The Impact of Meaningful Use and Electronic Health Records on Hospital Patient Safety

Kate E. Trout, Li Wu Chen, Fernando A. Wilson, Hyo Jung Tak, David Palm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The HITECH Act aimed to leverage Electronic Health Records (EHRs) to improve efficiency, quality, and patient safety. Patient safety and EHR use have been understudied, making it difficult to determine if EHRs improve patient safety. The objective of this study was to determine the impact of EHRs and attesting to Meaningful Use (MU) on Patient Safety Indicators (PSIs). A multivariate regression analysis was performed using a generalized linear model method to examine the impact of EHR use on PSIs. Fully implemented EHRs not attesting to MU had a positive impact on three PSIs, and hospitals that attested to MU had a positive impact on two. Attesting to MU or having a fully implemented EHR were not drivers of PSI-90 composite score, suggesting that hospitals may not see significant differences in patient safety with the use of EHR systems as hospitals move towards pay-for-performance models. Policy and practice may want to focus on defining metrics and PSIs that are highly preventable to avoid penalizing hospitals through reimbursement, and work toward adopting advanced analytics to better leverage EHR data. These findings will assist hospital leaders to find strategies to better leverage EHRs, rather than relying on achieving benchmarks of MU objectives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number12525
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • electronic health records
  • health services
  • patient safety
  • patient safety indicators
  • reimbursement incentive

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


Dive into the research topics of 'The Impact of Meaningful Use and Electronic Health Records on Hospital Patient Safety'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this