The surging amount of information held by all the systems that contain patient data is increasingly being recognized as a safety concern, and healthcare organizations are looking for ways to lessen the risk by taking a holistic approach to health IT safety.
A variety of recent research has noted that information technology touches all aspects of care, involving not just classic clinical information systems, but registration, scheduling, billing, pharmacy and others that impact patient safety.
“We are seeing a major shift in healthcare delivery organizations to data-driven management. This is both on the frontlines of care for managing individual patients and at the organizational level for managing population health,” says IHPI member Julia Adler-Milstein, an expert on health IT policy and management issues and associate professor in the School of Information at the University of Michigan.
However, according to Adler-Milstein, most healthcare organizations are struggling because they’ve been inundated with a tsunami of data almost overnight.
“We are seeing the need for ‘catch up’ in terms of the people and processes within organizations that are needed for effective data-driven management,” she adds. “And, it’s the people and processes that tend to be the hardest part.”