Bipartisan Policy Center Proposes Framework for Health IT Oversight
March 1, 2013 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance
Calling it necessary to "use health IT to improve patient safety while continuously improving the safety of health IT," Senator Tom Daschle, former U.S. Senate majority leader and cofounder of the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC), announced the release of An Oversight Framework for Assuring Patient Safety in Health Information Technology, which BPC intends to be used to promote the use of health information technology (IT) to drive improvement in the cost, quality, and patient experiences of care. The framework's principles include emphasizing the importance of shared responsibility for health IT safety that includes vendors, organizations that implement health IT, caregivers, and patients; retaining flexibility and avoiding regulatory or other schemes that could stifle innovation; leveraging to the extent possible existing safety and quality processes, systems, and standards; and reporting of health IT-related patient safety events in a nonpunitive environment, such as through a patient safety organization (PSO). Following only a month after the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) issued its draft Health Information Technology Patient Safety Action and Surveillance Plan (see the January 18, 2013, Issues in Continuing Care Risk Management), the new report echoes ONC's call for a learning culture that builds on situations reported to PSOs and the shared responsibility of the entire health IT industry, from vendors to caregivers.