SAFER Guidelines and EHR Management

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The Safety Assurance Factors for Electronic Health Record (EHR) Resilience, or SAFER guidelines, could assist healthcare providers as they integrate technology into their everyday practices.

The “Safety Assurance Factors for Electronic Health Record (EHR) Resilience,” or SAFER guidelines, could assist healthcare providers as they integrate technology into their everyday practices. Three sets of guides—foundational, infrastructure, and clinical process—offer self-assessment checklists that help providers determine whether EHR technology is being used effectively and safely.

“The SAFER Guides help the management team think beyond the obvious when it comes to possible system failures. Even those who are well versed in IT and EHR design will fail to consider every possible glitch. The guides give self-assessment tools that flush out problems putting patients and the practice at risk. They offer solutions to avoid dangerous pitfalls as well,” said Alok Prasad, founder and president of RevenueXL Inc, a medical solution group. “SAFER Guides are designed to fit any healthcare environment that uses an electronic records system, whether it is a practice, developer, or patient safety organization. The goal is to optimize safety while getting the most benefit from the program.”

Within the 3 different categories are 9 separate tools which work to identify potential threats or vulnerabilities in health systems. Some of these tools also help providers to rank issues based on their urgency, and to explain how providers can remediate situations they encounter with EHRs. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) suggests that organizations can phase in SAFER guidelines.


“Phases remind organizations ‘which’ aspect of health IT safety is being addressed as they adopt EHRs and build health IT safety programs. Phases overlap and build upon each other. In general, the higher phases assume that Phase 1 recommended practices on safety concerns unique to EHRs have been considered and are being addressed,” stated the ONC recommendations. “Once the EHR is in clinical use, organizations should consider how to integrate the recommended practices in all phases into routine operations, based upon assessment of those practices. Within each phase, the recommended practices address principles that suggest ‘why’ the recommended practices are needed, although any given recommended practice may support several principles that support health IT safety.”

Mr Prasad added that SAFER guidelines continually provide evidence-based solutions for providers seeking to safely implement EHR systems.

Around the Web

Have You Checked Out The ‘SAFER’ Guides For EHR Management? [MedCity News]

SAFER Phases and Principles [ONC]