Institute of Medicine issues health-IT safety recommendations

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The Department of Health and Human Services should impose more oversight of healthcare information technology venders, a new report recommends.

The National Institute of Medicine released a report this week highlighting the potential for health IT-induced harm that could result death and injury. The report, "Health IT and Patient Safety: Building Safer Systems for Better Care," describes vendor-related mistakes such as dosing errors, failure to detect fatal illnesses, and delayed treatment due to poor human–computer interactions or loss of data.

The IOM's 18-person committee issued 10 recommendations, which includes having HHS publish an action and surveillance plan. Another recommendation: that if the HHS secretary doesn't feel that safety and reliability from vendors is sufficient, that she should direct the FDA “to exercise all available authority to regulate EHRs, health information exchanges, and PHRs.”

Click here to read the committee's full report.