Electronic health records are supposed to reduce medical errors in hospitals. But they fail to detect up to 33%, study says.

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Electronic health records have largely replaced written medical records to reduce human error that could result in patient injury or death.

While technology has greatly improved from 2009 to 2018, researchers found EHRs only modestly improved during the study’s 10-year span. In 2009, EHR systems issued warnings or alerts about potential medication problems about 54% of the time. By 2018, the number increased to 66%.

“Hospitals decide what drug-related decision supports to turn on within their systems. They have a great latitude around this,” said Dr. David W. Bates, study co-author and chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine and Primary Care at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. A spokesperson for the Office of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services said health IT has reduced medical errors overall and suggestive research shows “a very small percent” of medical errors can be attributed to it.

Dr. Allison Weathers, Enterprise Associate Chief of Medical Information Officer at the Cleveland Clinic, said the study’s results shouldn’t be interpreted as a direct translation to EHR safety performance in the real world as outcomes were evaluated through the Leapfrog CPOE test.

Source: Healthcare Press (healthcarepress.net)


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