Patient Safety Errors: Leveraging Health Information Technology to Facilitate Patient Reporting.

Huerta TR, Walker C, Murray KR, Hefner JL, McAlearney AS, Moffatt-Bruce S
J Healthc Qual 38 17-23 01/01/2016


Patient safety continues to be a national challenge not only for providers but for patients and families as well. In an attempt to standardize processes and systems, we have lost opportunities for improvement. For instance, current patient safety reporting systems tend to favor capturing details around events that are classified as highly clinically significant (i.e., sentinel-level and never events); yet little to no effort is spent on capturing information about less evident errors or near misses, nor simply about concerns that are more experiential in nature. As a result, patients' experiences and observations are relegated to the notion of satisfaction, real-time reporting remains illusive, and the ability to learn across incidents remains anecdotal rather than systematic. Herein we propose an alternative, real-time, innovative model that merges syndromic surveillance and patient engagement to embrace patient-initiated reporting of patient safety events and concerns. The result would be a patient safety system where patients are partners, in both the conduct of their care, and in the quality of the healthcare delivered.

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