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Are Health Systems Responding Properly to IT-Related Patient Safety Problems?

May 31, 2019

One area that has seen a lot of technological development in recent years is the medical field. From electronic health records to increasingly sophisticated medical equipment, IT has come to play a big role in patient care at hospitals.

One thing this means is that IT problems at hospitals have the potential to have major impacts on patient safety. Errors involving electronic health records, connected medical equipment or other medical technologies could lead to mistakes that leave patients with significant injuries.

Given this, when potential safety problems arise in relation to their IT, one would hope heath systems would take prompt and appropriate steps to address the issue and prevent similar problems in the future. A recent study raises questions as to how good of a job healthcare organizations are doing on this front.

The study looked at data from a large collection of reports on patient safety events involving IT to see what resolutions were reported in the wake of the events.

For a vast majority of the reports, 64 percent, no resolution was listed. Also, the data indicates that, when resolutions were reported, it was relatively rare for more than one to be used. The most common resolution turned to was training/education. The researchers noted that there are limits to how much training can help when it comes to resolving IT-related safety problems.

So, the research suggests that effective resolutions by health systems to patient safety problems related to IT might not be as common as one would hope. What would you like to see hospitals and health systems do to change this?

When technology problems at hospitals lead to patients getting harmed, getting fair compensation can be very important for the victims’ future. Medical malpractice claims can sometimes provide a path to such relief. Experienced malpractice attorneys can assist victims of medical errors at hospitals with pursuing such claims.