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Misuse of EHR Systems and Medical Errors


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5/19/2015
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Electronic health record technology is meant to reduce the likelihood of medical errors throughout the healthcare system, however EHR technology is not error-proof and medical workers have made mistakes through these systems.

Recently one pharmacist had ordered acetaminophen for the wrong patient because they had two records open at the same time. This is just one example of mistakes that were tied directly back to the misuse of HER or e-prescribing systems.

A research paper published in the journal of Critical Care shows that more than half of unexpected deaths that occur 72 hours after emergency department visit and hospital admission are due to a medical error and could be prevented.

However none of the reasons for the medical errors in the study were associated with the misuse of HER or health IT platforms. The reasons included incorrect choice of treatment, missing key diagnostic tests relevant to a condition, and a severe delay or absence of ordering recommended sepsis treatment.

However, a West Health Institute survey asserts that the lack of EHR interoperability and medical device connectivity has been cited previously as a key reason for medical errors.

About one out of two nurses polled in the survey stated that they noticed a medical error due to poor integration of EHR technology or medical device within a hospital or practice.

About 71% of polled nurses wouldn’t transition back to paper records and 72% believe that HER technology improves patient safety and reduces medical errors. Most of the nurses also start that health IT enhanced collaboration between healthcare staff.

The results of this study show that nurses have the highest levels of satisfaction around how EHRs improve the quality of clinical decisions.

Many believe that greater EHR interoperability will continue to be a key aspect of ensuring misuse of EHR technology and medical errors are reduced while patient care and outcomes are improved. 

 

 



Category: Medical Malpractice


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