Health information technology is improving patient safety. It can also help to create new kinds of errors, which may potentially harm patients in a phenomenon some are calling “e-iatrogenesis.”
These known incidents may be just the tip of a large iceberg. Lawsuits, real or worried about, mean some reports may not surface for a while, if ever. Moreover, the role of HIT in an error can be fuzzy. “Very often,” says Dean Sittig, PhD, a professor at the University of Texas School of Biomedical Informatics, “computer systems aren’t the sole cause of an error, but just one of several contributing factors.” Today’s EHRs, he continues, “have increased certain kinds of errors that people aren’t sufficiently accustomed to dealing with.”
For all the problems he points to, Sittig is confident that overall, today’s EHRs have improved patient safety and reduced errors—and not by a little. He puts it at a factor of 10 or even 100.
Read the entire article in “Managed Care” at: http://www.managedcaremag.com/archives/2015/3/can-computers-do-no-harm