Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Electronic Record Safety – Another Reason to Go Slow on Digitization

November 9, 2011 -
Preface: In writing today’s November 9 blog on digitization of medical records, I was unaware of the following article intoday's NYT on the potential problems of these records.

I reprint excerpts of the article here.

Panel Emphasizes Safety in Digitization of Health Records,


Poorly designed, hard-to-use computerized health records are a threat to patient safety, and an independent agency should be set up to investigate injuries and deaths linked to health information technology, according to a federal study released Tuesday.

The report by the Institute of Medicine comes as the government is spending billions of dollars in incentive payments to encourage doctors and hospitals to adopt electronic health records. The Department of Health and Human Services requested the study, in response to concerns from some doctors and public health experts that the drive for digital records might bring a wave of technology-induced medical errors.

The goal of moving from paper to computerized patient records is to improve patient care and curb health care costs. The federal report does not assert that the effort to move to electronic health records is misguided, but that safety considerations must be a crucial ingredient.

Ross Koppel, a professor of sociology at the University of Pennsylvania who is also on the faculty of its medical school, praised the report for putting safety into the national discussion of electronic health records. That is a shift, he said, from the view that “assumes as an article of faith that health information technology is better than paper.”

But Dr. Koppel, who reviewed the study before it was published, said the report evaded the issue of regulation by not calling on the Food and Drug Administration to be responsible for the safety of electronic health records.

Tweet: Electronic health records, designed to contain costs, may also multiple errors, raising safety issues, which merit investigationg.

1 comment:

greg said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts about electronic health records and how they should be more secured. I completely agree with you that if a company does not have a solid software then there is going to be problems.