EHR error reporting system endorsed by vendors

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The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society Electronic Health Record (EHR) Association (HIMSS) has publicly announced its support for a third-party online reporting system designed to reduce the number of errors in patient care caused by medical informatics systems, according to Information Week.

The organization issued a statement saying that it will promote the use of EHR Event reporting software among its 44 member vendors and across the wider health information management industry. The software, developed by patient satefy organization iHealth Alliance, aims to reduce the number of so-called adverse effects encountered in patient care using clinical informatics systems.

The announcement follows a series of high-profile errors relating to medical informatics systems. In addition to concerns regarding patient safety, some healthcare providers have voiced their hesitation in adopting clinical informatics networks due to potential increases in liability and rising insurance premiums. A recent white paper published by healthcare consultancy firm AG Group outlines several examples of how implementing an EHR can raise physicians’ risk of malpractice lawsuits.

“Everyone agrees that there needs to be more transparency in the process,” Edward Fotsch, chief executive officer of medical information database vendor PDR Network, told the news source. “When you have massive amounts of taxpayer dollars at stake [in the federal meaningful use EHR financial incentive program], you should expect a certain level of transparency.”

According to the official website of EHR Event, reporting adverse events in medical informatics systems can help improve operational efficiency, result in a higher quality of patient care and reduce the risks of litigation. In addition, data submitted in error reports using the system is covered by greater degrees of legal protection in terms of disclosure, further reducing exposure to potentially costly legal proceedings.