Patient safety issues are ubiquitous and have been widely published in current medical literature. We reviewed the literature to find evidence of success in alleviating patient safety issues, especially via the use of information technology, and to find directions for the future.

This review very broadly describes what has been achieved by adoption of eHealth systems, and what needs to be done for Patient Safety in the eHealth journey.

We conducted literature review and added our experiences to assess the situation and explore the potential for alleviation of Patient Safety issues adopting eHealth. Institute of Medicine USA have been coming forward with landmark publications, namely;

§ Health IT and Patient Safety: Building Safer Systems for Better Care (2011)

§ Patient Safety: Achieving A New Standard for Care ( 2003)

Researchers from England Aziz Sheikh et al, have published ‘The Impact of eHealth on the Quality and Safety of Healthcare. An updated systematic overview & synthesis of the literature. Final report for the NHS Connecting for Health Evaluation Programme (NHS CFHEP 001)’, in March 2011. In 2018, Australian Commission on Safety and Quality of Health care has published “ Impact of Digital Health on the Safety and Quality of Health Care”, that provides more recent evidence of successes.

Variations among implemented eHealth interventions limits comparison of data and generalizability. Setting specific interventions need to be designed with current knowledge and needs to be re-engineered as progress is made, keeping in mind the complex an interdependent nature of healthcare interventions and outcomes. Overall, introducing digital health initiatives into healthcare organizations can produce significant benefits to patients and healthcare providers in the patient safety realm. 

Patient safety issues are increasing as practice of medicine gets more complex and expansive, and deserves utmost attention in controlling this exponentially growing challenge. Implementation of patient safety interventions need to be multi-modal and success depends on ensuring evidence-based rigorous implementation process with continuous data based monitoring, people’s active participation and embracing technological advancement while being vigilant about the faulty designs in organizational infrastructure and culture, and IT systems parse.  linkedin