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July 6, 2011

Application of Electronic Health Records to the Joint Commission's 2011 National Patient Safety Goals

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina (Dr Radecki); and University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston (Dr Sittig).

JAMA. 2011;306(1):92-93. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.937

Since publication of To Err Is Human, electronic health records (EHRs) and related health information technologies have been promoted as means to improve patient safety. This promise remains largely unfulfilled. For instance, whereas EHRs with clinical decision support (CDS) interventions integrated into computerized physician order entry (CPOE) have measurably improved clinicians' performance on process metrics,1 their effect on patient outcomes remains unconfirmed.2 Recently, the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) launched “Partnership for Patients: Better Care, Lower Costs” by committing $1 billion to improve safety.3 Meanwhile, EHR vendors and health care organizations have focused considerable effort on meeting standards for “meaningful use” of EHRs as required by the DHHS for incentive payments.