Increasingly hazardous healthcare environment should urge Congress to create a National Health IT Safety Center
Here we go again, forcing physicians to use technology that is not yet mature

AMA Throws Support Behind Development of a National Health IT Safety Center

It is remarkable to sit down one night to write a policy proposal, then 6 weeks later see it become new national policy at the American Medical Association (AMA), even if it does get watered down a little bit in the process.   That's what happened when, as Chairman of the Texas Medical Association's  (TMA) ad hoc Health IT Committee, I wrote a resolution in support of a National Health IT Safety Center--I did so after observing discussions at our April 28th meeting in Dallas, TX, being dominated by concerns of electronic health record risks to patient safety that physicians encounter daily in their practices.  Today the AMA House of Delegates approved that proposal as new AMA policy.  As a result, the AMA will work with the Office of the National Coordinator of Health IT to move forward the concepts of a National Health IT Safety Center.    

This proposal was successful through assistance from TMA staff, input from a smart, reputable committee and a little bit of luck getting around corners.    And, of course, the proposal is completely based on previous work done by those involved in EHR risk management research and policy development.  Some of those people are referenced in the policy proposal's citations.  Here is the accepted resolution with the amendments:

 

RESOLUTION 240 - PATIENT SAFETY INCIDENTS RELATED TO USE OF ELECTRONIC HEALTH RECORDS

RECOMMENDATION A:

Madam Speaker, your Reference Committee recommends that Resolution 240 be adopted by addition and deletion to read as follows:   

RESOLVED, That our American Medical Association support the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) efforts to implement a Health IT Safety Center urge Congress to create a National Health IT Safety Center that can implement an effective EHR safety program designed to reduceminimize EHR-related patient safety risks through collection, aggregation and analysis of data reported from EHR-related adverse patient safety events and misses (New HOD Policy).  

RECOMMENDATION B:

Madam Speaker, your Reference Committee recommends that Resolution 240 be adopted as amended.

HOD ACTION: Resolution 240 adopted as amended.

Resolution 240 asks that our American Medical Association urge Congress to create a National Health IT Safety Center that can implement an effective EHR safety program designed to reduce EHR-related patient safety risks through collection, aggregation and analysis of data reported from EHR-related adverse patient safety events and near misses. (New HOD Policy) Your Reference Committee heard supportive testimony for Resolution 240. However, testimony noted that the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) was already working to establish a Health IT Safety Center with similar functions. To avoid duplicating efforts, an amendment was offered to support the ongoing activities of this safety work. Your Reference Committee agrees with the goal of this Resolution and the importance of ensuring the safety of new technology. We agree that our efforts should build off of existing progress in this area. Therefore, your Reference Committee recommends that Resolution 240 be adopted as amended.

Matt Murray, M.D 

Matt Murray, MD

Cook Children's 

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