EHR Online Safety System Launched - InformationWeek

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Healthcare // Electronic Health Records
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11/15/2010
04:07 PM
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EHR Online Safety System Launched

iHealth Alliance-led coalition will document problems on electronic health records site related to software, user training, security and data issues.

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Jeffrey Shuren, director of the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said in a statement: "We look forward to working with the iHealth Alliance to encourage physicians and EHR vendors to report information on their experiences with electronic health records to EHRevent and other appropriate reporting systems."

The reporting of adverse drug events via EHRs will be monitored by iHealth Alliance, with PDR Network providing network operations. The information will be collected using online forms that include the common format developed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and the data will be kept confidential through PDR Secure, a patient safety organization that will allow only participating organizations to access the reports.

"Patient Safety Organizations (PSOs) facilitate a shared-learning approach that supports effective interventions to reduce risk of harm to patients and improve quality, " William Munier, director for the Center for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety at AHRQ, said in a statement. “We are collaborating in efforts to facilitate reporting to PSOs those adverse events that are related to EHRs and other health information technology, in order to facilitate the development of safer health information technology solutions."

The website is also supported by EHR vendors, as well as Regional Extension Centers (RECs), which are federally designated groups that assist physicians with EHR selection and adoption. Participating EHR vendors and RECs will help educate physicians on the importance of EHR event reporting and will receive reports as EHRevent partners.

The website is also supported by professional liability carriers, such as The Doctors Company and COPIC Insurance Company.

“Our experience indicates that EHRs have the capacity either to induce or to reduce medical errors in very unique ways, and we have seen data that indicates that EHR adoption may reduce physician liability,” Alan Lembitz, vice president of Patient Safety and Risk Management for COPIC Insurance Company, said in a statement. “It will be increasingly important to understand best practices to improve patient safety for EHRs and for their users, and EHRevent will help both."

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