Ask ECRI: Provider Requests to Keep Patient Records “Unlocked” in the EHR

July 20, 2016 | Ambulatory Care Risk Management


​A member recently wrote to ECRI while working to improve the functionality of their electronic health record (EHR) system. The practice noted that its providers, frustrated with patient records that become locked and require being "unlocked by administrators," is considering leaving the records "unlocked" at all times.

The practice's risk manager notes several concerns with this approach. First, the risk manager notes that records that are not locked or closed could be changed, and that policies and procedures should be in place covering this, specifying how much time the chart will be open before it is locked or closed. These policies could cover adding...

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