Medical Malpractice Data Shows Hazards Associated with EHRs

February 19, 2014 | Strategic Insights for Health System


Electronic health records (EHRs) have been touted as a way to reduce costs and improve patient care, but various studies, including a recent medical malpractice claims review, continue to find hazards associated with their use, according to a February 11, 2014, Patient Safety & Quality Healthcare article. After expanding its malpractice coding system to allow reviewers to identify EHR events in January 2013, CRICO, a medical professional liability insurer for Harvard medical facilities and affiliated healthcare providers, found 147 malpractice cases in which EHR was a contributing factor to the case in one year. Of the 147 cases, which cost $61 million in direct payments and legal expenses, CRICO noted that 20% involved incorrect information being entered into the EHR (e.g., height was measured in inches but recorded in centimeters, wrong patient file accessed).

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