Patient review of medication lists can improve accuracy of their EHRs

Enabling patients to provide feedback on the medication lists in their medical records can improve the accuracy of the patients' medical records, according to a new study in eGems (Generating Evidence and Methods to Improve Patient Outcomes).

The researchers, from the University of Chicago, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and Geisinger Health System, reviewed  Geisinger's initiative that allows patients to provide electronic feedback on their medication lists' accuracy before a doctor's visit. Any requested changes were reviewed by a Geisinger pharmacist who followed up with the patient before making any changes.

They found that patients were "eager" to provide feedback; 30 percent of them completed the online feedback forms. Eighty-nine percent of the patients who submitted forms requested changes to their medication lists, such as the updating the frequency of dosages, changing a type of drug or revealing a potential overdosing. In a sub-review of 107 of the forms, the pharmacist responded positively to 68 percent of the requested changes.

The researchers noted that for such a program to work it needed to fit into the clinicians' workflow and that both software and human involvement was required.

"[P]atients can be effectively engaged online to improve the accuracy of the information stored in their EHRs. They also provide valuable insights into effective strategies for gathering and processing patient feedback, and showcase the opportunity for EHRs to assist in maintaining accurate and complete medical records," the authors concluded. 

The author's also suggested that allowing this feedback would enable providers to better comply with HIPAA's requirements regarding access and amendments and could have wider community impact for population health management.

Accuracy of electronic patient records is of increasing concern since they are not standardized, subject to auto-spoliation and manipulation to increase reimbursement. It has been also argued that EHRs are so inaccurate that they should not be relied upon in litigation.

Other studies have found that allowing patients access to their records can increase their accuracy.

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