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In 2013, ECRI Institute convened the Partnership for Health IT Patient Safety, a multi-stakeholder collaborative whose purpose is to make health information technology (IT) safer together. In the short time since, the Partnership has become the focal point for the collaborative efforts of many groups, including healthcare providers, health IT developers/vendors, academic researchers, patient safety organizations, medical malpractice insurers, and professional societies.

The Partnership is proving successful at bringing together and engaging major stakeholders in collaborative efforts to make health care safer together.  As part of these successes, the Partnership has established a stellar expert advisory committee, engaged providers, captured and analyzed reported data, prioritized health IT safety topics, formed specialized workgroups, developed a process for creating safe practices, and published recommendations and implementation strategies. The Partnership meets quarterly and continues to meet annually and publish proceedings from those annual meetings discussing findings and current efforts being conducted.

Learn more about how the Partnership has advanced health IT safety through:

What’s New from the Partnership

New patient identification toolkit now available. The Partnership completed a deep dive of patient safety events reported to ECRI Institute PSO that pertain to patient identification. Eight safe practice recommendations detailing how health IT can facilitate patient identification were established and divided into two main areas: attributes and technology.

  1. Attributes: Recommendations surrounding attributes address the information-gathering aspects of patient identification, including the fields and the formats that are available to accommodate acquisition of required information.
  2. Technology: Recommendations involving technology address new technologies to improve identification and ways to leverage existing technologies for safe patient identification.

Additional information about the safe practice recommendations and implementation strategies are available in:

New Partnership workgroups planned for 2017. The first workgroup, which began in February, focuses on developing and maintaining a health IT safety program. The workgroup includes providers, vendors, professional organizations, human factor experts, and others.

The second workgroup, planned to start in May, involves closing the loop on diagnostic testing (labs, radiology, and pathology) and referrals and aims to mitigate diagnostic error using health technology. The goal is to fill the void that is often created when follow-up is lacking.

Finally, the Partnership aims to identify sites and strategies for looking at implementation of the safe practices being developed.

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has awarded $3 million to ECRI Institute for a three-year effort to boost the safe design, implementation, and use of electronic health records (EHRs) and health information technology. This new grant supports three years of groundwork by the Partnership for Health IT Patient SafetyThe Moore Foundation fosters path-breaking scientific discovery, environmental conservation, patient care improvements and preservation of the special character of the Bay Area.

Goals of the Partnership

The Partnership strives to build upon the recommendations set forth by various reports—ONC: Enhanced Oversight Final Rule (2016), ONC: Connecting Health and Care for the Nation (2015), ONC: Oversight of the Testing and Certification of Electronic Health Records (2014), FDASIA (2014), BPC Oversight Framework recognizing and suggesting ways to facilitate health IT safety (2013), IOM (2011); The Partnership has no regulatory or enforcement powers. Rather in this non-punitive learning environment the focus is on health IT patient safety and utilizing health IT to provide enhanced quality and safer care.

In order to fulfill these goals, the Partnership:

  • Establishing a non-punitive environment for sharing and learning
  • Testing a collaborative model for collecting and analyzing safety issues
  • Achieving robust stakeholder engagement
  • Sharing best practices and lessons learned
  • Informing the national safety strategy for health IT

Together We Will Make Health IT Safer

For more information or to join the Partnership, contact us at hit@ecri.org or (610) 825-6000.