Classen DC, Griffin FA, Berwick DM. Measuring patient safety in real time: An essential method for effectively improving the safety of care. Annals of Internal Medicine. November 21, 2017. [Epub ahead of print]
The continuing evidence of preventable deaths due to medical error has led to recent calls to improve measurement of safety in hospitals. This need can be adequately addressed by harnessing health information technology. The authors argue that electronic health records (EHRs), which have been broadly adopted, offer the opportunity to measure all causes of harm in real time, and in the whole patient population — with minimal need for additional resources — allowing for robust measurement of patient safety and prompt intervention to reduce or mitigate harm.