News | August 07, 2007

Survey Examines Relationship of EMRs to Malpractice Risk

August 8, 2007 - Respondents from 115 practices in 27 specialties representing 36 states completed an Internet-based survey developed by Medical Records Institute and Professional Risk Associates, regarding adoption of electronic medical records (EMRs) in physician practices and their impact on patient safety and malpractice risk.

Of the 62 percent of respondents with EMR systems, over two-thirds have stand-alone systems that are not part of a regional or hospital system, and have had the systems for over a year. A physician was identified as the "Power User" by almost half of the practices with an EMR system, and nearly two-thirds indicated their providers fully use the system. Approximately 24 percent who have EMR systems complained the system does not have the functions they need, and a similar percentage stated they did not receive adequate training.

Nearly twenty percent of respondents stated their malpractice insurer offers a discount for having an EMR System, and 45 percent believe EMRs will make them less vulnerable to malpractice cases. Among the almost one-fifth who have had a malpractice case in which documentation was based on the EMR, over half (55 percent) said the EMR was helpful.

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