5 study insights into patient safety events when EHRs go down

When EHRs go down, patient safety is more likely to be compromised, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.

Researchers examined a database of 80,381 event reports, of which 76 reports explicitly described a safety event associated with a time period when the EHR system was down. They analyzed and categorized the reports based on a developed code book to identify the clinical processes that were impacted by EHR downtime.

Here are five insights:

1. A majority of reports (48.7 percent) were associated with lab orders and results.

2. Around 14.5 percent of the reports were associated with medication orders and administration.

3. Patient safety incidents commonly involved patient identification and communication of clinical information.

4. Forty-six percent of reports indicated downtime procedures either were not followed or were not in place.

5. Only 27.6 percent of patient safety incidents indicated downtime procedures were successfully executed.

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