Josi Wergin, Risk Management Analyst, ECRI

Recent Posts

Medical Errors and Health IT: What Does the Data Say?

Health information technology (IT) is a powerful tool for documenting and sharing information about patients’ health and helping providers to make well-informed decisions about patient care. However, problems relating to health IT, including both system and user issues, are also sometimes cited as factors in causing or contributing to patient harm—and even lawsuits.

Patient Safety

Problems related to health IT can cause patient harm, including serious harm or death. A 2017 systematic review of health IT problems and their effect on patient outcomes and care delivery found that health IT problems were associated with patient harm and death in 53% of the studies reviewed. Use errors and poor user interfaces impeded the receipt of information and led to errors of commission in decision-making. Problems with system functionality (including poor user interfaces and fragmented displays), system access, system configuration, and software updates caused delays in care delivery. Several studies characterized medication errors related to health IT problems in more detail.

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Topics: Patient Safety

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