Ohio residents may be surprised to learn that copying and pasting patient care notes made by other doctors and medical staff in electronic health records or EHRs is a very common practice. It is such an epidemic that one doctor and professor at a major medical university said that it has a name - "sloppy and paste." Imagine you or a loved one is a patient in a hospital and have just undergone a major surgery. Your doctor makes a note in your EHR that you will require a certain dose of a medication.
Advocates of the use of electronic health records contend that the digitalization of medical records can reduce hospital errors, but a recent study suggests that this may not be the case. The Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority Report examined almost 3,100 error reports from hospitals in the state to determine if there were mistakes related to electronic records. They found that nearly 4,000 errors were related to EHRs between 2004 and 2012.Most errors did not cause harm to patients, but 10 percent concerned unsafe conditions. Of the many reports reviewed, 15 involved temporary potential harmful situations for patients, such as erroneous medication data, failure to note allergies or failure to document test results. Problems were particularly noted in hospitals that used both paper and electronic records. The difficulty in using some electronic systems also contributed to errors.