HealthcarePapers

HealthcarePapers 5(3) October 2004 : 37-42.doi:10.12927/hcpap..16863
Commentary

Patient Safety: Is the Evidence Strong Enough That Information Technology Can Help?

Denis Protti

Abstract

It is not difficult to prepare a commentary on Dr. Morgan's invited essay "In Pursuit of a Safe Canadian Healthcare System" if one agrees with almost everything he reveals and postulates. When a respected young practising physician candidly and forcibly makes a case for the need for significant healthcare system reform, one must sit up and take notice. If nothing else, his statement "outpatient medical errors are the bread and butter of internal medicine hospital admissions" should cause us to be deeply concerned.

Dr. Morgan pleads for a number of reforms, such as the creation of a Patient Safety Board akin to Canada's Transportation Safety Board, the demonstration of an ROI for the electronic health record, the introduction of computerized physician order entry, and a number of other suggestions. Due to limitations of time and space, we will react to only a few of his views, mildly disagreeing with some while strongly reinforcing others.

 

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