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Survey Addresses Relationship Of EMRs To Malpractice Risk

Armen Hareyan's picture

A survey sought information regarding adoption of EMRs in physician practices and the impact of EMR usage on patient safety and malpractice risk.

Of the 62% of respondents with EMR systems, over two-thirds have stand-alone systems (not part of a regional or hospital system) and have had the systems for over a year. A physician was identified as the "Power User" by almost half of the practices with an EMR system, and nearly two-thirds indicated their providers fully use the system. Approximately a quarter of those who have EMR systems complained the system does not have the functions they need, and a similar percentage stated they did not receive adequate training.

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Nearly twenty percent of respondents stated their malpractice insurer offers a discount for having an EMR System, and close to half (45%) believe EMRs will make them less vulnerable to malpractice cases. Among the almost one-fifth who have had a malpractice case in which documentation was based on the EMR, over half (55%) said the EMR was helpful.

"This is an important first survey on the current status of EMRs and their impact on malpractice risk," said C. Peter Waegemann, CEO, Medical Records Institute, "It shows the need to address EMR system usage, training, and legality."

"These survey results are a great tool for medical malpractice insurance carriers to begin researching the impact of EMR functions on malpractice claims", advised Bob Meadows, Executive VP, Professional RiskAssociates. "We are excited to be in the forefront of this initiative and intend to continue working with our physicians and carriers to help reduce medical errors that lead to malpractice litigation and to encourage our carriers to develop discounting programs for physicians who properly use EMR technology.