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“Sloppy and Paste” : Risk for Doctors, Even Bigger Risk for Patients

May 15, 2013 in Uncategorized

Many doctors copy and paste old information into patients’ Electronic Health Records (EHRs) – a fact confirmed by a recent study in the journal Critical Care Medicine report has confirmed. While this has been shown to be a common practice – “common” doesn’t mean “safe”.  This shortcut can sometimes not only lead to miscommunication but endanger patient care.

“The electronic medical record was meant to make the process of documentation easier, but I think it’s perpetuated copying,” lead author of the study and assistant professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Dr. Daryl Thornton commented.

copy-and-pasteProgress notes are typically shared among doctors, nurses and other hospital staff and are used to document the progression of a patient’s tests, treatments and symptoms. But many electronic record keeping systems allow text to be copied and pasted from previous notes and other documents, as a shortcut for doctors who are pressed for time. While it may be a time saver, this can not only cause mistakes to be passed along but for medical records to become indecipherable, particularly for the next doctor or other members of the care team.

EHRs

The problems don’t stop there:  studies have found that copying and pasting data can also result in:

  • Patient records containing outdated or inaccurate information;
  • Incorrect or fraudulent billing requests; and
  • Federal audits for suspicious activity (Bresnick, EHR Intelligence, 1/7).

So how can doctor’s reduce their risk of error in updating patient profiles, but still manage to do things efficiently? Well if a picture is worth 1000 words, imagine how many words a video is worth:

When pictures and videos are part of a patient’s EHR – using CaptureProof of course – those are thousands of words that don’t need to be copied, pasted or rewritten. Doctors can see and know symptoms and view the patient’s progress with a click of a button, without having to look at  paragraphs of the Infamous Doctor’s Scrawl. (If you have a hard time reading a prescription, imagine trying to decipher something 10x that length!)

Replace Sloppy & Paste with Capture, Compare & Share. Everyone wins: Doctor’s can do their work more efficiently and effectively, and patients receive better care. Win-Win.


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