In its latest set of draft recommendations, the Certification/Adoption Workgroup of HHS' Health IT Policy Committee stressed the need for a standardized, transparent system for reporting patient-safety issues. During a March 29 meeting, the group also discussed the creation of a national patient-safety organization, which would serve as a clearinghouse for safety concerns from providers, vendors and patients.
“We believe patient safety is going to be more and more of an issue with the increasing use of health IT,” said Marc Probst, chief information officer of Intermountain Healthcare, Salt Lake City, and co-chairman of the work group. “We also think it's very important to create a safe, nondisciplinary environment so people don't try to hide errors.”
The recommendations would apply to the second stage of meaningful-use criteria, and are still a “work-in-progress,” Probst said. The work group will continue to refine the criteria until the next meeting of the HIT Policy Committee in April. In particular, the group will be looking closely at the Food and Drug Administration's role in addressing patient-safety hazards, Probst added.
In addition to advocating for a national safety organization, the group also said certification criteria for electronic health records should include easy-to-use patient-safety reporting capabilities.