Advisory: Determining the Role of EHR Systems in Safety Events

December 21, 2012 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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​As adoption of health information technology solutions like electronic health records (EHRs) has increased across the United States, several groups have identified the lack of available safety data as a major challenge to assessing the safety of these systems, states a December 2012 Pennsylvania Patient Safety Advisory article. To inform the field about the types of EHR-related errors and problems reported to the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority and to serve as a basis for further study, Authority analysts queried the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Reporting System for reports related to EHR technologies and performed an exploratory analysis of 3,099 reports using a previously published classification structure specific to health information technology. They found that the majority of EHR-related reports involved errors in human data entry, such as the entry of "wrong" data or the failure to enter data, and a few reports indicated technical failures on the part of the EHR system.

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