The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology has published updated guidelines designed to assist healthcare providers assess the safety and functionality of their electronic health record systems.
Introduced in January 2014, the ONC Safety Assurance Factors for EHR Resilience, or SAFER Guides, are voluntary self-assessments, including checklists and evidence-based recommendations for optimizing safe use of technology. Best practices described within the new guidelines for safe EHR use are categorized under nine specified areas:
- High-priority practices
- Organizational responsibilities
- Contingency planning
- System configuration
- System interfaces
- Patient identification
- Computerized provider order entry with decision support
- Test results reporting and follow-up
- Clinician communication
One key addition to the updated resource is the inclusion of a Contingency Planning Guide intended to provide direction when facilities experience unplanned issues with their IT systems such as EHR system pauses, cyber attacks, and total system failures or "downtimes."
To learn more about the ONC's SAFER Guides or to download this resource, click here.