SAFER Guides Aid Safety and Efficiency of Electronic Health Records

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has released new guides and interactive tools that will aid in the safe use of electronic health information technology products.

Called the Safety Assurance Factors for EHR Resilience (SAFER) Guides, the tools include self-assessment checklists, practice worksheets, and recommended practices, all aimed at assessing and optimizing the safety and use of electronic health records. The guides, developed with help from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, address critical areas such as high priority practices, patient identification, test results review and follow-up, and contingency planning.

“A basic premise of the Health IT Safety Plan is that all stakeholders have a shared responsibility to make sure that health IT is safely implemented and that it is used to improve patient safety and care,” said ONC Chief Medical Officer Jacob Reider, M.D. “The SAFER Guides combine the latest applied knowledge of health IT safety with practical tools that will help providers—working closely with EHR developers, diagnostic service providers, and others—effectively assess and optimize the safety and safe use of EHR technology within their organizations.

Each guide is available both as a downloadable PDF and as an interactive web-based tool. The guides can be found at www.HealthIT.gov/saferguide.