Can EMRs Do More Harm than Good?

November 19, 2011
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Apparently yes, according to this New York Times report:

Apparently yes, according to this New York Times report:

Poorly designed, hard-to-use computerized health records are a threat to patient safety, and an independent agency should be set up to investigate injuries and deaths linked to health information technology, according to a federal study released Tuesday. The report by the Institute of Medicine comes as the government is spending billions of dollars in incentive payments to encourage doctors and hospitals to adopt electronic health records.

The Institute of Medicine committee also called for tracking the safety performance of electronic health records in use. Results from studies done so far, the report said, are mixed. Success stories are offset by reports of patients harmed. The advisory group recommended that electronic health record suppliers drop “hold harmless” clauses from their sales contracts. Such language often limits the freedom of doctors and hospitals to publicly raise questions about software errors or defects.