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OBJECTIVE: State agencies have developed reporting systems of safety events that include events related to health information technology (HIT). These data come from hospital reporting systems where staff submit safety reports and nurses, in the role of safety managers, review, and code events. Safety managers may have varying degrees of experience with identifying events related to HIT. Our objective was to review events potentially involving HIT and compare those with what was reported to the state.
METHODS: We performed a structured review of 1 year of safety events from an academic pediatric healthcare system. We reviewed the free-text description of each event and applied a classification scheme derived from the AHRQ Health IT Hazard Manager and compared the results with events reported to the state as involving HIT.
RESULTS: Of 33,218 safety events for a 1-year period, 1247 included key words related to HIT and/or were indicated by safety managers as involving HIT. Of the 1247 events, the structured review identified 769 as involving HIT. In comparison, safety managers only identified 194 of the 769 events (25%) as involving HIT. Most events, 353 (46%), not identified by safety managers were documentation issues. Of the 1247 events, the structured review identified 478 as not involving HIT while safety managers identified and reported 81 of these 478 events (17%) as involving HIT.
CONCLUSIONS: The current process of reporting safety events lacks standardization in identifying health technology contributions to safety events, which may minimize the effectiveness of safety initiatives.