EHR Association supports BPC health IT safety proposal

The HIMSS Electronic Health Record Association issued a statement of support this week for the recently released Bipartisan Policy Center report on patient safety, noting that patient safety is a "shared responsibility of all stakeholders."

"Speaking for our members, we take this responsibility very seriously, recognizing the important role EHRs play," chair Mickey McGlynn, a senior director of strategy and operations at Siemens, said in the association's announcement.

The BPC report, "An Oversight Framework for Assuring Patient Safety in Health Information Technology," proposed a safety framework that includes flexibility, emphasizes the use of existing safety and quality related processes, uses a non punitive environment for the reporting of patient safety events and doesn't stifle innovation. It also suggested that developers be more involved in the safety process.

The EHR Association was less supportive of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services' proposed health IT safety plan, unveiled in late December. While it supported some provisions of that plan, the EHR Association did not support equating usability with patient safety, nor did it support using the Meaningful Use regulations to "embed intrusive regulations" into EHR design.

The association also expressed concern that the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT would be potentially dictating both elements and enforcement of an industry code of conduct that would diminish the value and operation of such a code.

The EHR Association is a collaborative of 40 EHR supplier companies.

To learn more:
- here's the announcement of support