ECRI Institute Launches Tool to Help HIT Developers Assess Patient Safety

April 13, 2018
Health IT development companies continuously strive for a culture that puts safety at the forefront when designing and developing products, empowers employees to escalate safety concerns, and allows for collaboration and sharing of best practices among team members and with customers and other stakeholders.

Health IT development companies continuously strive for a culture that puts safety at the forefront when designing and developing products, empowers employees to escalate safety concerns, and allows for collaboration and sharing of best practices among team members and with customers and other stakeholders.

ECRI Institute and the Partnership for Health IT Patient Safety—a multi-stakeholder collaborative convened and operated by ECRI Institute—have launched a new tool, called the INsight Culture of Safety Assessment for Health IT Companies, to assist health IT developers with assessing and tracking patient safety issues. The Partnership is encouraging health IT companies to utilize the survey to focus on a three-part safety vision: safe design and development, safe use, and safe implementation of health IT, which all lead to safer care.

"As shown in the EHR Developer Code of Conduct, patient safety is a priority of the EHRA and our members," Sasha TerMaat, chair, Electronic Health Record Association (EHRA) Executive Committee, said in a statement. “Surveys like this one created by ECRI offer HIT developers additional tools for continuous improvement."

This new ECRI Institute program allows health IT developers to assess safety culture with a tool specifically tailored to their unique organizations. A confidential survey questionnaire—hosted on secure servers—facilitates development and implementation of safety-focused action plans grounded in analyses of team members' responses.

“ECRI's experience in similar surveys for provider organizations has shown that monitoring safety-related perceptions and experiences over time, and comparing teams and departments, will strengthen an organizations' safety focus and improve safety across product lifecycles," Lorraine B. Possanza, program director, Partnership for Health IT Patient Safety, said. “Ensuring a strong culture of safety can help avoid costly disruption of business and unwanted legal and regulatory actions."

This tool will provide the ability to evaluate perceptions of safety issues across teams and departments, assess the adoption of a shared safety responsibility and gauge the effectiveness of and needs for safety-related training. The tool also will enable health IT developers to compare safety values across teams and product lines and contrast results with similar organizations using de-identified comparative data. What’s more, the tool helps health IT developers to identify areas that may need greater attention.

More information about the INsight Culture of Safety Assessment for Health IT Companies can be found here.

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