Some of the most common problems facing physicians when adopting to EHRs include IT issues, staff training and attesting for Meaningful Use. However, while these may be some of the common ones, there are several other less talked about issues that may be affecting your practice.
Not using pre-populated fields
A recent study by the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority shows troubling news for providers who rely exclusively on automatically populated default fields. According to the study, 40% of EHR prescription errors are caused by providers failing to change the default value of a medication order.
These fields are meant to save time during data entry but users often forget to change default values. This can lead to serious medication errors that can harm patients.
Make sure your staff double-checks the information in pre-populated fields to avoid potentially disastrous mistakes.
A recent JAMA study shows a lot of primary care practices resort to paper workarounds rather than properly using their EHR features. They must remember paper-based workarounds lead to more medical errors, decreased productivity and financial losses. During the implementation of an EHR system, hybrid solutions are generally necessary, the idea is to get away from paper as quickly as possible. Shifting entirely to electronic-based system will help you avoid duplication of tasks and will reduce the time needed to perform your daily operations.
EHR alarm fatigue is caused by an excessive frequency of alarms going off for abnormal test results, diagnosis prompts, and other alerts within an EHR. This results in irritated providers adjusting alarm settings beyond the recommended limits or ignoring alerts all together. Doing so can lead to adverse health outcomes for patients.
Overall, EHRs are superior, as the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages. However, misuse can hurt your practice in multiple ways. Pay attention to these potential complications and your practice will avoid costly mistakes down the road.