Adam Wong, management and program analyst at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), told InformationWeek Healthcare the intent of the challenge was to help modernize and update the current system for reporting adverse events, which does reporting through a paper process. The paper approach "... leads to not only not enough reports, but also inaccurate reports due to errors in transcription; it's also less secure since it's transmitted by fax rather than a secure communication system," said Wong.
On a higher level, accurate reporting allows patient safety organizations to analyze medical errors that occur at provider sites, said Wong. Without accurate reporting, providers can't effectively do a root cause analysis. "Improving this process is one way we can reduce the number of medical errors in the environment," he said.
Wong said the challenge drew 33 registered teams and 13 actual submissions. The goal of the challenge, according to a blog post written by Wong, was to find a tool that met certain criteria, such as including additional information during the initial submission and from a follow-up investigation; the ability to import relevant electronic health record or personal health information, including screenshots; and the ability to submit reports to various entities, including patient safety organizations, the FDA and other health oversight organizations.
A review panel including experts from the ONC and FDA ranked submissions according to five things: the effectiveness of the system, its usability and design, innovation and creativity aspects, how well it integrates with EHRs, and how well it leverages the nationwide health information network (NwHIN) and is capable of secure transmission.
Wong said one of the reasons ONC decided on KBCoreSM was its "excellent functionalities … you can take the Web app and read a patient's barcode on their wrist band," he said. "And that will upload information into the report. The platform itself was easy to use and clear to understand; we saw submissions in this and other challenges that involve reporting, and input can be quite messy. If the solution isn't much easier to use than what already exists, it's not moving things forward."
Wong added KBCoreSM had a "clean, easy-to-use interface" that automates the import of information. Most importantly, he said, it allows for extra input of information after the report itself has been submitted, "so there's flexibility," he said.
Clinical, patient engagement, and consumer apps promise to re-energize healthcare. Also in the new, all-digital Mobile Power issue of InformationWeek Healthcare: Comparative effectiveness research taps the IT toolbox to compare treatments to determine which ones are most effective. (Free registration required.)