Providers can reduce patient safety events by improving connections among their electronic health records (EHRs) and their other health information technology (IT) systems, according to an AHRQ-funded study in Applied Clinical Informatics. A review of 1.7 million safety event reports from multiple health care systems in the mid-Atlantic region between 2009 and 2016 showed 209 events related to interoperability. Most involved poor communication from pharmacy, laboratory and radiology systems to the EHR, with more than 60 percent of events occurring within the same provider organization. While only 2 percent of events caused actual patient harm, more than 50 percent reached the patient and could have caused harm. Researchers suggested that providers trying to improve their health IT interoperability should look first at pharmacy systems and medication-related events. Access the abstract.
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