The Future of Nursing and Health IT

The Quality Elixir

Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN

Disclosures

Nurs Econ. 2011;29(5):286-289. 

In This Article

Quality: The Starting Block For Transforming Care

The desire to transform health care has been ever present with advances in education, scientific evidence, and technology. However, with the publication of To Err is Human (Kohn, Corrigan, & Donaldson, 1999), the IOM shocked the nation with the stark revelation health care was not safe and patients were dying from events deemed preventable. In response to this revelation, the IOM laid out a strategy in Crossing the Quality Chasm (Board on Health Care Services, IOM, 2001) for reinventing the health care system that included redesign imperatives: re-engineered care processes, effective use of information technologies, knowledge and skills management, development of effective teams, and coordination of care across patient conditions, services, and sites of care over time. It also set forth six aims for improving care and reducing the burden of illness, asserting that when care is safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, equitable, and efficient, it is more reliable and more responsive to patient needs.

These reports called for the use of health information technology (IT) to improve the safety, quality, and efficiency of care throughout the health care system. The potential for transforming health care through the use of IT has focused on automation of clinical information, improving communication between patients and providers, reducing errors, and bringing evidence to the point of care. A decade later we see a national health quality agenda that inextricably links health IT to the major actions for achieving a safer, more effective, and more efficient health care system.

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