5 Dangers of EHRs' Copy-Paste Function

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To save time, many clinicians use an electronic health records' copy-paste function to propagate text from one field to another. A study published in Critical Care Medicine showed notes entered by 82 percent of residents and 74 percent of attending physicians contain at least 20 percent copied text.

However, copying and pasting text from another record can lead to errors. In a new position paper, the American Health Information Management Association has identified five potential consequences of physician use of EHRs' copy-paste function.

  • Inaccurate or outdated information
  • Redundant information
  • An inability to identify when the documentation was first created
  • Unnecessarily lengthy progress notes
  • The spreading of false information

To avoid these errors, AHIMA recommends the copy-paste function only be permitted in the presence of strong administrative controls, including appropriate oversight and user training.

More Articles on Copy-Paste Functions:

OIG: CMS Should Develop Best Practices to Detect EHR Fraud
OIG: Hospitals Are Not Using Recommended Fraud Safeguards in EHRs
How to Combat EMR Copy and Paste Errors

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