Electronic health records can provide benefits for patient safety initiatives, although EHRs and their impact must be better understood before the benefits can be realized, according to a study by the Integrated Centre for Care Advancement through Research, a research institution in Alberta, Canada, Health IT Strategist reports.
The study, called "The Relationship Between Electronic Health Records and Patient Safety," found that there are not any EHR standards with evidence-based outcomes that directly affect patient safety, despite the widely held assumption in the health industry that electronic data improves workflow, which can boost safety. The study also found a cultural impact on organizations that adopt EHRs, but the effect is not fully understood.
In addition, the research -- conducted by the University of Alberta and Capital Health, a health system in Edmonton, Alberta -- found that both EHRs and patient safety agendas are still in early stages of development.
The organization reviewed 135 documents related to EHRs and patient safety, as well as interviewed stakeholders in Canada for the study, which was co-sponsored by Canada Health Infoway and the Canadian Patient Safety Initiative (DerGurahian, Health IT Strategist, 10/23).