ONC Offers Cash Prizes

Software developers can pocket up to $50,000 in prize money for coming up with a health IT application that will facilitate reporting of safety incidents in hospital and ambulatory settings.

The award is the top prize of the Reporting Patient Safety Events Challenge, sponsored by the Office of the National Coordinator for HIT.

“The solution needs to make it easier for any individual to file a report electronically, using Common Formats but allowing for additional elements and narratives,” according to a notice published April 11 in the Federal Register. “It must allow the hospital quality and risk management staff to add information from follow-up investigation, submit reports to patient safety organizations, the state, or the FDA (which may differ and need to be tracked separately), and track follow-up activities.”

The application also will need to:

  • Increase ease of reporting to the provider or parent organization;
  • Enable importation, including screen shots from EHRs, PHRs and other information systems;
  • Capture useful demographic information and other relevant information such as diagnoses;
  • Capture information about the type of organization submitting the report;
  • Enable the option of submitting the report to non-patient safety organization public health or health oversight organizations;
  • Be platform-agnostic; and
  • Leverage and extend standards and services of the Nationwide Health Information Network.

The ONC contest also will award $15,000 for second prize and $5,000 for third. Awards may be subject to federal income taxes. The notice with additional information is available here.