Complexity of EHR-Related Safety Concerns Warrants Robust, Ongoing Evaluation

June 25, 2014 | Strategic Insights for Health System


Because safety concerns related to electronic health record (EHR) systems have complex sociotechnical origins, institutions with long-standing as well as recent EHR implementations should build a robust infrastructure to monitor and learn from them, concludes a study published online, June 20, 2014, in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. The study, which analyzed 100 consecutive, unique, closed investigations between August 2009 and May 2013 from 344 reported incidents at a large, integrated healthcare system, found that 74 involved unsafe technology and 25 involved unsafe use of technology. Further analysis revealed that in most of the investigations, nontechnical dimensions such as workflow, policies, and personnel interacted in a complex fashion with technical dimensions such as software/hardware, content, and user interface to produce safety concerns.

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