Study Finds Adding Photos to Patient Records Decreases the Chance of Error
According to a study published by Reuters Health, adding children’s photos to their medical record storage file decreases the chance of error.
In 2010, the Children’s Hospital Colorado experienced 12 cases of patient misinformation due to improper medical records storage, in which children received tests or treatments not intended for them. However, the hospital has added a photo of each child to their Electronic Health Records (EHRs) in the hope that doctors will correlate a child’s face to their records. A year after initiating this policy, the number of errors due to mixed up records has dropped from 12 to 3.
Dr. Daniel Hyman, the chief quality officer of the Aurora, CO hospital and key contributor to the Reuters Health study, believes that patient misidentification is a serious risk that health care consumers should be aware of. In terms of using photos in patient files, Hyman says, "I do think it's the photos that have made the difference.” The staff at the Children’s Hospital Colorado believes that seeing patients’ faces in the context of their medical records will help assure information is entered into the correct file.
According to a study conducted by PLoS Medicine in January 2012, EHRs make up the main reason for a reported 60 percent drop in medical errors. Handwritten records have been replaced by the new electronic files, which research shows dramatically decrease the chance for error. The digital photos that institutions such as the Children’s Hospital Colorado have added to their modern EHR systems continue to add to the success behind electronic systems.
Related Articles“Magnet” Hospitals Report Superior Operational Excellence and Lower Mortality Rates
Financial institutions achieve operational efficiency through technology