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PSNet: Patient Safety Network

Identification and Prioritization of Health IT Patient Safety Measures.

National Quality Forum; NQF.

Health information technology (IT) has transformed health care and improved patient safety, but it has also led to unintended consequences that increase the risk for patient harm. This comprehensive report from the National Quality Forum aims to define and prioritize measures of health IT–related safety so that issues can be quantified and monitored over time. The report identifies nine priority areas for measurement, ranging from tracking the extent of system interoperability to clinical decision support to patient engagement. For each area, the authors recommend using a previously published framework to examine three domains: data considerations like availability and interoperability; technology–work system interaction, such as usability, training, governance, and safety monitoring; and application of health IT to make care safer. The committee proposes to hold health IT vendors, health care organizations, and clinicians accountable for specific safety metrics for health IT systems. Although these measures require further development and testing, this report lays the foundation for more systematically evaluating the safety gains and concerns associated with widespread health IT implementation.