May 12, 2023

Issues with EHR shown to contribute to diagnostic errors

By: Tarsilla Moura

Editor's Note

A qualitative study funded by Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and published in JAMA Network Open in April 2023 found that a majority of diagnostic errors are "at least partially caused by problems with electronic health records" (EHR), the American Organization for Nursing Leadership May 9 reports.

In the study, the authors looked at closed malpractice claims from January 2015 to September 2021 for ambulatory care related to diagnosis and EHR. "Of 199 diagnosis-related claims, EHRs were considered a potential contributor to diagnostic errors in 61% of claims," according to the study.

In addition:

  • About 92% involved the testing stage.
  • Missed or delayed diagnoses were the most prevalent outcomes for claims at 71%.

The authors concluded the study illustrated "the central role of EHRs for supporting the diagnostic process," calling for EHR design optimization, interoperability, training, and safety surveillance to mitigate diagnostic error.

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