Electronic health record adoption and rates of in-hospital adverse events.
Electronic health record (EHR) adoption was widely spurred by an assumption that it would improve patient safety. Although research suggests that EHRs have had an overall positive effect, unexpected consequences have occurred along the way and many problems remain. This retrospective study compared adverse events among patients in hospitals with fully electronic EHRs to those without such EHRs in place. After controlling for patient and hospital characteristics, patients exposed to a fully electronic EHR had 17% to 30% lower odds of having an adverse event. A recent PSNet interview with Dr. Robert Wachter discussed the role of health information technology in patient safety.