ONC Safety Updates to Health IT Playbook and Privacy Policy Snapshot Challenge Deadline

On April 21, 2017, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT unveiled new patient safety updates to the ONC Health IT Playbook. The Safety Assurance Factors for Electronic Health Record Resilience (SAFER) Guides were added to the Playbook with a goal of helping clinicians implement decisions to reduce EHR associated patient harm. 

The SAFER Guides were initially published in January 2014 and were updated as a result of the rapid evolution of health IT since their original release.  The SAFER Guides include the following:


  • Easy-to-use templates for voluntary provider self-assessment of EHR related vulnerabilities;
  • Compilations of evidence-based, expert-recommended practices for a key focus area;
  • Recommendations, checklists, and note templates that can be used by teams to thoroughly assess the safety and usability of EHRs while lessening data-related burdens;
  • A new recommendation to the Test Results and Follow-up Reporting Guide to improve communication of abnormal results to patients which is based on recommendations from the National Academy of Medicine; and 
  • An update to the Contingency Planning Guide reflecting best practices for prevention and mitigation of ransomware attacks as well as new recommendations about “downtimes.”

Learn about some of the new features of the SAFER Guides and content at a public webinar on Wednesday, March 29, 2017 at 2:30 – 4:00pm ET. Register here: Health IT Playbook Webinar

The ONC Privacy Policy Snapshot Challenge deadline is approaching on Monday, April 10, 2017 by 2:00pm ET.  Recognizing a need for an updated, broader Model Privacy Notice (MPN), ONC with the help of OCR, FTC, and various stakeholders, developed new MPN content and launched the Challenge

The Challenge provides an award to the creators of the best MPN generator that produces a customizable MPN for health technology developers.  Challenge participants are asked to use the content from the MPN template and create an online tool that can generate a user-friendly snapshot of a product’s privacy practices.