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Book and Media Reviews
December 5, 2012

Health IT and Patient Safety: Building Safer Systems for Better Care

Author Affiliations

Book and Media Reviews Section Editor: John L. Zeller, MD, PhD, Contributing Editor.

Author Affiliations: University of Washington, Seattle(dchou@uw.edu).

JAMA. 2012;308(21):2282. doi:10.1001/jama.308.21.2282-a

Among the more important publications on reducing errors in medicine are the Institute of Medicine (IOM) monographs To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System, published in 1999, and Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century, published in 2001. The IOM has just published a 2012 monograph identifying risks of and actions to reduce errors caused by electronic health records (EHRs), a major tool promoted for patient safety. Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, significant economic incentives and penalties have been provided for the implementation and “meaningful use” of EHRs. In September 2010, Dr David Blumenthal, then head of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, and the Department of Health and Human Services requested the IOM to study potential risks of EHRs.

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