Study: Few EHR-Related Events Involve Patient Harm in Pennsylvania Hospitals

Among roughly 3,000 events related to electronic health records in Pennsylvania hospitals, only one involved significant harm, according to a study by the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority.

The Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority queried the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Reporting System for EHR-related events from June 2, 2004 through May 18, 2012 and found 3,099 events. Of these events, 89 percent were reported as "event, no harm" and 10 percent were reported as "unsafe conditions," which did not result in a harmful event.

Temporary harm was associated with 15 reports due to entering wrong medication data, administering the wrong medication, ignoring a documented allergy, failure to enter lab tests and failure to document. The one event that involved significant harm was related to a failure to properly document an allergy.

Eight-one percent of reported events involved medication errors and 13 percent involved complications of procedures, treatments or tests.

More Articles on EHRs and Patient Safety:

Study: Physicians Practice Risky Habits With Electronic Health Records
Physicians Need Technical Assistance to Improve Patient Care With EHRs

CMS Aims to Use EHRs to Align Meaningful Use, Hospital Inpatient Quality Data Reporting

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