WEDNESDAY, March 28, 2018 (HealthDay News) – Advances in medical technology are sometimes associated with disadvantages, and in the case of electronic health records, a new study suggests these systems occasionally patients put in danger.
"There is no question that electronic health records have significant benefits for clinicians and patients and can improve the treatment process," said senior author Raj Ratwani. He is director of the MedStar Health National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare in Washington, DC
"However, almost all health systems have adopted [electronic health record system] and this technology has introduced some new risks to patient safety, as our study has shown," Ratwani said in a MedStar press release.
Analysis of more than 1
.7 million reports from the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority and another Mid-Atlantic Health System revealed 557 cases of potential patient injury involving problems with electronic recording systems
"Our view is that even a patient injury event, the from the usability problems of electronic health records is unacceptable, "said Ratwani.
Issues include data entry, alerts, and interoperability (the ability of computer systems or software to exchange and use information). The usability issues involved the placement of prescription orders and drug delivery.
Examples of the problems listed are:
Ordering: A doctor placed a drug order into the system while a surgical patient was recovering from the hospital. Although the orders appeared completely, they were not activated.
Alerts: Although a patient's drug allergy was listed in the record, the system was unable to issue a warning about the allergy.
"These are solvable issues" We are committed to improving the electronic health record and patient safety, "said Ratwani.
The study was published on March 27, in the Journal of the American Medical Association