Importance: Recommendations in the United States suggest limiting the number of patient records displayed in an electronic health record (EHR) to 1 at a time, although little evidence supports this recommendation. Objective: To assess the risk of wrong-patient orders in an EHR configuration limiting clinicians to 1 record vs allowing up to 4 records opened concurrently. Design, Setting, and Participants: This randomized clinical trial included 3356 clinicians at a large health system in New York and was conducted from October 2015 to April 2017 in emergency department, inpatient, and outpatient settings. Interventions: Clinicians were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to an EHR configuration limiting to 1 patient record open at a time (restricted; n = 1669) or allowing up to 4 records open concurrently (unrestricted; n = 1687). Main Outcomes and Measures: The unit of analysis was the order session, a series of orders placed by a clinician for a single patient. The primary outcome was order sessions that included 1 or more wrong-patient orders identified by the Wrong-Patient Retract-and-Reorder measure (an electronic query that identifies orders placed for a patient, retracted, and then reordered shortly thereafter by the same clinician for a different patient). Results: Among the 3356 clinicians who were randomized (mean [SD] age, 43.1 [12.5] years; mean [SD] experience at study site, 6.5 [6.0] years; 1894 females [56.4%]), all provided order data and were included in the analysis. The study included 12140298 orders, in 4486631 order sessions, placed for 543490 patients. There was no significant difference in wrong-patient order sessions per 100000 in the restricted vs unrestricted group, respectively, overall (90.7 vs 88.0; odds ratio [OR], 1.03 [95% CI, 0.90-1.20]; P =.60) or in any setting (ED: 157.8 vs 161.3, OR, 1.00 [95% CI, 0.83-1.20], P =.96; inpatient: 185.6 vs 185.1, OR, 0.99 [95% CI, 0.89-1.11]; P =.86; or outpatient: 7.9 vs 8.2, OR, 0.94 [95% CI, 0.70-1.28], P =.71). The effect did not differ among settings (P for interaction =.99). In the unrestricted group overall, 66.2% of the order sessions were completed with 1 record open, including 34.5% of ED, 53.7% of inpatient, and 83.4% of outpatient order sessions. Conclusions and Relevance: A strategy that limited clinicians to 1 EHR patient record open compared with a strategy that allowed up to 4 records open concurrently did not reduce the proportion of wrong-patient order errors. However, clinicians in the unrestricted group placed most orders with a single record open, limiting the power of the study to determine whether reducing the number of records open when placing orders reduces the risk of wrong-patient order errors. Trial Registration: clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT02876588.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||JAMA - Journal of the American Medical Association|
|State||Published - May 14 2019|
ASJC Scopus subject areas