Saving Patient Ryan — Can Advanced Electronic Medical Records Make Patient Care Safer?
Muhammad Zia Hydari
University of Pittsburgh, Katz Graduate School of Business
Carnegie Mellon University - H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management
William M Marella
Patient Safety Authority; ECRI Institute
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.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 31
Keywords: electronic medical records, health information technology, patient safety
Date posted: October 3, 2014 ; Last revised: November 11, 2016