Organizational Responsibilities

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Download the PDF guide to access the checklist of recommended practices for self assessment and a supporting worksheet to identify action steps to achieve those recommended practices.

The Organizational Responsibilities SAFER Guide identifies individual and organizational responsibilities (activities, processes, and tasks) intended to optimize the safety and safe use of EHRs. A safe EHR implementation is critically dependent on the people involved. This guide, compared to all of the others, focuses chiefly on human behavior and relationships, and it is organized differently than the other guides—in addition to mapping recommended practices to domains as for the rest of the series, this Guide takes the additional step of mapping recommended practices to principles that apply across all three domains to the people who have responsibility for patient safety in EHR-enabled healthcare organizations.

Safe EHR implementations require attention to social as well as technical matters. This guide is designed to help safely manage the individual and organizational responsibilities in a complex "sociotechnical" healthcare organization. Responsibilities can be shifted, forgotten, or newly created when EHRs are implemented. Careful attention to the details of those responsibilities is a critical factor in system safety and in realizing the potential benefits of EHRs.

Completing the self-assessment in the Organizational Responsibilities SAFER Guide requires the engagement of a wide variety of people within the organization. Because this guide is designed to help organizations prioritize EHR-related safety concerns, clinician leadership in the organization should be engaged in assessing whether and how any particular recommended practice affects the organization’s ability to deliver safe, high quality care. The collaboration between clinicians and staff members in completing the self-assessment in this guide will enable an accurate snapshot of the organization’s EHR responsibility status (in terms of safety), and even more importantly, should lead to a consensus about the organization’s future path to optimize EHR-related safety and quality: setting priorities among the recommended practices not yet addressed, ensuring a plan is in place to maintain recommended practices already in place, dedicating the required resources to make necessary improvements, and working together to mitigate the highest priority responsibility-related safety risks introduced by the EHR.

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