- While switching to a new electronic health record can be disruptive and stressful for hospitals, there is no evidence that it hurts patient outcomes, a study in the BMJ concludes.
- Researchers looked at 17 U.S. hospitals with EHRs that went live in 2011 or 2012 with 399 control hospitals and found no significant change in unadjusted 30-day mortality and adverse safety event rates.
- A report from HHS' Office of the Inspector General released earlier this week showed an 59% of surveyed U.S. hospitals experienced an unplanned EHR outage in 2014 and about 25% of those hospitals delayed patient care.
Unadjusted 30-day mortality in the pre-implementation patient sample was 6.74%, versus 7.15% in the post-implementation group during 2011 and 2012, according to the study. There was also no significant change in mortality if the hospital was implementing a new EHR or switching vendors.
A similar pattern was seen with adverse events, with rates of 10.5 per 1,000 admissions pre-implementation and 11.4 post-implementation.
“Despite concerns that implementation of EHRs might adversely impact patient care during the acute transition period, we found no overall negative association of such implementation on short-term inpatient mortality, adverse safety events, or readmissions in the Medicare population,” the researchers write.
The study by researchers from Harvard, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Massachusetts General Hospital was supported by grants from the NIH.