Posted October 28, 2014 by admin in Library
 
 

Can Advanced Electronic Medical Records Make Patient Care Safer?

Can Advanced Electronic Medical Records Make Patient Care Safer?
Can Advanced Electronic Medical Records Make Patient Care Safer?

By Muhammad Zia Hydari and Rahul Telang and William M. Marella

Patient safety is one of the foremost problems in US healthcare, a ecting hundreds of thousands of patients and costing tens of billions of dollars every year. Advanced electronic medical records (EMRs) are widely expected to improve patient safety, but the evidence of advanced EMRs’ impact on patient safety is inconclusive. A key challenge to evaluating EMRs’ impact on safety has been the lack of reliable and comprehensive data. We overcome this challenge by constructing a panel of Pennsylvania hospitals over 2005{2012 using data from several sources. In particular, we source con dential patient safety data from the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority (PSA). Since mid-2004, Pennsylvania state
law has mandated that hospitals report a broad range of patient safety events to the PSA. Using a di erences-in-di erences identi cation strategy, we nd that advanced EMRs lead to a 27 percent decline in patient safety events. This overall decline is driven by declines in several important subcategories|30 percent decline in events due to medication errors and 25 percent decline in events due to complications. Our results hold against a number of robustness checks, including, but not limited to, falsi cation test with non-clinical IT and falsi cation test with a subcategory of events
that is not expected to bene t from advanced EMRs. Overall, we provide evidence to policy makers, hospital administrators, and other stakeholders that hospitals’ adoption of advanced EMRs improves patient safety.

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