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that typically notifi es physicians when they are about to order a contraindicated medication.

Though this combination of contributing causes is common, an EHR malfunction often complicates the act of reporting. Currently, many patient safety evaluation systems do not permit sharing of EHR-related incidents with vendors, without destroying the PSO confi dentiality protections. It is for this reason that many health IT vendors and

PSOs are exploring partnerships that would allow vendors to be part of a patient safety evaluation system. Quantros and athenahealth formed the fi rst PSO-health IT vendor partnership in late 2013. This relationship will allow athenahealth’s clients to report safety issues to Quantros and allow athenahealth to be part of the investigation and resolution of issues where health IT might be involved – all while maintaining the privilege and confi dentiality protec- tions of PSO reporting. Such partnerships are a natural fi t, especially for cloud-based health IT developers, which have a high level of visibility into their own systems. In addition to seeing issues reported from users, these vendors discover issues internally, which can also be submitted to a PSO to increase nationwide learning.

We will likely see many more of these partnerships form in the near future. In a recent draft strategy and recommen- dations for a risk-based oversight framework for health IT, the Food and Drug Administration, Offi ce of the National Coordinator for Health IT and the Federal Communica- tions Commission recommended that PSO reporting become a cornerstone of promoting the safe use of health IT.1 Health IT vendors need to be involved in the process of investigating and resolving issues where their systems may have been involved. T at involvement, in the aggregate, will contribute to more information and a greater understanding of how health IT impacts patient safety. In the end, a rising tide raises all boats. T e health IT community is – and will continue to be – interested in how it can collectively contribute to quality patient care. Participation in a PSO should be a basic expectation of all health IT vendors.


1. FDASIA Health IT Report, April 2014. http://www. OfficeofMedicalProductsandTobacco/CDRH/CDRHReports/ UCM391521.pdf

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