New Study Suggests Usability Issues with EHR May Result in Patient Harm

Research published in JAMA on March 27, 2018 discusses the potential risks to patient safety from poorly-designed electronic health record systems, in an effort to identify how EHR can be improved. Some of the medical errors reported in the study were related to issues with the EHR interface, such as difficultly entering patient data accurately or alert features not working properly.

While the study, which was limited to clinics in the mid-Atlantic region, shows EHRs are associated with medical error, they represented a very small number of the reports of errors and there were very few reports of serious errors. That said, there is definitely room for improvement. Caregivers must be well-trained to spot errors in the EHR.  More important, continued focus on the safety and usability of EHR is necessary.