The Healthcare Policy Podcast ®  Produced by David Introcaso
The Healthcare Policy Podcast ® Produced by David Introcaso
Patient Safety Issues Associated with Electronic Health Records: A Conversation with Dr. David Troxel (October 31st)
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Patient Safety Issues Associated with Electronic Health Records: A Conversation with Dr. David Troxel (October 31st)

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Electronic Health Records (EHRs) were largely adopted after 2009, or after the Congress passed the HITECH Act that appropriated $30 billion in financial incentives for hospital and physicians to migrate from paper to digital records.   In theory the policy made/makes perfect sense.  Adopting information technology/IT would over time create efficiencies, drive better care coordination and overall improve care quality and reduce unnecessary spending or reduce spending growth.  However, for numerous reasons moving to widespread use of EHRs has presented/continues to present numerous challenges and problems, some anticipated and some not, that meant putting patients at risk of medical harm, or essentially swapped out one set of problems (associated with paper records) for another set of problems (associated with EHRs).    

During this 29-minute conversation Dr. Troxel offers his view why the medical industry comparatively lagged in adopting digital records, what are the more common EHR design flaws and what kinds of medical errors they cause, how prevalent are EHR-related errors or what did his report, cited below, conclude, why EHR-related errors or harm occur, what is the current status of a proposed federal Health IT Safety Center and what can patients do to improve the safety of their EHRs. 

Dr. Troxel is Secretary of the Board of Governors and Medical Director of The Doctors Company, a physician-owned medical malpractice insurer.  Dr. Troxel is also Clinical Professor Emeritus at the School of Public Health at the  
University of California at Berkeley.  He is past president of the American Board of Pathology and the California Society of Pathologists.  He serves as Chairman of The Doctors Company Foundation and as a member of the Patient Safety and Technology Committees at The Doctors Company.

Referenced during the discussion the report, "Electronic Health Record Closed Claims Study," is at: http://www.thedoctors.com/ecm/groups/public/documents/print_pdf/con_id_013553.pdf.

The 2011 IOM report, "Health IT and Patient Safety: Building Safer Systems for Better Care," also referenced during the discussion is at:  http://www.nationalacademies.org/hmd/Reports/2011/Health-IT-and-Patient-Safety-Building-Safer-Systems-for-Better-Care.aspx.

Information on the Doctors Company is at: http://www.thedoctors.com/

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The Healthcare Policy Podcast ®  Produced by David Introcaso
The Healthcare Policy Podcast ® Produced by David Introcaso
Podcast interviews with health policy experts on timely subjects. The Healthcare Policy Podcast website features audio interviews with healthcare policy experts on timely topics. An online public forum routinely presenting expert healthcare policy analysis and comment is lacking. While other healthcare policy website programming exists, these typically present vested interest viewpoints or do not combine informed policy analysis with political insight or acumen. Since healthcare policy issues are typically complex, clear, reasoned, dispassionate discussion is required. These podcasts will attempt to fill this void. Among other topics this podcast will address: Implementation of the Affordable Care Act Other federal Medicare and state Medicaid health care issues Federal health care regulatory oversight, moreover CMS and the FDA Healthcare research Private sector healthcare delivery reforms including access, reimbursement and quality issues Public health issues including the social determinants of health Listeners are welcomed to share their program comments and suggest programming ideas. Comments made by the interviewees are strictly their own and do not represent those of their affiliated organization/s.