Challenges in ethics, safety, best practices, and oversight regarding HIT vendors, their customers, and patients

A report of an AMIA special task force

Kenneth Goodman, Eta S. Berner, Mark A. Dente, Bonnie Kaplan, Ross Koppel, Donald Rucker, Daniel Z. Sands, Peter Winkelstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The current commercial health information technology (HIT) arena encompasses a number of competing firms that provide electronic health applications to hospitals, clinical practices, and other healthcare-related entities. Such applications collect, store, and analyze patient information. Some vendors incorporate contract language whereby purchasers of HIT systems, such as hospitals and clinics, must indemnify vendors for malpractice or personal injury claims, even if those events are not caused or fostered by the purchasers. Some vendors require contract clauses that force HIT system purchasers to adopt vendor-defined policies that prevent the disclosure of errors, bugs, design flaws, and other HIT-software-related hazards. To address this issue, the AMIA Board of Directors appointed a Task Force to provide an analysis and insights. Task Force findings and recommendations include: patient safety should trump all other values; corporate concerns about liability and intellectual property ownership may be valid but should not over-ride all other considerations; transparency and a commitment to patient safety should govern vendor contracts; institutions are duty-bound to provide ethics education to purchasers and users, and should commit publicly to standards of corporate conduct; and vendors, system purchasers, and users should encourage and assist in each others' efforts to adopt best practices. Finally, the HIT community should re-examine whether and how regulation of electronic health applications could foster improved care, public health, and patient safety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-81
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Medical Informatics Association
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

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Medical Informatics
Advisory Committees
Practice Guidelines
Ethics
Safety
Patient Safety
Contracts
Health Information Systems
Truth Disclosure
Intellectual Property
Ownership
Malpractice
Health
Language
Software
Public Health
Delivery of Health Care
Education
Wounds and Injuries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics

Cite this

Challenges in ethics, safety, best practices, and oversight regarding HIT vendors, their customers, and patients : A report of an AMIA special task force. / Goodman, Kenneth; Berner, Eta S.; Dente, Mark A.; Kaplan, Bonnie; Koppel, Ross; Rucker, Donald; Sands, Daniel Z.; Winkelstein, Peter.

In: Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, Vol. 18, No. 1, 01.01.2011, p. 77-81.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Goodman, Kenneth ; Berner, Eta S. ; Dente, Mark A. ; Kaplan, Bonnie ; Koppel, Ross ; Rucker, Donald ; Sands, Daniel Z. ; Winkelstein, Peter. / Challenges in ethics, safety, best practices, and oversight regarding HIT vendors, their customers, and patients : A report of an AMIA special task force. In: Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. 2011 ; Vol. 18, No. 1. pp. 77-81.
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