A coalition of medical societies, malpractice insurers and government agencies has launched an online national system for reporting adverse events and potential risks to patient safety related to using EHRs.
The group, called the iHealth Alliance and chaired by former American Medical Association President Dr. Nancy Dickey, created EHRevent.org to collect reports from healthcare providers and to generate reports so medical societies, liability insurance carriers and government regulators such as the Food and Drug Administration could help educate other providers on the challenges associated with EHR implementation and usage.
"EHRs can play a major role in advancing the practice of good medicine, but there are often unanticipated consequences when new technologies are deployed and it is important to collect and disseminate EHR user experience as these powerful systems are adopted," Dr. David Troxel, medical director for malpractice insurer The Doctors Company, says in a press release.
"Electronic health records are being adopted at record rates and present an opportunity to advance patient care," adds Dickey. "As with any new system, there is a learning curve for the software providers and for the doctors who use these systems. EHRevent will help us all get smarter about EHRs and assure that patient care advances are also patient-safe advances."
The iHealth Alliance is working with EHR vendors and the federally funded Regional Extension Centers to help educate physicians and hospitals about why they should be reporting and tracking adverse events. "We are anxious to collaborate with the EHRevent effort and we encourage all EHR vendors to participate because we believe that EHRevent can be an important communication platform to improve patient safety related not only to EHRs, but to medical devices and drugs," Dr. Michael Stearns, president and CEO of EHR vendor e-MDs, says in the same press release.
EHRevent.org is modeled after a national aircraft safety reporting system maintained by the Federal Aviation Administration and the aviation industry, which tracks software-related issues, inadequate user training, security breaches and near-misses, Government Health IT reports. Data collected through the site will be shared with the FDA to help evaluate potential safety problems with EHRs.
PDR Network is providing the technology and network operations for EHRevent.