The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology is leading a federal effort to develop an electronic health records safety and surveillance plan well within the 12-month period that the Institute of Medicine has recommended in a new report, says National Coordinator Farzad Mostashari, M.D.

The IOM report, which ONC commissioned, calls for the health information technology industry to improve the safety of its products or be regulated. Recommendations include creation of a council to evaluate criteria for judging the safety of I.T. systems, and require vendors and users to report I.T.-related safety issues.

In a new blog entry, Mostashari notes that the Department of Health and Human Services already has several I.T. safety initiatives underway. These include a technical expert panel focusing on improving safety; emphasis on safety and usability issues in the HITECH-funded health I.T. workforce training curriculum; and addressing risks through the government's Partnership for Patients and accountable care organization initiatives.


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