Majority of risk managers say EHRs do not improve patient safety


Electronic health records do not make patients safer, according to 75 percent of readers surveyed by HRMR.

“Data gets lost.  Systems are vulnerable to hacking.  Some systems are so cumbersome that physicians/staff cannot use the effectively,” stated one respondent, who added that EHRs decrease the time a physician and a nurse can spend time with a patient. 

“When orders are not read, it delays testing, medications, etc.  This affects patient safety,” the same respondent noted.

Others portrayed an equally complex picture, with some aspects of EHRs being helpful and some not. Human error remains a factor, another said.

“The risk of human error always exists if the medium is accessed and used by humans.  The more complex the EHR, the more likely patient safety will be compromised.”

Compatibility issues between EHRs is another key concern: “EHRs that do not talk to each other further complicate ease of access to patient data,” said one respondent.

Interoperability was seen as just one way in which EHRs need to be improved.

“They could with better designed. But for now, they do not improve safety,” concluded one respondent.

Risk Managers, Electronic health records, HRMR, US