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IOM pushes for creation of new, HHS-funded health IT agency

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November 9, 2011
FedCyber Wire, Requirements
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Within a year the Health and Human Services Department should stand up a federal agency–the Health IT Safety Council, which should be funded by HHS–to launch an in-depth investigation into the risks associated with health information technology use, according to recommendations from the Institute of Medicine.

If the council finds progress toward improving health IT safety unsatisfactory, the Food and Drug Administration should regulate technologies such as electronic health records and patient portals, but not IT components found in medical devices, advises IOM.

The recommendations come in a report published Nov. 8 through the National Academies of Sciences, and sponsored by HHS. The report says if such an investigative agency should be instated by Congress, its mission should be to report incidents and make nonbinding recommendations to HHS, health care organizations and vendors.

The report also says the agency would be responsible for establishing an incident-reporting framework for IT vendors and users to report health IT-related deaths, injuries or unsafe conditions. Report authors say private-sector action in addressing safety concerns has been inadequate thus far, making a federal response necessary.

via Fierce Government IT, continued here.