Healthcare News & Insights

Group recommends steps to prevent patient safety risks from health IT

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has released a set of guidelines it says will reduce patient safety risks associated with new healthcare technology.

The report acknowledges that health IT has improved patient care in many areas, but also warns that new technology can create additional risk of patient harm if it’s not used properly.

In response, IOM’s report calls for greater oversight from the federal government on health IT issues, pointing out that no agency currently investigates the safety of health IT systems and that there is no reporting required for health IT safety issues.

The study, requested by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), calls for:

  1. The creation of a new Health IT Safety Council, funded by HHS, to oversee the health IT industry
  2. The creation of an independent federal entity that would investigate patient deaths, injuries and other incidents involving health IT, and
  3. The establishment of a mechanism for both users and vendors to report safety incidents related to health technology, and to promote the sharing of safety information regarding health IT systems.

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