EHR usability not just a pain point for doctors: It can harm patients too

EHR usability not just a pain point for doctors: It can harm patients too

The usability frustrations that medical doctors encounter with digital well being data are well-known at this level however what has been much less understood is the affect the software program may cause to sufferers.

EHR usability points, in truth, could also be related to some security occasions during which sufferers have been harmed, in keeping with a brand new research revealed within the Journal of the American Medical Affiliation.

The evaluation found that affected person security stories mentioning a selected EHR contained language suggesting that the EHR might have contributed to affected person hurt, although from 2013 to 2016 these points represented lower than 1 % of affected person hurt occasions.

Researchers analyzed 1.735 million free-text affected person security stories from 571 healthcare services in Pennsylvania and one other East Coast healthcare system. Solely stories that used one of many high 5 digital well being merchandise or distributors, and that have been categorized as “reaching the affected person with doable hurt,” have been included.

[Also: A look inside the patient safety work Phoenix Children’s is doing with Allscripts]

The researchers discovered that of the reported security occasions, 1,956 of them, or zero.11 % particularly talked about one of many included EHR distributors or merchandise and have been reported as doable affected person hurt. And 557 of them, or zero.03 %, used phrases that strongly urged EHR usability contributed to doable affected person hurt.

Of these latter incidents, 468 reached the affected person and will probably have wanted monitoring to preclude hurt; 80 might probably have induced short-term hurt; seven might probably have induced everlasting hurt; and two and might need wanted intervention to forestall a fatality.

What the researchers discovered appears at first blush like a small proportion, however right here’s the rub: The authors warning that, resulting from a conservative strategy in the way in which the information was analyzed, the precise numbers are probably underestimated. Partly, that’s because of the information coming principally from Pennsylvania they usually count on that if the evaluation have been scaled to cowl the complete nation, the numbers could be greater.

One other doable purpose the quantity might not replicate the entire story is that the research solely checked out stories particularly mentioning the title of a vendor or product; oftentimes, clinicians don’t point out the names of EHR distributors when writing up affected person security stories.

After which there’s the truth that affected person security occasions are usually underreported, in some circumstances by five- or tenfold, in keeping with the authors.

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