Adverse event reporting system gets backing of HIMSS EHR Association

The HIMSS Electronic Health Records Association and patient safety organization the iHealth Alliance have agreed to work together to encourage more clinicians to confidentially report patient safety issues with EHR systems, the groups jointly announced this week.

The collaboration will encourage physicians and others to report patient safety issues online to EHRevent, iHA's patient safety reporting system dedicated to EHRs. The groups will work together to develop tools to collect incidents that may be related to health information technology, according to the announcement.

"In understanding how EHRs are designed and implemented, we'll be more successful in understanding the root causes of suspected incidents so that they can be prevented in the future," Nancy Dickey, Chair of the iHA, said in the statement.

PSOs have been in existence for several years, and are administered by the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality. They were designed to help improve patient care and reduce liability by encouraging voluntary reporting without fear of legal discovery. EHRevent, like other PSOs, aims to collect reports from physicians and other caregivers, analyze the data, and make available reports, statistics and recommendations. The PSO keeps the reported information confidential.

There have been recent concerns with the rise of EHR use about patient safety, including inputting data into the wrong patient's chart, sloppy cutting and pasting, and improper use of templates. This is a major impetus behind the Institute of Medicine's recommendation this week that a separate board be established to address, among other things, EHR safety issues.

To learn more:
- read the joint announcement
- read about PSOs on the AHRQ's website
- here's EHRevent's website
- check out this article