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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article

Physicians' attitudes towards copy and pasting in electronic note writing.

O'Donnell HC, Kaushal R, Barrón Y, et al. Journal of general internal medicine. 2009;24:63-8.

Adoption and implementation of electronic health records (EHRs) are a growing focus in efforts to improve the quality and safety of care. While past studies have discussed their impact on time efficiency and the quality of ambulatory care, concerns have also been raised about the ability to copy and paste. This study surveyed residents and faculty in two academic centers and found that copying and pasting was not reported to adversely affect physician documentation or patient care overall. While the study did not examine clinical outcomes or actual errors in documentation, the potential safety issues raised have led to anecdotal reports. A past AHRQ WebM&M commentary discussed how inaccurate clinical information pasted forward through a hospitalization led to a patient not receiving appropriate care.