News Releases

Health IT Safety Collaborative Releases First Set of Safe Practices
Partnership for Health IT Patient Safety issues recommendations on the safe use of copy and paste at HIMSS16 in Las Vegas

PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa., Feb. 25, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Partnership for Health IT Patient Safety, a multi-stakeholder collaborative convened by ECRI Institute, announces the release of Safe Practice Recommendations for Copy and Paste, at HIMSS16 in Las Vegas. This is the Partnership's first release 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.

"I hope the toolkit will stimulate discussions about safe practices, so that all of the stakeholders, including frontline staff, are aware of what the current copy and paste practices are, what the rationale is when using copy and paste, and then how to best maintain the accuracy and reliability of the record when reusing information," says ECRI Institute's Lorraine Possanza, DPM, JD, MBE, senior patient safety, risk, and quality analyst.

Andrew Gettinger, chief information officer of the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology, highlighted the collaborative nature of the workgroup and the toolkit issued, commenting that he was "…delighted with the work that came out of this group."

The safe practice recommendations have been agreed upon by those participating in the Partnership and are supported by: American Association for Physician Leadership (AAPL), Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI), American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), Allscripts, American Medical Association (AMA), American Medical Directors of Information Systems (AMDIS), American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA), American Nursing Informatics Association (ANIA), Alliance for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety (AQIPS), athenahealth, Constellation, ECRI Institute, Health Care Improvement Foundation (HCIF), Henry Ford Health System, Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP), Joint Commission, McKesson, MHA Keystone Center, Midwest Alliance for Patient Safety, NextGen, Northwell Health, National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF), PSOFlorida, St. Charles Health System, Tennessee Center for Patient Safety, and University of Pennsylvania Health System. To see additional supporters, please visit the Partnership website.

The Partnership, sponsored in part through a grant from the Jayne Koskinas Ted Giovanis Foundation (JKTG) for Health and Policy, leverages the work of multiple PSOs, along with providers, health IT vendors, an expert advisory panel, and professional societies to create a non-punitive learning environment that mitigates risk and facilitates improvement.

To learn more about the Partnership, visit, visit the HIMSS Spot in the HIMSS16 Exhibit Hall on Wednesday, March 2, at 4:00 pm, or contact us by telephone at (610) 825-6000; by e-mail at; by fax at (610) 834-1275; or by mail at 5200 Butler Pike, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462.

Social Sharing

  • #EINews Health IT Safety Collaborative Releases First Set of Safe Practices #EHR #HITPartnership
  • Just released-Partnership for Health IT #ptsafety, w/ @ECRI_Institute, Safe Practice recommendations #HITPartnership

About ECRI Institute
ECRI Institute (, a nonprofit organization, dedicates itself to bringing the discipline of applied scientific research to healthcare to discover which medical procedures, devices, drugs, and processes enable improved patient care. As pioneers in this science for nearly 50 years, ECRI Institute marries experience and independence with the objectivity of evidence-based research. Strict conflict-of-interest guidelines ensure objectivity. ECRI Institute is designated an Evidence-based Practice Center by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. ECRI Institute PSO is listed as a federally certified Patient Safety Organization by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Find ECRI Institute on Facebook ( and on Twitter (

The Jayne Koskinas Ted Giovanis Foundation for Health and Policy (JKTG Foundation)
The Partnership for Health IT Patient Safety is sponsored in part through a grant from the Jayne Koskinas Ted Giovanis Foundation for Health and Policy (JKTG Foundation). The JKTG Foundation ( aims to change health care for the better. Funding innovative medical research, data analysis, events and other projects, the Foundation serves as an honest, independent broker of ideas and actions designed to advance both health care and health policy. The JKTG Foundation has been established as a private operating foundation and is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.



For further information: Laurie Menyo, Director of Public Relations and Marketing Communications, (610) 825-6000, ext. 5310,