Doctors more likely to report drug side effects electronically

February 11, 2010

Physicians are more likely to report drug side effects through an electronic health records system than they are via traditional paper methods, according to the results of a survey sponsored by Pfizer.

Physicians are more likely to report drug side effects through an electronic health records (EHR) system than they are via traditional paper methods, according to the results of a survey sponsored by Pfizer.

Of the 300 physicians surveyed, two-thirds reported using some form of an EHR system and one-third said they used a paper-based system. One-half of all the respondents and 60 percent of users of fully functional EHR systems reported that they would be much more likely to submit information about adverse events using an EHR system.

"Adverse event reports are a key component of our ongoing efforts in patient safety," Freda Lewis-Hall, MD, Pfizer's chief medical officer, said in a prepared statement. "One critical goal is to increase the number and quality of the reports we receive. By making it easier and more convenient for doctors, we anticipate meeting this goal."

Ipsos conducted the online survey among primary care physicians in the United States who were categorized as users of basic EHR systems, fully functional EHR systems, or paper health record systems. Of those still using paper-based systems, 80 percent cited cost as a deterrent to investing in an EHR system.