Health IT Safety: A Priority for Patients

ElderyPatientDocHealthITPatient first. It’s a message we’ve talked about on the CNSI blog before (and something CMS is certainly making a priority). But we aren’t the only ones taking notice. The following objective, “incorporating health IT into patient safety programs”, ranked fifth in the ECRI Institute’s survey of top patient concerns. If patients are worried about the integration of health IT into their care, then the health IT industry should take notice. 

The ECRI report notes that it’s not just the design of the health IT systems, but that training hospital staff is a vital part of the equation. “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,” said Robert C. Giannini, NHA, CHTS-IM/CP, patient safety analyst and consultant, ECRI Institute.

The report also offers its own advice to help assuage patient concerns: “Facilities should focus on integrating health IT safety into the existing safety program, collaborating with stakeholders, and embedding health IT safety into the organization’s culture.”

The full list is worth a read for anyone working in health care. Some areas of risk are oblivious, like Opioid safety across the continuum of care, but others might come as a surprise, like procedural workarounds. Have an open mind and let this influence your decision making, no matter where in the care continuum you work.