Call 413.540.1234 to
schedule an appointment
CONCERN/EAP: 413.534.2625
Billing questions? Call: 413.540.1212
CRISIS: 413.733.6661

Health Policy & Advocacy
Resources
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest News
Unused Meds? Saturday Is National Drug Take Back DayA Doctor's Age May Matter With Emergency SurgeryPatients Prefer Doctors Who Engage in Face-to-Face VisitsU.S. Better Able to Tackle Health Emergencies: ReportFirst Opioid Lawsuit Targeting Pharmacy Benefit ManagersMost Doctors' Offices Don't Offer Flexibility for UninsuredSafety Info for Opioids Found LackingNonoptimized Drug Therapy Costs More Than $500 Billion AnnuallyFDA Cracks Down on Caffeine-Loaded SupplementsCigarette Tax Hike Could Ease Poverty for Millions Worldwide: StudyCDC: Aggressive Action Needed to Contain Antibiotic ResistanceCould Medical Pot Help Curb the Opioid Abuse Crisis?Medical E-Records Not Without Risks: StudyHealth Groups Sue FDA to Speed Review of E-CigarettesEHR Usability Contributes to Possible Patient Harm EventsAHA: Solving the Dilemma of Not Enough HeartsUnchecked Air Pollution a Death Sentence for Millions: StudyPersonal Health Info Found in Recycling at Five HospitalsTask Force Issues Stronger Skin Cancer Prevention GuidelinesFDA Considers Lowering Nicotine Levels in CigarettesDoctors Facing Challenge to Help Needy While Protecting PracticesPharmacists Encouraged to Learn More About Herbal SupplementsBan Menthols to Help Some Smokers QuitStem Cell Clinics Pitch Pricey, Bogus 'Cures' for Knee PainMany Americans Think Docs Order Too Many Tests, MedsIs Herbal Drug Kratom a Health Friend or Foe?Early Studies Often Show Exaggerated Treatment EffectStrong Tobacco Laws May Weed Out Vapers, TooUnderstanding Rx Nonadherence Can Improve AdherenceBystander Use of Defib Device Doubles Chances of Surviving Cardiac ArrestNew Research Debunks Two Medical Marijuana MythsTake Early Clinical Trials With a Grain of SaltCould Hackers Target Heart Devices?Protecting Your Electronic Health RecordsAfter Another Shooting Tragedy, 'Stop the Bleed' Kits Urged for SchoolsPatients Want Physicians to Have Greater ConnectivityYour Tax Dollars Fund Research on Hundreds of New MedsFour Best Practices Outlined to Prevent Health Care CyberattacksMany Patients Know Too Little About Their MRI, CT Scans: StudyUnsafe Water Found in Faucets Across the U.S.Health Tip: Prevent Exposure to LeadHealth Tip: Online Pharmacies You Should AvoidDon't Count on an American to Do CPRPoll: Personal Beliefs Shouldn't Allow Doctors to Refuse to TreatFDA Says U.S. Will Now Produce Critical MRI ComponentPicking a New Primary Care DoctorUber, Lyft Rides May Not Help Boost Doc Visits for Poorer Patients2018 Immunization Schedule Issued for U.S. ChildrenA Hidden Source of 'Superbugs' in Hospitals?2018 Immunization Schedule Issued for U.S. Adults
Questions and AnswersLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Medical E-Records Not Without Risks: Study

HealthDay News
by -- Robert Preidt
Updated: Mar 28th 2018

new article illustration

WEDNESDAY, March 28, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Advances in medical technology sometimes come with drawbacks, and in the case of electronic health records, a new study suggests these systems occasionally put patients at risk.

"There's no question that electronic health records have clear benefits for clinicians and patients, and can improve the care process," said senior author Raj Ratwani. He is director of the MedStar Health National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare in Washington, D.C.

"However, nearly all health care systems have adopted an [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 news release.

The analysis of more than 1.7 million reports from the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority and another mid-Atlantic health system found 557 cases of possible patient harm in which problems using electronic record systems were a factor.

"Our view is that even one patient harm event that stems from electronic health record usability issues is unacceptable," Ratwani said.

Trouble spots include data entry, alerts and interoperability (the ability of computer systems or software to exchange and make use of information). The usability issues affected placement of prescription orders and medication administration.

Examples of the problems cited include:

  • Order placement: A doctor put a medication order in the system while a surgery patient was in recovery, then left the hospital. Though the orders looked complete, they were not activated.
  • Alerts: Even though a patient's drug allergy was listed in the record, the system failed to issue an alert about the allergy.

"These are solvable issues, and we are committed to improving electronic health record usability and patient safety," Ratwani said.

The study was published March 27 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

More information

The U.S. National Institutes of Health has more about clear communication between doctors and patients.