Vendors accused of using political clout to avoid reporting of EHR safety issues

A rush to implement electronic health records caused by the Meaningful Use incentive program has thrust "complex, balky, unwieldy error-prone" systems into highly sensitive clinical settings, according to an article in the Boston Globe.

Citing a number of adverse patient safety events and studies related to EHRs, the article bemoans the fact that the Meaningful Use program had few strings attached and no safety oversight of vendors that refuse to agree to report EHR-related safety problems and who use their political clout to keep the government from mandating such reporting. The latest government initiatives in EHR-related patient safety call only for voluntary reporting, which would not be tolerated in other industries, such as aviation, according to the report.

In addition to EHR system flaws, errors impacting patient safety are caused by poor design and sloppy implementation, according to the Globe. The article also suggests that the government hasn't imposed mandatory reporting because of vendor executive financial ties to Democratic leaders. Article

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