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Electronic Health Records and Medical Malpractice

Written by Berkowitz

Electronic Medical RecordsThe transition to electronic health records (EHRs) is revolutionizing patient health care. The purpose of it is to improve the safety of patient treatments. Unfortunately, EHR is severely lacking in regulation and, because of the hurried adoption of these systems, health care providers may find that EHRs increase the likelihood of critical errors. In some cases, these EHR errors can lead to patient deaths and, naturally, malpractice incidents.

EHR: Good in Theory

Electronic health records are supposed to keep health care professionals throughout the country up-to-date on their patients’ records. Any medical professional, in theory, should be able to access these records and get a clear understanding of the patient’s health history – and most importantly, information regarding allergies and prescription medication interactions. However, healthcare professionals from around the country have complained about the issues regarding these health systems, which have led to more medical errors.

Potential Medical Errors Associated with EHR

EHR medical malpractice is becoming increasingly common. Just some instances where medical malpractice can occur include:

  • Technological glitches that display incorrect information in the patient’s medical record.
  • Medical professionals enter incorrect data into a patient’s record or enter another patient’s information into the wrong patient file.
  • Computer or system failures can make electronic health records unavailable.
  • A physician or hospital is using incompatible software, which results in lost information.
  • Confusing EHR system upgrades that make information difficult to locate.
  • Improper training that leads to a misreading of information or an inability to access information on the system.
  • Misspelled words, inaccurate dosage information, or auto-fill features that cause the wrong information to be entered into a patient’s record.

Steps to Take After an EHR Error Occurs

After an error occurs due to electronic health record issues, the physician or health care provider and the facility that employs them may be responsible for compensatory damages – including the cost of medical treatments to correct the issue, as well as compensation for pain suffered by the patient. After an EHR error occurs, it is imperative patients do the following:

  1. Discuss why the error occurred with medical professional.
  2. Gather available evidence regarding the error.
  3. Receive an assessment by another medical care provider to identify if the error could have been prevented – and if that error is the cause of your further injury.
  4. Contact a medical malpractice attorney who understands the complexity of EHR-related malpractice.

Contact Berkowitz and Hanna LLC

EHR-related malpractice is highly complex. It requires an attorney that understands how the EHR system works, as well as its related pitfalls. If you have been injured because of an EHR error, contact Berkowitz and Hanna LLC online or call 866-479-7909 to schedule a consultation.