SOC (Software Oversight Committee)

A healthcare committee charged with ensuring that patients are not placed at risk by implemented software solutions. SOCs contain representative from all aspects of the healthcare enterprise. It has been suggested that SOCs be formed along the lines of The Joint Commission’s institutional review boards (IRBs). IRBs typically are composed of risk management lawyers, medical ethicists, physicians and other interested parties within the care delivery organization (CDO). Because of the technical nature of the task, an SOC must have information systems (IS) representation. An SOC should meet on a regular basis to review all current and planned medical software implementations. In addition, it should form, and possibly enforce, a policy designed to ensure patient safety where medical software is concerned. Specific SOC responsibilities include validating that applications perform reliably and as expected, for example, by creating and running trial scenarios looking at both system and clinical functionality. A SOC should ensure that all decision support applications are based on accurate data, that they are implemented correctly and that the rule base is kept current. It should also examine how the various packages operate in tandem, paying close attention to combinations of functions that could potentially lead to errors that place patients at risk.

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