Electronic Health Records Target of Malpractice Suits
We live in a digital world. Whether to improve efficiency or enhance accuracy, more and more companies rely on digital record keeping for day-to-day operations. While this may make life easier in some respects, the medical field has seen an increase in malpractice claims involving the use of electronic health records (EHR).
Identifying a Trend
While the number of claims in which EHR factored grew from just two incidents between 2007 and 2010 to over 160 from 2011 through 2016, the trend indicates an alarming increase involving a single element. A recent study indicated a number of contributing factors that resulted in failures stemming from the use of electronic record keeping of patient history and condition. Among these are:
- System errors such as flaws in design or inadequate technology;
- Poor or incomplete integration across all departments;
- Lack of alerts or alarms; and
- User errors, including data entry and copy/paste mistakes.
While many agree the implementation of digital record keeping offers opportunity for improvement in a number of fields, including patient care and safety, it is widely acknowledged that its use can result in unfortunate and unintended consequences.
The same study also identified a few other details that emerged as part of the upward trend in medical malpractice lawsuits involving electronic health records.
- Errors resulting in malpractice claims occurred most frequently in hospital clinics and doctors’ offices.
- More claim-related events are occurring in patient rooms, while fewer took place in day surgery, labor and delivery rooms, and emergency rooms.
- Claims against doctors practicing internal medicine and cardiology decreased.
- Nursing and family medicine also saw decreases.
- The study identified orthopedics, emergency medicine, and obstetrics/gynecology as the fields that saw an increase in the EHR related claims.
Authors of the study indicated that, while troubling, the results will help medical professionals identify the occurrence of EHR-related errors in caring for patients and make the corrections necessary to improve procedures and treatment. Whether through improved doctor training on systems or upgraded software design, professionals remain encouraged that EHR will remain an integral part of patient care despite recent developments.
Rely on an Experienced San Jose Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If you believe your condition is the result of medical malpractice, it is important to learn your options by speaking with a knowledgeable California medical malpractice attorney. Retain the services of a skilled Santa Clara County medical malpractice lawyer who can guide you through the process. Janoff Law has the experience and resources to ensure your case receives the attention it deserves. Contact their offices today at 408-286-2300 and schedule an initial consultation to discuss your case.