Electronic Health Records and Medical Malpractice Claims
In the past, visiting your doctor or getting care in a hospital or outpatient clinic meant filling out a variety of forms, including those detailing your health history. These forms and additional notes and information about any ongoing conditions or health issues you suffered from would be kept in a file, to which the medical provider would refer during your visit. When you moved or switched providers, you would need to sign a release form, allowing your records to be transferred. It was not uncommon to have gaps where information was missing or incomplete information.
Unfortunately, a lack of information or errors in your health history can result in an increased likelihood for medical mistakes and misdiagnoses. While electronic medical record systems are designed to improve overall patient care by eliminating errors and missing information, a new study indicates that they are not fail safe in protecting patients from serious and potentially life threatening mistakes.
How Electronic Records May Improve Healthcare
Medical mistakes and errors have become increasingly common throughout the United States, leaving doctors, hospitals, and health officials scrambling to make improvements to the health system. According to the nationally sponsored health information website HealthIT.gov, switching to electronic health record systems promises to address some of the underlying problems that lead to errors and can jeopardize patient health. Electronic health records, or EHRs, eliminate the need to rely on traditional hard copy files in favor of computer filing systems that the patient’s medical providers can easily access
Potential Problems With EHRs
Despite the advantages EHRs offer, medical mistakes and errors involving patient health histories can still occur. According to a Politico report, there have already been several medical malpractice lawsuits filed over EHR errors resulting in serious harm for patients. More lawsuits are anticipated as these systems become more widely used. Types of EHR errors that commonly occur include the following:
- Data entry errors
- Failure in voice recognition software
- Medical provider errors in understanding EHR functions
- Errors resulting from copying and pasting incorrect patient information
- Lack of physician oversight in entering lab and x-ray reports
All of the above can result in medical mistakes, such as medication errors involving the wrong medication or the wrong dosage amount, surgical errors involving operating on the wrong site or performing the wrong procedure, and medical misdiagnosis, which can allow serious symptoms to go untreated.
Get Help From a South Carolina Medical Malpractice Attorney
At Anastopoulo Law Firm we understand the devastating effects these types of errors can have on your health, both now and in the future. We can advise you on how to hold responsible parties accountable so that you can get the compensation you deserve. If you or someone you care about has been the victim of a medical error or mistake, contact our experienced South Carolina medical malpractice attorneys today.