Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Toolkit - Closing the Loop: A Guide to Safer Ambulatory Referrals in the EHR Era
The Safer Dx team helped to develop a toolkit by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement on Closing the Loop. The recommendations outlined in the toolkit are designed to help standardize the ways in which primary care practitioners activate referrals to specialists, and then keep track of the information over time. It describes a nine-step, closed-loop process in which all relevant patient information is communicated to the correct person through the appropriate channels and in a timely manner. As the process involves significant collaboration among all stakeholders, the toolkit includes both general recommendations as well as recommendations specific to each step in the process and each stakeholder group. View the toolkit on the IHI website here.
Veterans Affairs - Communication of Test Results Toolkit
The team also helped to develop a Test Results Communication toolkit for the Department of Veteran Affairs and inform policy. This toolkit offers practical guidance for facilities and clinical care teams to meet the requirements of Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Directive 1088 for timely communicating of test results to patients. The objective of this guidance is to describe useful practices, example workflows and processes necessary to implement a safe, effective and efficient method of timely test results communication to providers and patients. The toolkit also provides recommendations for system-level monitoring of test results communication to patients including parameters and methodology involved in achieving this. More information can be found in the VHA Directive 1088 here.
Safety Assurance Factors for EHR Resilience: SAFER Guides
The team helped to create SAFER Guides to help health care organizations conduct self assessments to optimize the safety and safe use of electronic health records (EHRs). The SAFER Guides consist of nine guides organized into three broad groups. These guides enable health care organizations to address EHR safety in a variety of areas by providing several recommendations that they can adopt in their practice. Organizations can download the SAFER Guides and complete them locally for self-assessment of their degree of conformance to the Recommended Practices. The guides can be found online for free at the HealthIT.gov site here.