A just-published study in the BMJ Quality & Safety journal explores the potential of the information in EHRs to be used in new tools that detect errors in diagnosis and prescribing. The Safer Dx Trigger Tools Framework, proposed by the authors, would apply algorithms against the vast amounts of data stored in the EHR for data mining to prevent errors.
Current e-triggers detect prescription errors and procedure complications. This framework proposes tracking of patient events over time, such as patient-provider encounters, performance and interpretation of diagnostic tests, follow up and tracking of diagnostic information over time, and referral and/or patient-specific factors. It would detect errors such as initial misdiagnosis in office visit or hospital, abnormal test results, or delayed diagnosis from lack of specialty expertise.
The model framework and seven steps they recommend for development and design of these tools are depicted here: