Electronic Health Record (EHR) Found to Have Glitches in Recording Patients Data, Study Reveals

First Posted: Apr 26, 2016 04:12 AM EDT

In today's modern world, human rely on computer programs to store important information about an individual. However, it is possible for these computers to have glitches in their system. A study about the available information from a normal electronic health record (EHR) with data from insurance claims which focuses on diagnoses, visits and hospital care for patients with depression and bipolar disorder was done by researchers from Oxford University.

The study show that complementary sources of data can be used to draw a more precise picture of a patient's health curve than taking it from a single source. A recent investment in Electronic Health Records (EHRs) happened on the theory that it will improve patient safety, research capacity, and cost savings, Science Daily reported.

However, most of the health systems and health records are found to be incomplete and do not share necessary patient information. These fragmented and incomplete data in EHRs are one of the problems researchers found. According to Science Newsline, EHRs alone is not enough to acquire mental health diagnosis, hospital visits, special care and medications. These data which can't be found in the EHR may cause medication errors and could potentially harm the patient's health.

The study also found that the EHR had missed 89 percent of acute psychiatric services. Patients with bipolar disorder and depression each averaged 8.4 and 14.0 days of outpatient behavioral care each year. It was also later discovered that 60 percent and 54 percent of these were not found from the EHR because they happened offsite. The total number of outpatient care days was 20.5 days for those with depression, and 25.0 days for patients with bipolar disorder.

It was found by researchers that about 45 and 46 percent respectively were missing from the EHR. The diagnoses for 27.3 percent and 27.7 percent of patients were not found in the record's structured event data. The study also emphasized the usefulness of multiple external sources of information.

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