Committee Opinion No. 621: Patient Safety and Health Information Technology

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The advantages of health information technology (IT) include facilitating communication between health care providers; improving medication safety, tracking, and reporting; and promoting quality of care through optimized access to and adherence to guidelines. Health IT systems permit the collection of data for use for quality management, outcome reporting, and public health disease surveillance and reporting. However, improvement is needed with all health IT, especially regarding design, implementation, and integration between platforms within the work environment. Robust interoperability is critical for safe care, but this goal has proved elusive. Significant patient safety concerns already have been recognized; it is important to keep patient safety and quality as the primary focus.

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