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Health information technology plays a critical role in improving the quality, safety and cost-effectiveness of care. Rapidly emerging new delivery system and payment models designed to reduce costs, improve quality, and improve the patient’s experience of care require a solid health IT foundation to be successful.
Policies are now being developed to use health IT to make health care safer and continuously improve the safety of health IT. The Department of Health and Human Services released the Health IT Patient Safety Action and Surveillance Plan for public comment on December 21, 2012 which represents a key component of the Administration’s proposed approach for addressing safety in health IT. The Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act of 2012 requires over the next year, the development of a proposed strategy and recommendations on risk-based regulatory framework pertaining to health IT.
The Bipartisan Policy Center released principles and recommendations for an oversight framework for health IT that is risk-based and protects patient safety, promotes innovation and is flexible to accommodate a rapid changing health care system, reflects shared responsibility among health care stakeholders, leverages existing quality and safety-related systems and processes, and facilitates widespread learning and improvement. These principles and recommendations were developed through collaboration and research, drawing upon the expertise and experiences of nearly 100 organizations across every sector of health care.