Barriers Restricting Access to EHR Data in Support of Patient Safety and Privacy Laws Can Lead to Diagnostic Errors, Some Involving Clinical Laboratory Tests
What causes diagnostic errors? This was the question asked by researchers at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (EDVA) in Houston. It is also a question of great interest to pathologists and clinical laboratory scientists, since the failure of physicians to properly order and interpret medical laboratory tests can be a cause of diagnostic errors.
Researchers were investigating how access to patient data embedded in hospital electronic health records (EHRs) affects patient safety. The results of their study—and the challenges they encountered accessing the data during the research—led to some startling conclusions about accessibility to patient data, and the nature of the data itself.
The researchers published their findings online in “Challenges in Patient Safety Improvement Research in the Era of Electronic Health Records.” Their paper examines ways in which EHRs can assist healthcare professionals in improving patient safety and guaranteeing proper follow-up care. (more…)