Government Asks Health IT Industry To Police Itself On Patient Safety

Zina Moukheiber | Forbes | July 5, 2013

In a plan published earlier this week, the government stopped short of establishing a new agency to investigate patient deaths related to health information technology, as recommended by the Institute of Medicine. Instead, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), which already directs the implementation of electronic health records, will work with a slew of private and public entities to protect patient safety.

The ONC, a division within the Department of Health and Human Services, will establish a Health IT Patient Safety Program that will oversee the collection and analysis of data from various sources to identify harmful trends. The government tapped The Joint Commission to create a database of sentinel events to investigate the role of health IT, and take steps to address problems.