Copy and Paste: Nifty EHR shortcut or trouble waiting to happen?

The answer is it’s both. The Partnership for Health IT Patient Safety, a collaborative in which Constellation participates, has released Safe Practice Recommendations for Copy and Paste, the first in a series of evidence-based recommendations designed to improve health IT safety.

The Partnership, established in 2013, includes healthcare providers, health information technology (IT) developers, academic researchers, patient safety organizations, liability insurers, and professional societies. The widespread and often underreported practice of copy and paste was chosen for its first set of recommended practices.

The copy and paste workgroup, chaired by National Patient Safety Foundation President and CEO Tejal Gandhi, MD, MPH, CPPS, was comprised of 40 leaders from participating organizations.

“We defined copy and paste, looked at uses, looked at the literature, reviewed events that had come into ECRI Institute’s Patient Safety Organization, talked about vendor functionalities and explored best practices from a couple of organizations and how they’re working on copy and paste, and then, at the end, got to some recommendations,” said Gandhi.

Following extensive review and discussion of the information, the group identified the following Safe Practice Recommendations for the use of copy and paste. They encourage stakeholders to:

  • Provide a mechanism to make copy and paste material easily identifiable.
  • Ensure that the provenance of copy and paste material is readily available.
  • Ensure adequate staff training and education regarding the appropriate and safe use of copy and paste.
  • Ensure that copy and paste practices are regularly monitored, measured, and assessed.

In the just-released and publicly-available toolkit, Health IT Safe Practices: Toolkit for the Safe Use of Copy and Paste, the Partnership presents the four safe practice recommendations, along with actionable resources to facilitate the implementation of these recommended safe practices.

Be sure to register for our upcoming webinar, Health IT Safe Practices: Recommendations from a Multi-Stakeholder Collaborative, March 23, 2016 from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Central Time. This webinar will discuss the safe practice recommendations for copy and paste, associated implementation strategies, resources and tools to mitigate risk.