receive the correct medication in hospitals increases when these hospitals implement well-planned, robust computerized prescribing mechanisms and use barcoding systems. However, poorly designed health IT can create new hazards in the already complex delivery of care.

In the wake of more widespread use of health IT, the Department of Health and Human Services asked the IOM to evaluate health IT safety concerns and to recommend ways that both government and the private sector can make patient care safer using health IT. The IOM finds that safe use of health IT relies on several factors, clinicians and patients among them. Safety analyses should not look for a single cause of problems but should consider the system as a whole when looking for ways to make a safer system. Vendors, users, government, and the private sector all have roles to play. The IOMís recommendations include improving transparency in the reporting of health IT safety incidents and enhancing monitoring of health IT products.
Date Published (YYYY) 2011
URL http://books.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=13269
Recommended By D. Covvey
Date Added August 20, 2012
Source The National Academies Press
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