Careful HIT Planning and Implementation Can Avoid Patient Safety RisksFeb 10th, 2013 | By admin | Category: Current Feature
A new study intended to raise awareness about patient safety and health information technology has found five key areas of concern — areas which can be avoided with proper planning and implementation.
Concerned about the unintended consequences of HIT and the potential for errors to cause patient harm, ECRI Institute Patient Safety Organization (PSO) recently conducted a PSO Deep Dive™ analysis on HIT-related safety events. The just-released 48-page report identified five potential problem areas, which can be assessed with the accompanying toolkit. The report and toolkit are available for purchase without membership in ECRI Institute PSO.
“Minimizing the unintended consequences of HIT systems and maximizing the potential of HIT to improve patient safety should be an ongoing focus of every healthcare organization,” says Karen P. Zimmer, MD, MPH, FAAP, medical director, ECRI Institute PSO.
The federal government is spending about $19 billion to encourage hospitals, physician practices, and other healthcare organizations to invest in their health information technology (HIT) infrastructure with the goal of improving patient safety and quality through the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act.
Based on reports submitted to the PSO from participating organizations, ECRI Institute PSO experts identified the following key HIT-related problems:
· inadequate data transfer from one HIT system to another
· data entry in the wrong patient record
· incorrect data entry in the patient record
· failure of the HIT system to function as intended
· configuration of the system in a way that can lead to mistakes
To collect enough reports for meaningful evaluation, ECRI Institute PSO asked participating organizations to submit standardized data about HIT events during a nine-week period. This enabled ECRI Institute PSO to identify patterns and trends from the aggregated data and share the findings, as well as its recommendations. The data in the PSO Deep Dive represents only that collected using the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) HIT Common Formats. ECRI Institute PSO data encompasses over 800 HIT-related events.
According to the report, HIT must be considered in the context of the environment in which it operates during the three phases of any HIT project: planning for new or replacement systems, system implementation, and ongoing use and evaluation of the system. “Shortsighted approaches to HIT can lead to adverse consequences,” caution the authors.
“Healthcare organizations should consider the findings and recommendations in the PSO Deep Dive as part of their effort to achieve those goals,” adds Zimmer.
The HIT PSO Deep Dive findings were published in a 48-page report and toolkit with self-assessment questionnaire and action plan form available to all ECRI Institute PSO Members and its partner PSO members. The table of contents of the report is available for free viewing/download. Additional information will be presented in ECRI Institute PSO’s Monthly Brief free e-newsletter March edition; go to www.ecri.org/psobrief to sign up. The full report and toolkit are also available for purchase.