ONC Plans Stronger EHR, Patient Safety Features

Mary Mosquera | Government Health IT | December 26, 2012

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT wants to use electronic health record certification criteria to make it easier for physicians to report patient safety events, which provide critical raw data for developers, healthcare providers, researchers and policymakers to improve the safety of health IT and make care safer.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality will encourage providers to report adverse events to patient safety organizations (PSOs) and to use AHRQ’s Common Formats, a tool which offers common definitions and reporting formats to improve how they gather, review and report adverse event data, near misses and unsafe conditions.

ONC intends to propose certification requirements that, where appropriate, EHRs can report safety events in AHRQ’s Common Formats. These are among the steps that are part of the Health IT Patient Safety Action and Surveillance Plan released Dec. 21 for comment by the Health and Human Services Department. Public comments are due Feb. 4, 2013...