Institute Of Medicine Slams Sellers Of Electronic Health Records

Zina Moukheiber | Forbes | November 8, 2011

The government-mandated push to implement electronic health records is supposed to centralize patient data, and reduce human medical errors in the process. However, EHRs can introduce a different set of errors, namely software glitches. Just last week, Lifespan which runs five hospitals in Rhode Island disclosed that a prescription mix-up may have affected 2,000 patients. It blamed it on software used to generate medication instructions to discharged patients. How often these kinds of incidents occur, no one knows.

The Department of Health and Human Services asked the Institute of Medicine, an independent organization, to look into safety concerns and make recommendations. The IOM’s report, released today, states that  “little published evidence exists that quantifies the magnitude of the risk associated with health IT problems.” [...]