Various EHRs require a user to “validate” some elements of information (data) before they are fully accepted. Depending on the design of the EHR, information that needs to be validated may be presented in a different color or otherwise identified, and/or may be erased or hidden after some time if not validated or when actively rejected.
An important question in this regard is what is the basis for the user’s determination that an item of information is or is not valid? The ability, or inability, to do this occurs in two basic forms. One is when the user truly has, or believes they have, independent information that the recorded data is or is not correct. For example a user may be “sure” that they are looking at Mr. Smith’s chart and therefore reject information pertaining to Mrs. Jones. Or a bedside nurse may be contemporaneously present and know that a lead was off when the EHR automatically recorded data from that lead. Such data would then not be validated. Manually entered data can also be subject to confirmation, i.e. is what you typed what you meant to type. However self confirmation of manually entered data is known to be an unreliable process.
A second scenario is when the validation step occurs remotely either in space or time. In this case the validator may not have independent information to compare to the recorded data, nor would they have direct knowledge of any issues associated with the source of that data. They therefore may not actually be able to confirm that the data is correct. At best they may be able to decide that the data appears to be reasonable and perhaps then give little thought to the possibility that it is actually wrong, The user may also reject data that appears to them to be wrong based on general or specific conflicting information, yet in some cases such data might actually be correct.