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Center proposes oversight framework for health IT safety

February 13, 2013

The Bipartisan Policy Center today proposed an oversight framework for assuring patient safety in health information technology. Among other guiding principles, the framework should be risk-based, flexible and assure patient safety is a shared responsibility, the authors said. "Assuring safety in clinical software in particular is a shared responsibility among developers, implementers, and users across the various stages of the health IT life cycle, which include design and development; implementation and customization; upgrades, maintenance and operations; and risk identification, mitigation and remediation," the report states. Among other recommendations, the center said clinical software such as electronic health records and software used to inform clinical decision making "should be subject to a new oversight framework, rather than traditional regulatory approaches applied to medical devices given its lower risk profile."