Institute of Medicine: "To Improve Patient Safety, Health Information Technology Needs Better Oversight, Accountability"

According to a study conducted by the Institute of Medicine, software errors and defects in electronic health records pose threats to patient safety, and can even result in death. To combat the problem, the Institute recommends the establishment of an investigative agency, to be charged with examining and charting the safety performance of electronic health records in use, according to a press release from the National Academies panel. The Institute also recommends that clauses purported to "hold harmless" electronic health record suppliers be removed from their sales contracts. Although experts in the medical field acknowledge that this study is a positive step in regulating health information technology, the New York Times reports that some experts believe the Food and Drug Administration should regulate electronic health records safety. EPIC participated in a 2009 IOM study on Privacy and Medical Research. For more information, see EPIC: Medical Record Privacy.

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