This week, the IOM (Institute of Medicine) released a report regarding the potential safety hazards of electronic medical record systems. The report made the recommendation that HHS spend the next 12 months on developing an independent federal entity to record and monitor patient safety events as reported by EMR end users. Another issue addressed was the relationship vendors had with end users and how IOM felt that sharing information by users regarding errors they encountered was not encouraged by the vendors. IOM stated that if this plan was not ready in 12 months, that HHS should allow the FDA to regulate health care IT.
In response to this report, the national health IT coordinator, Dr. Farzad Mostashari spoke at a meeting of the advisory Health IT Policy Committee earlier today. "My understanding of the report is that one of the key issues was the recognition that a broader set of issues needs to be addressed, not just the devices, but the entire system of how care is delivered, how training is done, and how workflows are done," Mostashari said. He assured that the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT will coordinate with the FDA, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the National Institute for Standards and Technology to address the safety issues. “We appreciate the IOM’s recommendations in making sure that we really do have a coherent structure for reporting, analyzing and acting on the information about EHR-related safety incidents."
Read the full Government Health IT article.