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Using electronic medical records to reduce errors and risks in a prenatal network

George, Jeny; Bernstein, Peter S

Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology: December 2009 - Volume 21 - Issue 6 - p 527–531
doi: 10.1097/GCO.0b013e328332d171
Healthcare management strategies: Edited by Michael C. Lu

Purpose of review To provide a review of the literature on the impact of implementation of electronic medical records (EMRs) on quality of care, particularly in obstetrics, and to make recommendations concerning key components of a computerized record based on this review.

Recent findings Recent studies suggest improvement in quality of care with implementation of EMRs, although most are unable to demonstrate improvements in patient outcomes. These studies examine the effectiveness of electronic systems in various areas, for example, improvement in the delivery of patient care, complete documentation of a patient's history, reduction in medication errors, with only a few studies in obstetrics. We highlight the data on the use of EMRs in obstetrics and other areas of medicine that we find to be relevant.

Summary Implementation of the EMR in obstetrics is gaining popularity. However, data to support its use are only now emerging. Here, we highlight the literature studying the impact of EMRs on patient care and make recommendations for key components of a computerized system based on these studies. We also emphasize the need for continued study in this area, particularly in obstetrics, in which improvement in care may be able to be demonstrated.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Women's Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, New York, USA

Correspondence to Peter S. Bernstein, MD, Jack D. Weiler Hospital of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 1825 Eastchester Road, Room #703, Bronx, NY 10461-2373, USA Tel: +1 718 904 2767; fax: +1 718 904 2799; e-mail:

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.