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United in safety: Making patient safety a top priority

  • Geoff Caplea, M.D., MBA
  • 03/15/2016

This week marks National Patient Safety Awareness Week, but in practice, Allscripts makes patient safety a priority all year.

Everyone across the healthcare industry has a part to play in keeping patients safe from harm. Here are some recent examples of how Allscripts and clients are using technology effectively to keep patients safe:

Improve electronic health record (EHR) usability with user-centered design (UCD) – A well-designed software solution can improve patient safety and clinician efficiency. This white paper reviews best practices and illustrate UCD concepts with examples from Allscripts electronic health records.

Monitor patients in the hospital for faster, more effective treatment – Evidence-based clinical decision support, combined with 24/7 monitoring can help clinicians intervene quickly with appropriate treatment. For example, Allscripts SunriseTM clients have used technology to help defend against sepsis, eliminate common hospital-acquired infections and reduce C. diff cases and improve anti-microbial stewardship.

Adjust quickly to rising health concernsNorth Shore – Long Island Jewish (NSLIJ) Chief Medical Information Officer Mitchell A. Adler, M.D. recounts how technology enabled a rapid response to the Ebola public health emergency.

Administer safer medications – In a recent HIMSS Analytics survey, 73% of nurses agreed that EHRs help improve patient safety and 72% agreed that EHRs help avoid medication errors. Examples include the ability to reduce adverse drug events with technology, such as dose range checking for pediatric patients or safer medications with closed-loop delivery.

Connect clinical data at the point of careFraser Health Authority uses dbMotion to improve patient care. It’s making clinical information from multiple source systems available in one of the largest health authorities in British Columbia. The pilot program shows early clinical benefits with its Psychosis Treatment Optimization Program, reducing hospitalization and emergency visits.

Engage patients in their own care – It’s extremely important for providers, patients, and families to have strong relationships. Good communication and a patient engagement platform can enhance this relationship. (Read more: 18 tips for patient portal success.)

Clinicians, administrators, developers, payers, technicians, advocates and patients all play a role in keeping patients safe. Working together, and united in this common goal, we’ll continue to make progress toward safer care.

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About the author

Geoff Caplea, M.D., M.B.A is medical director for Allscripts Regulatory, Clinical Quality, and Patient Safety and is a practicing physician at PCC Community Wellness Center (Oak Park, Illinois). Dr. Caplea is board certified in Family Medicine and completed his residency at MacNeal Hospital (Berwyn, Illinois). Dr. Caplea has practiced in a hospital-owned, multi-specialty group, a suburban private practice and an urban Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). Throughout his career, Dr. Caplea has been a strong advocate for health information technology (HIT) and has aggressively used HIT to support his clinical work having implemented his practice's Electronic Health Record (EHR) well before the era of Meaningful Use. Dr. Caplea earned his medical degree from Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine, earned his business degree from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management, and holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Notre Dame.

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