Home E-Weekly July 12, 2016

EHRs vs. Paper: Pick Your Poison

Published: July 11, 2016

Which is more likely to be accurate: paper charting or electronic health records? It depends on how you're defining accuracy, say researchers. While errors of commission were more common when practitioners used computers, paper saw more errors of omission. Additionally, attending physicians were more than 3 times as likely as residents to make mistakes.

A 2-year retrospective study at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich., compared paper notes created over the course of a year to electronic notes entered the next year, after the hospital's transition to an EHR system.

Documentation errors were more than 5 times as common with EHRs (24.4% vs. 4.4%), but expected physical examination findings were more than twice as likely to be omitted in paper notes (41.2% vs. 17.6%).

Meanwhile, resident physicians were guilty of far fewer documentation errors (5.3% vs. 17.3%) and far fewer omissions (16.8% vs. 33.9%) than attending physicians, which the study's authors attributed to their youth and computer experience. Their findings, they conclude, underscore a need for better training and greater incentives to reduce inaccuracies in EHRs during initial implementation.

Jim Burger

New to Outpatient Surgery Magazine?
Sign-up to continue reading this article.
Register Now
Have an account? Please log in:
Email Address:
  Remember my login on this computer

advertiser banner

Other Articles That May Interest You

Real-time OR Monitoring Leads to Better, Safer Surgery

QA with Teodor Grantcharov, MD, PhD, FACS, creator of surgery's 'black box' and believer that data doesn't lie.

The Perks of Paperless Preference Cards

Digital platforms take the stress out of knowing you'll have the supplies you need when and where you'll need them.

Business Advisor

Sending Pre-op Text Alerts and Reminders