31 Pages Posted: 3 Oct 2014 Last revised: 11 Nov 2016
Date Written: August 5, 2016
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 dataset from the Patient Safety Authority (PSA), a state agency that aggregates patient safety data from Pennsylvania hospitals. Using a panel dataset of Pennsylvania hospitals over 2005-2014, we identify advanced EMRs' effect using the differences-in-differences method. We find that advanced EMRs lead to a 19 percent decline in patient safety events, driven by 24 percent reduction in medication errors and 18 percent reduction in complications. Further, our analysis shows a large decline in medium severity events.
Keywords: electronic medical records, health information technology, patient safety
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Hydari, Muhammad Zia and Telang, Rahul and Marella, William M, Saving Patient Ryan — Can Advanced Electronic Medical Records Make Patient Care Safer? (August 5, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2503702 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2503702