IT Professionals Featured Article

December 02, 2010

Electronic Health Record Events Database Aims to Monitor Problems

As the more hospitals, physicians and healthcare providers adopt electronic health record systems there will inevitably be problems with record updating, storage, communications and overall system performance. Tracking all electronic records events that might have an impact on patient safety as well as on software and system performance and security is the mission of the EHREvent web site. A joint effort of the iHealth Alliance and the PDR network, the E H R Safety Event Reporting System will monitor any issues that develop during healthcare provider use of their health records systems.

The iHealth Alliance is a non-profit coalition of medical society executives, professional liability carriers along with liaisons from the FDA. According to Nancy Dickey, M.D. and iHealth Alliance chair, the event reporting system will help smooth the learning curve associated with implementing any new software. “Electronic health records are being adopted a records rates and present an opportunity to advance patient care. As with any new system, there is a learning cure for the software providers and for the doctors who use these systems. EHRevent will help us all get smarter about EHRs and assure that patient care advances are also patient-safe advances.” 

EHRevent is also working directly with ERH vendors as well as with Regional Extension Centers that are assisting physicians with records system selection and adoption. Specific reported events will be confidential but the information collected online will be used as the basis to generate reports that medical societies, malpractice insurers and government agencies can use for education of healthcare providers as well as vendors. The Food and Drug Administration will also use data collected on the site for evaluating whether the implementation of EHRs presents any particular safety issues.

Dr. Cronin is a Professor of Management in the Information Systems Department at Boston College. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Erin Monda


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