Report: Health IT safety improvements require public and private investment

The Bipartisan Policy Center wants to see more collaboration between public and private stakeholders to advance health IT safety.

Medical errors and patient safety issues generated by health technology is not just an IT problem—it requires buy-in from a broad number of stakeholders in both the public and private sectors.

That’s according to a report released by the Bipartisan Policy Center that offered three recommendations to promote health technology innovation while accounting for patient safety.

One of those recommendations includes using funding from the federal government in the form of research grants, along with matching investments from software developers, healthcare providers and insurance companies in the private sector, to launch a coordinated effort that will set priorities for health IT safety in the years to come.

RELATED: HIMSS 2017—ECRI, Bon Secours on the future of health information technology to support patient safety

“Improving information technology’s role in providing safe care is a shared responsibility among those who develop products and those who use them,” Bill Frist, M.D., a former senator from Tennesee, said in a press release. “Understanding where the problems are through a nonpunitive learning approach and then working together on actionable solutions will improve patient safety in our health care system.”

During an event hosted by BPC, former national coordinator for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT Karen DeSalvo said the industry has an opportunity to leverage health data and urged the private sector to get more involved in sharing information to identify safety events.

Building off its first recommendation, the report pushed for easily accessible best practices and tools that prioritize patient safety concerns and address health IT gaps. BPC also advocated for “baseline, evidence-based standards related to safe health IT products and safe use of health IT,” which could be used by the ONC’s Health IT Certification Program.

RELATED: EHR management tops ECRI’s list of patient safety concerns

EHR management led the ECRI Institute’s list of patient safety concerns facing hospitals in 2017. Informatics researchers in Texas have said including IT staff in clinical huddles could help address patient safety concerns that often arise with EHRs.