The Safety Assurance Factors for EHR Resilience (SAFER) guides were released in 2014 to help health systems conduct proactive risk assessment of electronic health record (EHR)- safety related policies, processes, procedures, and configurations. The extent to which SAFER recommendations are followed is unknown.
We conducted risk assessments of 8 organizations of varying size, complexity, EHR, and EHR adoption maturity. Each organization self-assessed adherence to all 140 unique SAFER recommendations contained within 9 guides (range 10-29 recommendations per guide). In each guide, recommendations were organized into 3 broad domains: “safe health IT” (total 45 recommendations); “using health IT safely” (total 80 recommendations); and “monitoring health IT” (total 15 recommendations).
The 8 sites fully implemented 25 of 140 (18%) SAFER recommendations. Mean number of “fully implemented” recommendations per guide ranged from 94% (System Interfaces-18 recommendations) to 63% (Clinical Communication-12 recommendations). Adherence was higher for “safe health IT” domain (82.1%) vs “using health IT safely” (72.5%) and “monitoring health IT” (67.3%).
Despite availability of recommendations on how to improve use of EHRs, most recommendations were not fully implemented. New national policy initiatives are needed to stimulate implementation of these best practices.
Citation: Sittig DF, Salimi M, Aiyagari R, Banas C, Clay B, Gibson KA, et al. Adherence to recommended electronic health record safety practices across eight health care organizations. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2018 Jul 1;25(7):913–8.