ECRI launches patient safety assessment for health IT vendors

The ECRI Institute and the Partnership for Health IT Patient Safety rolled out a patient safety tool, called the "INsight Culture of Safety Assessment for Health IT Companies," April 10.

The assessment enables health IT developers to evaluate the patient safety components of their products along three core objectives — safe design and development, safe use, and safe implementation — by distributing a confidential questionnaire among team members.

The goal of the assessment is to facilitate the development of safety-focused action plans to encourage employees to escalate safety concerns and share best practices between departments and with customers.

The ECRI Institute and the Partnership for Health IT Patient Safety hope developers will use responses to the assessment to hone in on team members' perceptions of safety issues and on the effectiveness of safety-related training. Health IT companies will also be able to compare their results with those of similar organizations.

"Monitoring safety-related perceptions and experiences over time, and comparing teams and departments, will strengthen an organization's safety focus and improve safety across product life cycles," said Lorraine B. Possanza, program director of the Partnership for Health IT Patient Safety, a collaborative operated by the ECRI Institute.

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