Electronic health record–related safety concerns: A cross-sectional survey

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Federal electronic health record (EHR)–related initiatives are leading to rapid increases in their adoption. Despite their benefits, EHRs also introduce new risks that can lead to serious safety events. We conducted a Web-based survey of the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management and the American Health Lawyers Association to elicit perceptions regarding the frequency and types of EHR-related serious safety events. We received 369 responses. The majority (66%) worked for large hospitals and health systems with varying degrees of EHR adoption. More than half (53%) of respondents reported at least one EHR-related serious safety event in the previous 5 years, and 10% reported more than 20 events. EHR workflow (63%), user familiarity with the EHR system (63%), and integration with existing systems (59%) were most frequently endorsed as variables associated with EHR-related serious safety events. Because EHR-related safety concerns are underreported, organizations should consider implementing robust measures of EHR safety within their institution as a key step for mitigating these concerns.

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