EHR with patient photos lowers order error, Brigham and Women's study shows

Boston-based Brigham and Women's Hospital researchers found placing headshots in patients' medical records can reduce order errors and published the results of their analysis in JAMA Network Open.


Brigham and Women's worked with patients to include a headshot in their EHR as part of a quality improvement project in the emergency department. The researchers examined millions of orders placed among participating patients over a two-year period and found that wrong patient order entry was 35 percent lower when headshots appeared in the EHR.

There were 2.5 million orders placed for 71,851 unique patients during the study period from July 2017 to June 2019. The hospital plans to use photos of all participating patients in EHRs.

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