Essential activities for electronic health record safety: A qualitative study

Joan Ash, Hardeep Singh, Adam Wright, Dian Chase, Dean F. Sittig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Electronic health record-caused safety risks are an unintended consequence of the implementation of clinical systems. To identify activities essential to assuring that the electronic health record is managed and used safely, we used the Rapid Assessment Process, a collection of qualitative methods. A multidisciplinary team conducted visits to five healthcare sites to learn about best practices. Although titles and roles were very different across sites, certain tasks considered necessary by our subjects were remarkably similar. We identified 10 groups of activities/tasks in three major areas. Area A, decision-making activities, included overseeing, planning, and reviewing to assure electronic health record safety. Area B, organizational learning activities, involved monitoring, testing, analyzing, and reporting. Finally, Area C, user-related activities, included training, communication, and building clinical decision support. To minimize electronic health record-related patient safety risks, leaders in healthcare organizations should ensure that these essential activities are performed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3140-3151
Number of pages12
JournalHealth Informatics Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • electronic health records
  • governance
  • patient safety
  • qualitative research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics


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