Electronic health records (EHR) might be an effective tool used in healthcare, but that does not mean that it does not have its share of errors. There are common errors that occur with the use of EHR, which sometimes makes it difficult for EHRs to be run in an efficient manner.

It has been discovered that common EHR errors happen because of lack of training among staff on how to use it. Until an improved system is implemented, here are some of the most common errors of electronic record keeping.

1. Same information can be carried forward

EHR can be programmed to automatically carry forward information from day to day. The only problem is that the information, like a blood sugar level or blood pressure reading, might not be relevant for another visit when the patient comes over. This will be considered an error if the doctor forgets to change the information and update it during the patient’s next visit.

2. Using a similar list of diagnoses

Instead of writing new diagnoses, doctors find it easier to have a list of diagnoses or codes and just choose from it. Every patient is different and a different set of diagnoses should be assigned to each patient individually. Using from the same list can cause an error that might be considered serious in the future.

3. Not putting in every piece of information

All information that a doctor has concerning the patient is vital for the EHR. To not put it in the patient’s records could prove fatal or mess up the evaluation of the patient’s progress at a medical practice. Information, such as the patient’s improvement and whether the patient still needs care, are crucial to be put into the record.

4. Technical glitch

EHRs are no strangers to technical glitch. If gone unnoticed, the glitch can make certain medications appear for patients that do not need it. It might cause trouble if patients are prescribed medicines that they are allergic to. This is why EHRs need to be checked regularly and updated to avoid any serious errors.

5. Non-adaptability

Sometimes, errors happen when EHRs get updated with new features, but the staffs keep using it in the same way that they have done before without implementing the new changes. This makes the system give out inadequate data collection and messes up other details about patients.

6. Misidentification of patients

Patient identification errors are part of the growing list of common errors that are caused by EHRs. This is why the staff should be careful when using the patient identification system. Any detail that is not entered regarding the patient identification is harmful to the practice and the patient.

7. No mention of behavioral healthcare

To think that behavioral healthcare is not important enough to mention in the EHR is a mistake. If patients have tendencies to become agitated or violent, it should be mentioned in their records to avoid any future problems.

8. Little details can be deadly

Forgetting to put in the little details of patients can cause a huge error in the system. Messing up tiny details can prove to be deadly for some patients, including putting in the weight of a patient in a metric system that is not recognisable. This can lead to confusion, which in turn can make the staff prepare a medication that is way higher or lower for the patient. MIMS

Read more:
Could technology be a bane to healthcare?
MOH: Integrated health database of Malaysians will be available in five years
New Bites: Heartbeats as passwords for EHRs, CDC alert after first human outbreak of Seoul virus