TQ Teleconnection- October 2017

Assessing the Safety of Electronic Health Records: What Have We Learned?

The percentage of physicians and hospitals using electronic health records (EHRs) is now well over 90%.(1) While this transformation is generally good news, it has been characterized by many unintended, and unexpected, consequences.(2) Over the past decade or so, we have conducted several studies at the intersection of EHR implementation and safety (3) to help understand and address some of these unintended consequences and their impact on patient safety. We used both quantitative and qualitative methods, including multiple rapid assessment techniques such as interviews and site visits (4), to focus on key EHR-related activities. Our topics have included: (i) exploration of the processes involved in identifying and communicating abnormal laboratory test results (5) and referrals (6); (ii) development and implementation of service-oriented clinical decision support (CDS) (7); (iii) identification of recommended practices for ensuring safe and effective EHR implementation and use (8); and (iv) roles of organizations and people responsible for designing, developing, implementing, and evaluating EHRs, including a large multicenter project on CDS.(9)

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Patient Safety Network (September 2017)

Dean F. Sittig, PhD, and Hardeep Singh, MD, MPH