Turning Small Errors Into Bigger Ones: A Problem For EHRs

Medpage Today: EHRs May Turn Small Errors Into Big Ones
As electronic health record systems become more interconnected, errors may propagate much farther than under old paper-based systems, a recent study suggested. According to a review by the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority, mistakes and near misses involving electronic health records were analogous to those made with paper-based records with one caveat: those made with EHRs tend to be amplified and can affect a larger group of people. The Authority's study looked at 3,099 reports from Pennsylvania hospitals detailing 3,946 problems. More than 2,700 incidents involved near misses and 15 involved temporary harm to patients. … Wrong medication was the No. 1 source of mix-ups, just as with paper-based records (Baum, 12/16).

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