Analysis of a CRICO medical malpractice claims study of cases involving health IT.

The goal of this project was to obtain additional information on health IT–related problems, using a mixed methods (qualitative and quantitative) analysis of electronic health record–related harm in cases submitted to a large database of malpractice suits and claims, the CRICO Strategies Comparative Benchmarking System (CBS).

Cases submitted to the CRICO claims database and coded during 2012 and 2013 were analyzed. A total of 248 cases (<1%) involving health IT were identified and coded using a proprietary taxonomy that identifies user- and system-related sociotechnical factors.

Adverse events associated with health IT vulnerabilities can cause extensive harm and are encountered across the continuum of health care settings and sociotechnical factors. The recurring patterns provide valuable lessons that both practicing clinicians and health IT developers could use to reduce the risk of harm in the future. The likelihood of harm seems to relate more to a patient's particular situation than to any one class of error.

The study published in the peer-review journal, Journal of Patient Safety (subscription may be required).