Electronic health record–related events in medical malpractice claims.
Approach to Improving Safety
Setting of Care
Although heath information technology (IT) has improved patient safety, studies have shown that implementing electronic health records can introduce new errors. This study examined closed malpractice claims related to health IT. Most cases occurred in ambulatory care settings, suggesting that current health IT may not be optimally designed to support safety in those settings. Cases involving medication errors, diagnostic errors, or treatment complications were almost equally prevalent, indicating that health IT vulnerabilities span multiple tasks and functions. Software design issues and implementation problems also played a role in these incidents. These findings emphasize the need to reexamine health information technologies and how they are implemented in health care systems to enhance safety. A recent PSNet perspective examined challenges in health IT implementation, and another perspective discussed the need for innovations in health IT usability.