In Crossing the Quality Chasm, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Committee on Quality of Health Care in America identified the critical role of information technology in designing a health system that produces care that is “safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient, and equitable” (Committee on Quality of Health Care in America, 2001, p. 164). A subsequent IOM report contends that improved information systems are essential to a new health care delivery system that “both prevents errors and learns from them when they occur” (Committee on Data Standards for Patient Safety, 2004, p. 1). This review specifically highlights the role of informatics processes and information technology in promoting patient safety and summarizes relevant nursing research. First, the components of an informatics infrastructure for patient safety are described within the context of the national framework for delivering consumer-centric and information-rich health care and using the National Health Information Infrastructure (NHII) (Thompson & Brailer, 2004). Second, relevant nursing research is summarized; this includes research studies that contributed to the development of selected infrastructure components as well as studies specifically focused on patient safety. Third, knowledge gaps and opportunities for nursing research are identified for each main topic. The health information technologies deployed as part of the national framework must support nursing practice in a manner that enables prevention of medical errors and promotion of patient safety and contributes to the development of practice-based nursing knowledge as well as best practices for patient safety. The seminal work that has been completed to date is necessary, but not sufficient, to achieve this objective.
Annual Review of Nursing Research – Springer Publishing
Published: Jan 1, 2006