Study: Docs Have EHR Rights, but Also Responsibilities

An article published Feb. 13 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal outlines 10 “rights” that clinicians should expect in the performance of an electronic health records system, as well as corresponding responsibilities of the clinicians to use the EHR to improve the quality of care.

The article’s authors are Dean Sittig, PhD., a biomedical informatics professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston; and Hardeep Singh, M.D., assistant professor of medicine at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Baylor College of Medicine, who have collaborated in the past on studies of improving EHR use and safety, including a call in late 2011 for establishment of a National EHR Safety Board.

Some of the rights and responsibilities in the new report include:

* The right to uninterrupted access to records with the responsibility to protect passwords, log-off when done, and access only records of patients under their care or within their administrative purview;

* The right to override computer-generated interventions with the responsibility of justifying overrides and being accountable for decisions by agreeing to have their actions reviewed;

* The right to reliable performance measurements based on EHRs with the responsibility to review the performance feedback and act on it; and

* The right to training in all features of the EHR with the responsibility to “maintain a high level of user proficiency with the same level of diligence as for other clinical skills.” This includes learning to type, showing competence in use of all required functions and asking for help when limits of proficiency are reached.

The full article is available here.

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