An AHRQ-sponsored commentary in the Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety provides recommendations to help patient safety professionals use updated federal guidelines to assess the safety of health information technology (IT) equipment and software. Initially released in January 2014, the Safety Assurance Factors for EHR Resilience (SAFER) Guides were developed by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. They were designed to ensure the safe use of electronic health records by addressing safety in nine areas, including patient identification, contingency planning, system configuration, test results reporting and clinician communication. Recommendations in the commentary include prioritizing health IT-related safety by refocusing an organization’s clinical governance structure to enable proactive risk assessment, as well as developing an environment conducive to detecting and learning from system vulnerabilities identified during SAFER assessments. Access the commentary.
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