Incorporating Health IT into Patient Safety Programs

March 9, 2018 | Healthcare Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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Health information technology (IT) is an integral part of operations and workflow within a healthcare organization, and a health IT safety program can play a pivotal role in improving the safety and quality of healthcare. However, the success of such a program depends on the ability of users to recognize, react to, and report health-IT-related issues for analysis and action. When health IT systems are poorly designed, or when the organization's culture fails to embrace health IT safety, patients can suffer.

"Organizations need to be aware of the role health IT plays in providing safe and effective care," says Robert C. Giannini, NHA, CHTS-IM/CP, patient safety analyst and consultant, ECRI Institute. "It is not only how we use it in daily workflow, but also how we use it effectively by optimizing the benefits and reducing the risks."

Health IT can play a part in a number of different adverse event types, from selecting a wrong drug from a menu to ordering an incorrect dosage. What may seem like a medication...

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