ECRI Institute announced that the first meeting of the Partnership for Health IT Patient Safety, a collaborative multi-stakeholder effort, focused on forming workgroups to improve health IT safety. Proceedings from this meeting, titled “Partnering for Success” and held in September 2014 at ECRI Institute’s US headquarters outside Philadelphia, are now available for free public access on the ECRI website. ECRI reports that the meeting provided a forum for addressing health IT safety and innovation as a shared responsibility among stakeholders including providers, health IT vendors, associations, patient safety organizations, and researchers.

An initial outcome of the meeting, says ECRI, was the formation of workgroups to study why specific safety problems are occurring, and identify best practices for preventing recurrence. One workgroup is focusing on the unsafe aspects of copy-and-paste in the electronic health record. This health record workgroup, chaired by Tejal Gandhi, MD, MPH, CPPS, president and chief executive officer of the National Patient Safety Foundation, is made up of 20 representatives of the stakeholders participating in the partnership. This workgroup will hold meetings through the summer of 2015 with a goal of releasing recommendations and best practices.

The Partnering for Success meeting focused on ways to advance actionable solutions through collaboration.

“What’s the purpose of the Partnership? We want to make healthcare safer together,” said Ronni Solomon, JD, executive vice president and general counsel, ECRI Institute. Solomon opened the meeting by summarizing the overarching goals and methods of the Partnership. “Our objective is to establish a nonpunitive learning environment in which to share lessons learned and make positive change.”

As quoted in an ECRI press release, Solomon emphasized the importance of working together with fellow participants: “I think the true innovation is that we’re all working together, not in a silo. This is the group that’s going to make something happen.”

Having all stakeholders participate in the meeting was, says ECRI, a “novel and unprecedented opportunity for dialogue.”  Health IT vendors, said Terhilda Garrido, MPH, ELP, vice president, HIT Transformation & Analytics in National Quality at Kaiser Permanente, need “to be working with organizations as we problem solve.”

It is hoped that proceedings from the meeting provide insight on health IT challenges, barriers, and emerging priorities. They are publicly available in ECRI Institute’s Center for Health IT Safety and Innovation, a free education resource site intended to provide access to a range of resources on health information technology (IT) safety including general guidance, as well as more in-depth research on medical device connectivity and electronic health records.

To learn more about ECRI Institute’s Partnership for Health IT Patient Safety, visit the program’s page on the ECRI website.