Safety issues related to the electronic medical record (EMR): synthesis of the literature from the last decade, 2000-2009

J Healthc Manag. 2011 Jan-Feb;56(1):31-43; discussion 43-4.


Healthcare is a complex industry burdened by numerous and complicated clinical and administrative transactions that require many behavioral changes by patients, clinicians, and provider organizations. While healthcare information technology (HIT) is intended to relieve some of the burden by reducing errors, several aspects of systems such as the electronic medical record (EMR) may actually increase the incidence of certain types of errors or produce new safety risks that result in harm. Healthcare leaders must appreciate the complexity surrounding EMRs and understand the safety issues in order to mandate sound EMR design, development, implementation, and use. This article seeks to inform executives, clinicians, and technology professionals what has been learned through published research on the safety of HIT systems during the last decade, focusing on computerized physician order entry (CPOE), clinical decision support systems (CDSS), and bar-coded medication administration (BCMA).

MeSH terms

  • Electronic Health Records / organization & administration*
  • Review Literature as Topic
  • Safety Management*
  • United States