How EHRs can help prevent medical errors
Medical errors are a cause of concern for most health care professionals. Medical professionals know that mistakes happen, and one needs to take corrective measures to ensure accuracy in all aspects of patient care.
EHRs not just help document and provide better patient care but also can serve in reducing medical errors. In this article, we shall discuss EHR and patient safety, what are the different medical errors and how EHRs can help in preventing medical errors.
How do electronic medical records help to reduce various medical errors?
Medication errors are more common than one would assume. It occurs when a person consults with more than one physician. Typically, the patient refuses to reveal that he is being seen by more than one doctor. When we talk about medication errors, it defines everything from incorrect dosages to inadvertently prescribing the wrong drugs. The good news is that such mistakes can be avoided with the help of an EHR (Electronic Health Records).
EHRs can help prevent medical errors by triggering alerts in food/drug and drug interactions. EHR technology can also aid in the prevention of medical errors by identifying potential drug side effects and/or adverse reactions.
EHR database features can help physicians and other care team members quickly research any drug, its side effects, and/or contraindications. Such systems frequently include health plans for approved and standard dosage, administration, and contraindications for specific drugs. Some medical systems use split screens to compare pre-admission medications for potential interactions or dangerous adverse reactions with potentially new medications prescribed for a current treatment or procedure.
EHRs help providers identify and correct operational problems in a timely and organized manner. A qualified EHR not only records a patient’s medications or allergies, but also checks for issues whenever a new medication is prescribed and alerts the clinician to potential conflicts. A primary care provider’s information recorded in the EHR will alert the emergency department clinician of a potentially fatal allergy, allowing the emergency personnel to take appropriate care measures. Electronic prescribing is more secure, affordable, and more convenient for both practitioners and patients.
Strategies and practices for reducing medical errors when utilizing EHR systems
Here are some suggestions and best practices that can be adopted while using EHRS to prevent medical errors.
Avoid Using an Inappropriate EHR
The risk of using an improper EHR can lead to a variety of issues, including difficulties in clinical data management and collection; failures in data sharing; failures in alerting for risks, such as adverse drug interactions; and failures in interoperability.
In simple terms, an EHR should improve workflows and decision-making rather than hinder it.
Intuitive use of data and risk-reduction strategies
Understanding trends in patient healthcare quality and emerging areas of risk within an organization is a key component of lowering medical error risk. Data and metrics (when used intuitively) serve as the foundation for a practice to determine what areas may be at risk or where recurring mistakes may arise.
EHRs alone will not solve the problem; they must be used in tandem with other risk-reduction techniques.
Training of staff and personnel
Medical errors can occur because of user errors, especially when clinical data is incorrectly entered by the staff. Implementing the required measures to assure the quality of the data provided, as well as training the staff on how to effectively use the EHR’s data input interface, are all part of the training to minimize user errors.
How can an EHR reduce medication errors at schools?
EduHealth is a reliable and secure EHR system for schools that can reduce medication errors by recording medication details, medication timing, dosage information, medical history, medication authorizations, and treatment authorizations. It aids student care by assisting the school nurse and medical practitioner to keep track of the pupils’ health issues such as chronic illnesses, allergies and medications.
Based on prescriptions, school nurses can update the system with medication information and administration and the system sets up automated alerts to ensure school nurses are enabled to deliver the medication on time.
Another valuable feature is the e-prescription, which helps record the child’s medication history for all the different doctors the child has seen and offers a complete overview of the child’s ailments, allergies, and current medications, ensuring the child’s safe treatment.
Finally, it is all about providing better care that is free of medical errors
EHRs (Electronic health records) can help in the identification of any red flags during the treatment process, resulting in better patient outcomes. Healthcare providers need to understand that machines can only go so far and that human attention and response to alerts and warnings must be addressed as promptly as possible.
When selecting the best EHR system to reduce medical errors, follow some basic guidelines. It is essential to select a system that not only provides flexibility but also ease of use, interoperability, and functionality.
EduHealth is a powerful cloud-based EHR system for schools that ensures timely medication administration, reduces medical errors, and provides safer student care.