ONC updates SAFER guides, outlines best practices for EHR configuration

31 March 2017

By Mike Miliard

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT has updated its SAFER guides, first published in 2014, outlining recommendations for optimal use of electronic health records to ensure patient safety.

The SAFER guides – it stands for Safety Assurance Factors for Electronic Health Record Resilience – were first published in 2014, but the evolution of clinical technology since then necessitated new versions, according to ONC Chief Medical Information Officer Andrew Gettinger, MD.

Technology vendors, IT staff and clinical end users are all critical to effective use of EHRs, he said – noting that the safety and usability are heavily dependent on two key design decisions: the developers' choices about the functionalities of their software, and the decisions made by hospitals and practices when the EHR is implemented and customized.

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