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Patient Safety Advances with Health IT

The Importance of Patient Safety

One of the top 10 leading causes of death is a result of adverse health effects [1]. Almost half of the adverse events can be prevented, especially with advances in health IT. Patient safety is used to categorize various methods of reducing risks and errors that patients may face while receiving care [1]. In general, the most common errors include medication and diagnostic errors from the lack of sufficient patient data. However, there are numerous other ways that patients can come into harm. Therefore, it is important to implement controls throughout the EHR system that notify providers of potential adverse effects. Furthermore, health IT technology pushes for increased patient and provider engagement which in turn provides patients with safe and high-quality healthcare.

Top Concerns with Patient Safety

Drug effects and diagnostic issues are one of the most common medical errors [2] This is often due to human error such as providers having illegible handwriting, or improper tracking of the patient’s medical record and data [2]. Concerningly, about 500,000 medication errors occur every day in the United States [3]. Drug-related errors can occur due to incorrect dosages, overlooked allergies, or even improper medicine being given to the patient. On the other hand, diagnostic issues can occur due to the lack of structured patient data [3]. Providers need to have the full picture when diagnosing patients. This means they must be able to access the patient’s full medical record when needed. Around 80% of health data is not structured which means the providers are unable to access and use data in a meaningful way [3]. Therefore, diagnostic and medication issues must be prevented to protect patients from harm.

Technologies that Improve Patient Safety

Implementing Clinical Decision Support Systems (CDSS)

Various technologies can be used to prevent adverse medical effects. The first one is CDSS, which makes connections between stored patient data to aid doctors in making meaningful treatment plans [4]. CDSS can also use AI to make connections with current data that allow doctors to receive evidence-based predictions on the outcome and efficiency of a patient’s treatment plan [4]. This also allows the system to provide doctors with alerts so that adverse drug events can be avoided. For instance, CDSS can alert doctors if the patient received medication that they may be allergic to, or if the patient was given the wrong dosage [4]. Importantly, CDSS also allows doctors to streamline the support process by providing data when it is useful to doctors, which prevents overburdening [4]. Overall, the implementation of CDSS is an effective method of promoting patient safety. 

Improved Information Management

Patient safety can also improve when doctors have full access to medical records. Diagnostic issues can occur due to patient records getting mixed up, or when they are not inputted at all [5]. This can be prevented with improved and automated information management technologies. Providers should have access to systems that are compatible with one another, so they can view results from various labs and visits. The system must also be able to catch when data is inputted incorrectly, such as the wrong patient’s data being put into the record [4]. Furthermore, medical apps that promote patient engagement must also protect the patient’s privacy against cyberattacks [4]. Therefore, although the amount of data that is available must be accessible, it must be done in a way where it still protects patient data. Overall, health technologies must push to provide full yet secure access to patient data.  

Telemedicine’s Role in Patient Safety

Telemedicine can improve patient safety since patients will receive remote services that doctors can use to monitor their treatment plans [6]. This allows doctors to track vitals and symptoms so they can react faster and with evidence-based data to prevent worsening conditions. This is especially useful for patients with chronic conditions because it allows various doctors to collaborate with one another to provide patient-centric care. Furthermore, telemedicine allows patients to receive continuous care that tracks adverse medical effects before they get worse. In the future, patients with rare diseases will be able to benefit from greater access to health services. Overall, Patient safety is improved with continuous and trackable care. 

Some patients have concerns about using telemedicine because they are afraid that their medical records are at risk of cyberattacks. This is prevented with better safety checks & by advising patients of different options they can use to protect their data. Doctors need to make sure that patients have the resources needed to secure virtual connections and promote patient safety. 


HITS provides healthcare management services & works with providers to develop health informatics tools that promote safe and secure care. We take pride in our services and settle for nothing other than 100% quality solutions for our clients. Having the right team assist with data sharing is crucial to encouraging collaborative and secure care for patients. If you’re looking for the right team, HITS is it! You can reach out to us directly at info@healthitsol.com. Check out this link if you’re interested in having a 15-minute consultation with us: https://bit.ly/3RLsRXR.


  1. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/patient-safety 
  2. https://psnet.ahrq.gov/perspective/updates-role-health-it-patient-safety 
  3. https://www.wolterskluwer.com/en/expert-insights/three-potential-patient-safety-risks-that-can-be-addressed-through-technology 
  4. https://healthinformationtechnologysolutions.com/back-to-the-basics-of-clinical-decision-support-systems-cdss/ 
  5. https://www.acog.org/clinical/clinical-guidance/committee-opinion/articles/2015/01/patient-safety-and-health-information-technology#:~:text=Benefits%20of%20Health%20Information%20Technology,-Most%20obstetrician%E2%80%93gynecologists&text=The%20potential%20to%20improve
  6. https://healthinformationtechnologysolutions.com/back-to-the-basics-of-telemedicine/
Categories: Digital Health, Technology Management,

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