A federal advisory panel is recommending the creation of an independent federal entity to investigate patient deaths, serious injuries and potentially unsafe conditions associated with the use of health information technology.
IOM: New agency needed to oversee health IT safety
This new entity should monitor and analyze health IT safety data and publicly report its findings, according to the Institute of Medicine advisory committee.
The recommendation was one of 10 in a report requested by HHS' Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology outlining key patient-safety issues stemming from the use of health IT. At deadline, the IOM's Committee on Patient Safety and Health IT was scheduled to discuss the report, Health IT and Patient Safety: Building Safer Systems for Better Care (PDF), on Thursday at 10:30 a.m. ET at the Keck Center in Washington.
Other recommendations in the report include having HHS monitor and publicly report on the progress of health IT safety annually beginning in 2012. If improved safety is not found, then the FDA should regulate electronic health records, health information exchanges and personal health records, according to the report's authors.
"The current state of safety and health IT is not acceptable; specific actions are required to improve the safety of health IT," the authors wrote.
Although most of the recommendations are intended to encourage industry-driven change without formal regulation, federal actions also are needed because the private sector to date has not taken sufficient action on its own, according to the report.
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