Patient Safety

Is there a way to implement Health IT that maximizes patient safety? What are the considerations an organization must address if they want to ensure their implementation is accomplished with that goal? The Patient Safety Action Items listed below will help you do that.

We are currently in the process of building a new Pathways section, one that focuses on sharing best technical and operational practices to ensure the safe implementation and use of health IT. A key driver to this new pathway is The Joint Commission's recent Sentinel Alert #54. Alert 54 examines the socio-technical factors associated with the implementation and utilization of health information technology that can potentially place the patient at risk, including data errors caused by usability, workflow and communication issues, weaknesses in training, and governance issues. Alert 54 makes recommendations for the development of a safety culture, process improvement and leadership that mitigate the risks associated with the use of a health IT-enabled intervention.

In this enhanced Pathway, HIMSS Davies Award recipients will share their best practices for mitigating risk associated with the use of health information technology. Key questions include:

  • How does a healthcare organization create and maintain an organizational-wide culture of safety, high reliability and effective change management?
  • How does a healthcare organization implement a proactive, methodical approach to health IT process improvement that includes assessing patient safety risks? Are the ONC SAFER Guides used to identify potential risks to patients and system failures before they occur?
  • What processes does a safe healthcare organization have in place for information governance, multi-disciplinary involvement in addressing potential risks, vendor selection and involvement, change management, and monitoring of system effectiveness?

This new Pathways section is scheduled to go live in the 3rd Quarter of the 2016 fiscal year. In the meantime, action items listed below offer excellent points to help your organization develop a high-value patient safety program that leverages the power of health information technology.