Saving Patient Ryan — Can Advanced Electronic Medical Records Make Patient Care Safer?
Management Science - INFORMS (2017)
37 Pages Posted: 3 Oct 2014 Last revised: 24 Apr 2018
Date Written: November 9, 2017
The risk of patient harm due to medical care affects hundreds of thousands of patients and costs tens of billions of dollars every year. Advanced electronic medical records (EMRs) are expected to improve patient safety, but the evidence of their impact on patient safety is inconclusive. A key challenge to evaluating advanced EMRs' impact has been the lack of reliable patient safety data. We address this issue by analyzing a new patient safety data set from the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority (PSA), a state agency that aggregates patient safety data from Pennsylvania hospitals. Using a 2005–2014 panel from PSA, we identify advanced EMRs' effect using the difference-in-differences method. We find that advanced EMRs lead to a 17.5 percent decline in patient safety events, driven by reductions in medication errors, falls, and complication errors. Further, our analysis shows a decline in medium and high severity events..
Keywords: electronic medical records, health information technology, patient safety
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