Electronic Health Record Errors Call for Greater Regulation, Study Says

While electronic health records have been shown to increase patient safety by eliminating handwriting problems and expediting pharmacy orders, physicians are still working to reduce key errors in the implementation process, according to an iHealthBeat report

Errors resulting from electronic medical records include drug-dosing inaccuracies due to weight conversion; medication list discrepancies between systems; treatment delays; and missed diagnosis errors due to the difficulty of amending entries and deleting incorrect information. 

"Many of the errors we see are not because of the EHR system malfunctioning but because people haven't spent the time to really think about how a provider interacts with that system," said Shobha Phansalkar, a senior medical informatician with Boston-based Partners Healthcare.

With these errors in mind, a recent IOM report called for the establishment of a federal entity to evaluate electronic health record product safety; track and report errors and safety issues; and investigate technology-related patient injuries or deaths.

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