And the Survey Says: Active EMR Use May Significantly Reduce Malpractice Liability

A peer-reviewed article published today indicates that physicians who adopt and actively utilize electronic medical records (also known as “electronic heath records”, “EMR” or “EHR”) are almost 50% less likely to have a history of a paid medical malpractice claim.

The survey, which was published in today’s issue of Archives of Internal Medicine concluded the following:
  • 5.7% of physicians who ientified themselves as “high users” of an EMR had a history of a paid malpractice claim
  • 6.1% of physicians with an EMR (all users, including more and less active users) had a history of a paid malpractice claim
  • 10.8% of physicians without an EMR had a history of a paid malpractice claim

The survey concerning EMR adoption and usage involved a random sample of 1,884 healthcare providers (with a response rate of 71.4%) in Massachusetts. The settlement data were gleaned from the mandatory public disclosures of settlements that are contained on the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine (BRM) Web site.

While the results of this survey are consistent with the anecdotal evidence and widely-held beliefs of public policy makers and the healthcare community, the authors acknowledged that confirmatory studies are required.

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