Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

Health Services Research & Development

Go to the ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

A Sociotechnical Framework for Safety-Related Electronic Health Record Research Reporting: The SAFER Reporting Framework.

Singh H, Sittig DF. A Sociotechnical Framework for Safety-Related Electronic Health Record Research Reporting: The SAFER Reporting Framework. Annals of internal medicine. 2020 Jun 2; 172(11_Supplement):S92-S100.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


Electronic health record (EHR)-based interventions to improve patient safety are complex and sensitive to who, what, where, why, when, and how they are delivered. Success or failure depends not only on the characteristics and behaviors of individuals who are targeted by an intervention, but also on the technical characteristics of the intervention and the culture and environment of the health system that implements it. Current reporting guidelines do not capture the complexity of sociotechnical factors (technical and nontechnical factors, such as workflow and organizational issues) that confound or influence these interventions. This article proposes a methodological reporting framework for EHR interventions targeting patient safety and builds on an 8-dimension sociotechnical model previously developed by the authors for design, development, implementation, use, and evaluation of health information technology. The Safety-related EHR Research (SAFER) Reporting Framework enables reporting of patient safety-focused EHR-based interventions while accounting for the multifaceted, dynamic sociotechnical context affecting intervention implementation, effectiveness, and generalizability. As an example, an EHR-based intervention to improve communication and timely follow-up of subcritical abnormal test results to operationalize the framework is presented. For each dimension, reporting should include what sociotechnical changes were made to implement an EHR-related intervention to improve patient safety, why the intervention did or did not lead to safety improvements, and how this intervention can be applied or exported to other health care organizations. A foundational list of research and reporting recommendations to address implementation, effectiveness, and generalizability of EHR-based interventions needed to effectively reduce preventable patient harm is provided. The SAFER Reporting Framework is not meant to replace previous research reporting guidelines, but rather provides a sociotechnical adjunct that complements their use.

Questions about the HSR&D website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.