Mind the gap: Electronic Health Records fall short

Concerns have been raised over patient safety and continuity of care after a study found electronic health records may not be providing accurate information about patients’ ophthalmic medications. 


A team at the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center examined the EHRs of ophthalmology patients and found that over a third had at least one discrepancy between the medications discussed in the clinician’s notes and those on the medication list produced by the EHR.


Published in JAMA Ophthalmology, the study involved 53 patients being treated for microbial keratitis. A total of 247 medications were noted, with almost a quarter of these being in some way mismatched between the clinician’s clinical progress notes and the formal electronic health record medication lists.


The study’s lead author, Assistant Professor Maria Woodward said, “This level of inconsistency is a red flag. Patients who rely on the after-visit summary may be at risk of avoidable medication errors that may affect their healing or cause them to experience medication toxicity.”


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