The US Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) has issued the Health IT Patient Safety Action and Surveillance Plan for public comment.

The plan is part of an effort to use health IT to improve patient care and safety, and responds to the findings of a report released in 2011 by the Institute of Medicine, “To Err is Human.” The goal of HHS’ efforts “is that patients and providers have confidence in the safety of the healthcare system, including its health IT infrastructure, based on evidence of safety,” according to the report.

The two fundamental objectives of the plan are to support industry use of health IT to make care safer and to continuously improve health IT safety.

The plan outlines several steps for achieving these goals, including:

  • Clinician reporting of patient safety events and risks using the EHR
  • Health IT developers taking part in a shared responsibility for patient safety
  • Alignment of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services standards with the safety of health IT as outlined in the Health IT Safety Plan
  • Incorporation of patient safety measures into health IT product certification criteria

 

Click here to view the Health IT Safety Plan. All public comments must be submitted by February 4, 2013.