ECRI Institute Issues Proceedings, Convenes Multi-Stakeholder Workgroup on Health IT Safety


The Partnership for Health IT Patient Safety, an innovative and collaborative multi-stakeholder effort, took important steps in improving health IT safety at its first in-person meeting held in September at ECRI Institute's U.S. headquarters outside Philadelphia. Proceedings from this event are now available for free public access at The Partnering for Success meeting provided a forum for addressing health IT safety and innovation as a shared responsibility among stakeholders including: providers, health IT vendors, associations, patient safety organizations, and researchers. 

An initial outcome from the meeting was the formation of workgroups to study why specific safety problems are occurring and identify best practices for preventing recurrence. The first workgroup is focusing on the unsafe aspects of copy-paste in the electronic health record. This workgroup, chaired by Tejal Gandhi, MD, MPH, CPPS, president and chief executive officer of the National Patient Safety Foundation, comprises 20 individuals representing all of the different stakeholders participating in the partnership. The workgroup will be meeting through the summer of 2015 and releasing recommendations and best practices.

This and other workgroups will study why reported events are occurring and identify best practices for preventing recurrence. Gandhi stated at the Partnering for Success meeting that, "We can try to identify issues and concerns that we have with health information technology. But what's really going to be critical is to then take that information and create some best practices."

The Partnering for Success meeting focused on ways to advance actionable solutions through collaboration. Ronni Solomon, JD, executive vice president and general counsel, ECRI Institute, opened the meeting by summarizing the overarching goals and methods of the Partnership. "What's the purpose of the Partnership? We want to make healthcare safer together. Our objective is to establish a non-punitive learning environment in which to share lessons learned and make positive change."

Solomon emphasized the importance of working together with fellow participants (also discussed in a video for the Patient Safety Movement). "I think the true innovation is that we're all working together, not in a silo. This is the group that's going to make something happen," says Solomon.

Having all stakeholders participate together in the meeting was a novel and unprecedented opportunity for dialogue between all involved. "We absolutely need our health IT vendors to be working with organizations as we problem solve," emphasized Terhilda Garrido, MPH, ELP, vice president, HIT Transformation & Analytics in National Quality at Kaiser Permanente. "None of us has the sole understanding of such complex systems and how to both identify and remediate issues."

Proceedings from the meeting provide insight on health IT challenges, barriers, and emerging priorities. They are publicly available in ECRI Institute's Center for Health IT Safety and Innovation. The Center is a free education resource site intended to provide access to a range of resources on health information technology (IT) safety including general guidance, as well as more in-depth research on medical device connectivity and electronic health records.

The Partnership, convened by ECRI Institute and sponsored in part through a grant from the Jayne Koskinas Ted Giovanis Foundation (JKTG) for Health and Policy, leverages the work of multiple PSOs, along with providers, health IT vendors, an expert advisory panel, and professional societies to create a non-punitive learning environment that mitigates risk and facilitates improvement.

Source: ECRI Institute


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