A Win for Patient Safety in the Electronic Era

Emergency medicine takes strides in developing a comprehensive reporting tool for EMR problems We’ve written – in these pages and elsewhere – about the great potential of electronic health records to improve emergency care. That potential includes better access to past histories and medications, easier coordination among the care team, improved guideline adherence and evidence-based practice through intelligent decision support. And yet, as the country belatedly moves to adopt EHR, the potential for improved care has often remained just that – potential. Even as a few decision support tools shine through and make a difference in patient outcomes, many still serve to confuse and annoy users. Even as documentation (and billing) improves, clinicians are forced to spend far too long performing data entry. And there’s the heartfelt belief that, even if we never really knew how dangerous or bad paper systems were, moving to EHR was introducing new sources of error. It was too easy to order the wrong test on a patient; the unusual way medications were displayed caused dosing errors; alert fatigue led to missed warnings. If an ED director out to purchase a new system wanted to review safety records of various EHRs, there was no real source to turn to. And if a doctor was concerned about his hospital vendor’s solution (or lack thereof) to an EHR problem that had been risking patient safety, there was no place to turn. The contracts that hospitals si...
Source: EPMonthly.com - Category: Emergency Medicine Authors: Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: news

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