Partnership for Health IT Patient Safety Urges Organizations to Integrate Health IT into Safety Programs

New recommendations for providers and vendors for developing, implementing, and integrating a health IT safety program

April 19, 2018

PLYMOUTH MEETING, PA—Health information technology (IT) is integral to healthcare today. The health IT ecosystem includes combinations of “home grown" legacy systems, commercial systems, and technology-driven devices (e.g., smart pumps, scales, glucometers, and anesthesia equipment). The use of these technologies can affect patient safety, both positively and negatively.

The Partnership for Health IT Patient Safety, a multi-stakeholder collaborative convened and operated by ECRI Institute, released a new report that examines the need for integrating health IT safety into an organization's safety program. The practices outlined in the report recognize the unintended consequences of technology's use and the potential to improve safety by incorporating technology.

"Health IT safety, in some ways, is like an iceberg, with the bulk of the potential safety risks, as well as the new potential safety uses, remaining hidden," says ECRI Institute's Lorraine Possanza, DPM, JD, MBE, program director. "Clarity and recognition will come only with additional investigation and knowledge."

The Partnership workgroup identified issues that exist below the surface and developed three safe practice recommendations—building blocks for integrating, collaborating, and embedding (ICE) clinical safety efforts:

  • Integrate: Identify ways to integrate health IT safety into existing safety programs
  • Collaborate: Convene the necessary stakeholders, including users, vendors, organizations, and patients to actively collaborate on safety
  • Embed: Embed safety into the culture and daily workflow to achieve a unified vision of health IT safety

The Partnership's publicly available report, Safe Practice Recommendations for Developing, Implementing, and Integrating a Health IT Safety Program, includes infographics, case examples, tools for leaders, providers, and vendors, self-assessment questionnaires, and many other resources.

The Partnership, established in 2014, includes healthcare providers, health IT developers, academic researchers, patient safety organizations, liability insurers, professional societies, and patient advocates. The Partnership provides a non-punitive learning environment that mitigates risk and facilitates improvement. The Partnership is sponsored in part through funding from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

To learn more about the Partnership, visit, or contact us by telephone at (610) 825-6000; by e-mail at; or by mail at 5200 Butler Pike, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462.

Social Sharing

  • #HealthIT Safety Collaborative releases new safe practices for Developing, Implementing, and Integrating a #HITSafety Program
  • #HITPartnership, w/ @ECRI_Institute, release new Safe Practice recommendations

About ECRI Institute
ECRI Institute (, a nonprofit organization, dedicates itself to bringing the discipline of applied scientific research to healthcare to discover which medical procedures, devices, drugs, and processes enable improved patient care. As pioneers in this science for 50 years, ECRI Institute marries experience and independence with the objectivity of evidence-based research. Strict conflict-of-interest guidelines ensure objectivity. ECRI Institute is designated an Evidence-based Practice Center by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. ECRI Institute PSO is listed as a federally certified Patient Safety Organization by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

For more information, contact:
Laurie Menyo, Director of Public Relations and Marketing Communications
(610) 825-6000, ext. 5310