Is EHR “Mania” Hiding Serious Patient Safety Flaws?

Jennifer Bresnick | EHR Intelligence | February 20, 2013

A typo leads to the administration of the wrong medication.  A surgeon looking at a flipped image operates on the opposite side of a patient’s head.  An allergy warning is ignored after a clinician clicks away from an annoying pop-up reminder.  In the rush to adopt electronic health records and the race to achieve meaningful use, are potentially significant dangers to patients being ignored? Drexel University professor Scot Silverstein is convinced that medical errors and patient harm events due to EHR misuse are far more prevalent than anyone is willing to believe.

“We’re in the midst of a mania right now,” he told Kaiser Health News.  “We know it causes harm, and we don’t even know the level of magnitude.  Patients are being harmed and killed as a result of disruptions to care caused by bad health IT.”  Bad health IT is key to the issue, Silverstein stresses.  “I’m skeptical of the manner and pace,” he asserts, “not of the technology itself.  My only bias is against bad medicine. And my bias is against people with complacent attitudes about bad medicine.”...