The HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology recently awarded a $989,000 contract to the Institute of Medicine to conduct a one-year study of the safety of health information technology systems. In a new entry on ONC's HealthITBuzz blog, National Coordinator David Blumenthal explains the reasons behind the study.

The institute published influential studies on patient safety in 1999 and 2001 that gave new focus to the issue, but not enough progress has been made, Blumenthal contends. "The end of that decade is now just three months away, and not to mince words, we're behind the ambitious schedule that the IOM report envisioned."

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