• The adoption of health information technology (HIT) is widely viewed as essential to the transformation of healthcare and presents many new opportunities to improve patient care and safety. But, HIT adoption also can create new hazards that lead to HIT-related safety events.

    An NQF Committee is assessing the current environment related to measurement of HIT-related safety issues and is developing a comprehensive framework to effectively mitigate risk and advance measurement to improve health IT-related patient safety.

    “Rigorous measurement is one of the first steps to improving health IT-related safety and is essential to the development of a coordinated national strategy to maximize health IT benefits,” said HIT Safety Committee co-chair Hardeep Singh, MD, MPH, of the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. “Our recommendations will help prioritize risk areas and build a strong scientific foundation to advance measurement and improvement of patient safety in this area.”

    The Prioritization and Identification of Health IT Patient Safety Measures Committee held its first meeting on February 18 and 19. The multidisciplinary group includes experts in health IT data systems and electronic health records, providers across different settings, front-line clinicians, payers, consumer and industry representatives, and experts in patient safety issues related to the use of HIT.

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