A survey by University of Pennsylvania researchers found that Electronic Health Records (EHR) systems improve patient safety and quality of care. The study publicized and partly funded by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality looked at data regarding workloads and patient outcomes from over 16,000 nurses working in 316 hospitals in California, Florida, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
Only seven percent of the hospitals in question had a basic EHR system functioning on all patient care units. Nurses working in the hospitals with fully implemented EHRs reported less frequent medication errors and greater confidence in patients’ readiness for discharge. They reported significantly fewer unfavorable outcomes and were 14% less likely to report that “things fell between the cracks” when transferring patients between units. Overall, nurses at hospitals fully utilizing EHR systems feel that patient safety is a high priority at their organizations.