Navigating the Storm: Electronic Health Record Risks

Program Description

The widespread adoption and use of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) is expected to deliver benefits to doctors from the improved access to information, connectivity between providers, automatic warnings, and clinical decision support tools. These benefits should result in a decrease in adverse outcomes and medical malpractice liability. Instead, a growing number of liability cases involving EHRs point to a number of contributing factors involving EHRs and other patient information sources that doctors are now expected to access.     
An analysis of closed claims data by The Doctors Company and EHR-related media reports, peer-reviewed medical journals, and health information technology literature, consistently identify factors that contribute to undesired downstream effects. These effects include alarm fatigue, information overload, missed important clinical information due to excessively complex user interface, dysmorphic effect on the clinical note, rendering it useless to the clinician, and user error. Each of these factors presents the potential for patient harm. This course addresses these factors in depth, and presents ways to reduce the risk of harm and liability from the use of EHRs, and other patient information sources.


After completing this activity, learners will be able to:

  • Identify controversies over benefits and risks of Electronic Health Records (EHR).
  • Explain five reasons EHR may increase exposure to medical malpractice liability.
  • Discuss strategies for reducing EHR related liabilities.


No individual in a position to control or influence the content of this activity has reported relevant financial relationships with commercial interests. No commercial support was provided for this activity. 


Robert Morton, BA, ARM, CPHRM, Director, Department of Patient Safety and Risk Management, NW Region, Austin Office, The Doctors Company

Howard Marcus, M.D., Group Practice, Internal Medicine, Austin Regional Clinic, Austin, TX

Continuing Education Credit

The Doctors Company is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education activities for physicians.

The Doctors Company designates this enduring material activity for a maximum of 1.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The Doctors Company estimates one and quarter hour for completion of this course. A passing score of 80 percent or greater is required to successfully complete the activity and earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.

Course ID#: TDE 16006.0
Issue Date for This Activity: 03/21/2016
Expiration Date for This Activity: 03/21/2019


The information and guidelines contained in this enduring material activity are generalized and may not apply to all practice situations. The faculty recommends that legal advice be obtained from a qualified attorney for specific application to your practice. The information is intended for educational purposes only.

Complies with State Requirements

Content is approved for ethics or professional responsibility credit required by the Texas Medical Board.

Technical Requirements

This activity is best experienced using the most current browser (or one back) of Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, or Microsoft Edge.  For all activities featuring audio you must have a sound card and speakers. To view graphic images and references that appear in separate "pop-up" windows, you must have JavaScript and session cookies enabled on your computer.  Adobe Acrobat Reader may be required for certain activities.


Click Here to download a PDF with resources related to this program.

Contact Us

If you have questions, contact or call (800) 421-2368, extension 1243.