A comparative study of the paper based error reporting system and an electronic error reporting system
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has identified error reporting systems as important components of patient safety improvement. Medical error reporting systems historically has been accomplished by disparate paper based processes. There has been a trend off late to shift to a more structured electronic system. A review of the literature shows that a limited study has been done to compare the electronic error reporting system versus the traditional paper based error reporting system. Therefore this thesis presents a comparative study in the reporting rates between the paper-based error reporting system and an electronic error reporting system. The study was done at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Error reporting data for a period of 17 months for each system was studied. Results of this study show an increased rate of error reporting using the electronic system. It also shows a higher severity of events reported using the electronic reporting system. Suggestions for additional areas to be explored in future research are suggested in the conclusion of this study.