EHRs miss around one third of medication errors

Hospitals and medical centers in Colorado cannot rely too heavily on electronic health records because these are not without their flaws. In fact, a study conducted by researchers from the University of Utah Health, Harvard University, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital shows that the ability of EHRs to alert users to possible medication errors can be spotty.


First of all, EHRs are supposed to predict when an adverse drug event might occur: for example, if a drug will interact dangerously with another that the patient already takes, or if a drug will cause an allergic reaction. Yet, after analyzing EHR performance in over 2,000 U.S. hospitals between the years 2009 and 2018, researchers found that the EHRs in 2018 would have missed 33% of errors. In 2009, they would have missed 46%.

The way researchers calculated this was by using the CPOE Evaluation Tool developed by the Leapfrog Group. This tool allowed them to create over 8,600 hypothetical scenarios to test the EHRs with. These scenarios were based on previously recorded medication orders.

The kind of EHR used did not impact the results. Hospitals themselves influence how EHRs perform because they get to choose what drug-related decision supports to turn on or off. Improvements are definitely needed as it’s unacceptable to miss one in three medication errors.

Victims of such errors, for their part, may be able to pursue a personal injury case, specifically a medical malpractice case. They may be left dealing with medical expenses, financial problems from being unable to work and both physical and emotional pain. A successful claim could compensate them for these and much more. Filing one can be difficult, so it’s usually a good idea for victims to hire a lawyer. The lawyer may take on all negotiations.