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Most health IT-related issues go unresolved

A new study has found that health care organizations in Kentucky and elsewhere are failing to resolve most patient safety events involving information technology. The study, which was published in the Journal of Patient Safety and Risk Management, was conducted by researchers from MedStar Health's National Center for Human Factors in Health and the Georgetown School of Medicine.

To come to their conclusions, researchers examined 1.7 million patient safety events and flagged the ones that involved health care IT. They then divided each organization's response to the event into categories, including no resolution, training and education, policy and IT-oriented solutions. They found that 64% of events were never resolved. Of the events that did get resolved, 55% were resolved with training and education, 45% were resolved with an IT-oriented solution and 6% were resolved with multiple solutions.

The study concluded that health care systems should work on finding effective solutions to health care IT-related events. One possible way to make that happen could be working to bridge the gap between IT and biomedical departments. According to a study by Frost & Sullivan, breaking down the silo mentality between those departments leads to "remarkable" improvements in patient care.

Meanwhile, a 2018 study by the ECRI Institute listed the top medical device networking flaws that can negatively impact patient care. Examples of these issues include lab results being delivered without pertinent information, only partial information being sent from a ventilator to the networked physiologic patient monitor and fetal monitor data not being correctly displayed at the nurse's workstation.

A patient who has been harmed by health care IT issues or other types of medical errors might want to file a medical malpractice lawsuit to recover damages. An attorney could carefully evaluate the case and push for a settlement that covers medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost income and more.

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