Health IT Safe Practices

Recommendations and implementation toolkits to make health IT safer

Workgroups established by the Partnership for Health IT Patient Safety (Partnership) for in-depth study of health IT events have developed safe practice recommendations and toolkits. These resources are intended to help healthcare providers across the continuum of care address key health IT issues.

Leveraging systems data

The widespread use of electronic health records (EHRs) may post new opportunities to drive safety through the evaluation of systems data captured within EHRs. The Partnership’s most recent work looks at systems data to determine how to gather, aggregate, and learn from this information.

Closing the loop

In a follow up to previously developed safe practice recommendations, the Partnership’s latest workgroup has just released a white paper and step-by-step guide for implementing these closing the loop recommendations. In its pilot program, sites implemented safe practices and focused on tracking the information necessary to complete diagnostic evaluation.

Drug allergy interactions

Access to accurate drug allergy information through electronic health records (EHR) is vital to providing safe patient care. While utilization of this information and clinical decision support (CDS) tools have reduced negative medication interactions, adverse events still happen. Working collaboratively, it is possible to identify new ways to improve drug allergy alerts, a common type of CDS, and improve safety. The Partnership established a workgroup—chaired by Michael R. Cohen, RPh, MS, ScD, DPS, FASHP and Christina Michalek, RPh, BSc Pharm, FASHP of The Institute for Safe Medication Practices—to address this topic.

Partnership resources

Safer opioid prescribing

The Partnership, together with the HIMSS Electronic Health Record Association (EHRA), have released new guidance for safer opioid prescribing through electronic health records (EHRs). This workgroup brought together experts from companies that develop, market, and support EHRs to develop strategies to support clinicians with pain management decisions at the point of care.

Health IT safety program

Health IT is an integral part of healthcare today. Development and use of these technologies can both positively and negatively affect patient safety. Working collaboratively it is possible to see the benefits of incorporating health IT safety and safety lessons into a safety program. The Partnership established a workgroup—chaired by Patricia P. Sengstack, DNP, RN-BC, FAAN, of Vanderbilt University—to address this topic.

Partnership resources

Patient identification

Patient identification errors can result in grave consequences, including delayed or inappropriate care and misdiagnoses. The workgroup—chaired by Hardeep Singh, MD, MPH, Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Baylor College of Medicine, Houston—established eight safe practice recommendations.

Partnership resources

Copy and paste

The issue of copying and pasting health information (e.g., orders, notes, labels) is widespread, often underreported, and has the potential to cause adverse patient safety events. The multidisciplinary group of stakeholders—chaired by—Tejal Gandhi, MD, MPH, CPPS, National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF)/Institute for Healthcare Improvement—agreed upon and endorsed four safe practice recommendations.

Partnership resources

External resources

Patient Safety and Health | 3-Part Podcast Series with AllScripts

Patient Safety 20 Years after 'To Err is Human'

Allscripts, a Partnership Collaborator, recently looked at the state of patient safety 20 years after the seminal report To Err is Human. In their report, Allscripts sought input from various stakeholders.