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Electronic Health Records, Interoperability and Patient Safety in Health Systems of High-income Countries: A Systematic Review Protocol.

BMJ Open 2021 July 15
INTRODUCTION: The availability and routine use of electronic health records (EHRs) have become commonplace in healthcare systems of many high-income countries. While there is an ever-growing body of literature pertaining to their use, evidence surrounding the importance of EHR interoperability and its impact on patient safety remains less clear. There is, therefore, a need and opportunity to evaluate the evidence available regarding this relationship so as to better inform health informatics development and policies in the years to come. This systematic review aims to evaluate the impact of EHR interoperability on patient safety in health systems of high-income countries.

METHODS AND ANALYSIS: A systematic literature review will be conducted via a computerised search through four databases: PubMed, Embase, Health Management Information Consortium and PsycInfo for relevant articles published between 2010 and 2020. Outcomes of interest will include impact on patient safety and the broader effects on health systems. Quality of the randomised quantitative studies will be assessed using Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool. Non-randomised papers will be evaluated with the Risk of Bias In Non-Randomised Studies-of Interventions tool. Drummond's Checklist will be used for publications pertaining to economic evaluation. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence quality appraisal checklist will be used to assess qualitative studies. A narrative synthesis will be conducted for included studies, and the body of evidence will be summarised in a summary of findings table.

ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This review will summarise published studies with non-identifiable data and, thus, does not require ethical approval. Findings will be disseminated through preprints, open access peer-reviewed publications, and conference presentations.


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