Quality and safety implications of emergency department information systems.
Approach to Improving Safety
Setting of Care
Many emergency departments (EDs) have recently implemented electronic medical records (EMRs) specifically designed for emergency care. This article evaluates the benefits and potential threats to patient safety of various emergency department information systems (EDISs). Case studies illustrate patient safety pitfalls of inferior EDIS products or of improper implementation. The authors propose seven recommendations for appropriate and safe EDIS deployment, including ED physician engagement, risk transparency from vendors and clients, and a call for legal responsibility from vendors. An AHRQ WebM&M commentary discusses a patient who received an extra dose of vancomycin due to inadequate communication between the EDIS and the hospital EMR.