To reduce hospital readmissions, health care providers must embrace today's user-friendly technologies to improve communication between care teams. The key will be identifying tools that allow doctors to jump into the communication revolution, without abandoning security and privacy. By Andrew Brooks, M.D.
Drug-drug interaction alert systems can be a boon for medication safety improvement. However, recent studies have found override rates as high as 95%. Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT-sponsored research shows that paring down alerts could reduce the "noise" factor. by Bonnie Darves, iHealthBeat Contributing Reporter
In its draft health IT patient safety plan, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT has proposed leveraging the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's voluntary adverse event reporting system. by Helen R. Pfister and Susan R. Ingargiola, Manatt Health Solutions
Even with health IT advances and the march toward computerized provider order entry, health care facilities still struggle with the process of medication reconciliation. However, hospitals, with IT companies' help, are beginning to make headway -- if slowly. by Bonnie Darves, iHealthBeat Contributing Reporter
Patient safety concerns are being raised about caregivers becoming distracted by smartphones and mobile devices. Several health systems and provider associations are leading the way in establishing policies to address the issue. by Rebecca Vesely, iHealthBeat Contributing Reporter
Emerging technologies offer opportunities for new and innovative strategies that will transform the way health care institutions and professionals communicate with their patients and with the rest of the care team. By Christina Thielst
Government agencies, academic institutions and private firms increasingly are turning to virtual patient platforms and technologies to reduce the risks and costs associated with clinical trials for prescription drugs and medical devices. by Bonnie Darves, iHealthBeat Contributing Reporter
Faster electronic access, Web-based reporting and inter-state data sharing are boosting the effectiveness of prescription drug monitoring programs. Still, it's hard for officials to make a direct connection between the monitoring databases and gains in prescription safety. by Bonnie Darves, iHealthBeat Contributing Reporter
Widespread adoption of intravenous clinical integration technology is the key to helping drive down the rate of medication errors across the country. However, greater support at the national level is needed to raise awareness of the issue and encourage hospital adoption. By Steven Pregulman, M.D.
While electronic health records have helped improve safety in certain ways -- making patient information more readily available and eliminating handwriting-related errors -- new safety challenges stemming from poor EHR usability, alert fatigue and inadequate training have emerged. by Bonnie Darves, iHealthBeat Contributing Reporter
The last quarter of 2011 included numerous important federal health IT developments, including the Institute of Medicine's release of a report on patient safety and health IT and HHS' changes to the meaningful use incentive program timeline. by Helen Pfister, Susan Ingargiola and Rachel Sam, Manatt Health Solutions
The federal government is taking steps to balance patient safety with its promotion of widespread health IT adoption. In a recent report, the Institute of Medicine offered a variety of recommendations for ensuring that health IT use does not lead to unintended patient safety consequences. by Helen R. Pfister and Susan R. Ingargiola, Manatt Health Solutions
Health IT has long been touted as a tool for improving patient safety, but some experts recently warned that the country's rapid deployment of electronic health records could jeopardize patient safety. Meanwhile, a new House bill takes aim at EHR errors. by Kate Ackerman, iHealthBeat Managing Editor
Failure to recognize and address workflow issues when implementing electronic health records greatly threatens the success of an organization's entire health IT initiative. Further, implementing IT using workflows designed for paper-based processes can lead to severe inefficiencies and medical errors. By Barry P. Chaiken, M.D.
FDA and consumer advocates agree that federal guidelines on how the pharmaceutical industry uses online media to promote medical products should protect the consumer. When can we expect digital and social media guidelines from FDA, and what could the guidelines look like? by Michael Pogachar, iHealthBeat Associate Editor