Safety huddles help pinpoint EHR-related patient safety concerns, study shows

Safety huddles helped promote discussion of technology-related issues at the organization level, thereby facilitating identification of EHR-related safety concerns, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.

Researchers examined data from daily safety huddle briefing notes, spanning 249 days, recorded at a single tertiary-care hospital in the United States. Key administrative, clinical and information technology staff attended the huddles.

The researchers identified 245 EHR-related safety concerns brought up during the huddles. For the analysis, they defined EHR technology to include a specific EHR functionality, an entire clinical software application or the hardware system. Most concerns (41.6 percent) involved "EHR technology working incorrectly," while 25.7 percent of concerns involved "EHR technology not working at all." Concerns related to "EHR technology missing or absent" accounted for 16.7 percent of the concerns.

"Based on our findings, we recommend that healthcare organizations consider huddles as a strategy to promote understanding and improvement of EHR safety," the authors noted.

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