AHRQ Enhancing Hospital Patient Safety Programs Using Key Tools
As a subcontractor to a small business, AFYA, Inc., ECRI Institute quality improvement specialists are working with hospitals for a three-year period to assist in implementing the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Tool Kits: Preventing Pressure Ulcers in Hospitals and Preventing Falls in Hospitals, to improve quality of care.
AHRQ Health IT Hazard Manager
The Health IT Hazard Manager was developed through a federally funded project led by Abt Associates with ECRI Institute and Geisinger Health System's Patient Safety Institute. The Hazard Manager was designed to collect information about IT hazards to create a central repository of data. ECRI Institute has since incorporated the Health IT Hazard Manager into its PSO reporting system.
AHRQ Healthcare Horizon Scanning System
ECRI Institute, under a contract with AHRQ, created the Healthcare Horizon Scanning System to conduct horizon scanning of emerging health care technologies and innovations to better inform patient-centered outcomes research investments at AHRQ through the Effective Health Care Program. The Healthcare Horizon Scanning System provides AHRQ a systematic process to identify and monitor emerging technologies and innovations in healthcare and to create an inventory of interventions that have the highest potential for impact on clinical care, the health care system, patient outcomes, and costs. ECRI Institute is tracking hundreds of treatments that could potentially affect care delivery and coverage in more than a dozen areas, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, functional limitations, obesity, and infectious diseases.
AHRQ National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC) and National Quality Measures Clearinghouse (NQMC)
AHRQ, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded ECRI Institute the contract to operate, maintain, and enhance the National Guideline Clearinghouse™ (NGC™) and National Quality Measures Clearinghouse™ (NQMC™). Combined, the websites receive more than 3.4 million visits annually.
NGC and NQMC are publicly accessible, searchable databases of summaries of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines and healthcare quality measures, measure sets, and related information. The information is presented in a standardized format that facilitates quick retrieval and comparison among guidelines and quality measures on similar topics.
Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
Through a contract with the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), ECRI Institute provides a customized website with guidance, tools, and e-newsletters covering current topics in patient safety and risk management. This contract also provides online courses, targeted publications, webinars, and risk analysis tools to over 1,200 HRSA-funded health centers and free clinics with 8,000 locations.
Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC)
To help clinicians and other electronic health record (EHR) users address health IT-related safety issues, ECRI Institute, under a subcontract to Westat, developed a guide and slide deck called How to Identify and Address Unsafe Conditions Associated with Health IT. The guide aims to help healthcare organizations, Patient Safety Organizations, health IT technology developers, industry professional associations, and risk management and liability insurance companies improve reporting of unsafe conditions associated with health IT, EHRs in particular. This guide is one of a series of tools facilitated by ONC to address the potential unintended consequences of health IT.
In a second subcontract to Westat, ECRI Institute PSO participated in a project: Health Information Technology Adverse Event Reporting: Analysis of Two Databases, as part of ONC's HIT Safety Plan Implementation Support. The purpose of this study was to answer several questions about the use of the Common Formats to capture information about health IT-related safety events, and to analyze both structured data and narrative descriptions of these events to better understand their patterns and impacts.
As a subcontractor to RAND Health, ECRI Institute assisted in an ONC project and report Promoting Patient Safety Through Effective Health Information Technology Risk Management. The project, conducted by RAND Health, ECRI Institute, the University of Texas, and Baylor College of Medicine, facilitated the identification of safety risks associated with health information technology by 11 healthcare organizations, including hospitals and ambulatory practices, and the implementation of risk management activities in each organization. The project also evaluated the implementation effort through site visits and phone interviews. The report summarizes the implementation process, six case studies, and recurring themes from the case studies that offer lessons for risk management of health IT in hospitals and ambulatory practices. The report is of interest to federal and state policymakers, health care organizations, health IT developers, health services and health policy researchers, and others with responsibilities related to designing and implementing health IT and health IT risk management policies and programs.
Statewide Patient Safety Reporting Systems
As prime contractor to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's Patient Safety Authority and to the Washington, D.C., Department of Health, ECRI Institute develops and implements statewide mandatory patient safety reporting systems using web-based data collection and reporting tools. ECRI Institute patient safety specialists analyze the data collected and develop advisories, resources, education, and tools to help healthcare organizations take actions to prevent patient safety events.