Electronic Medical Records – Do they lead to an increase in Medical Malpractice claims?
Electronic health records (EHRs) are now used by nearly 90% of all medical professionals. However, while these EHRs can save time and facilitate the transfer of information, EHRs are also a contributing factor to negligence, leading to an increase in medical malpractice lawsuits. Lawsuits that name EHRs as the reason for medical malpractice has tripled in the last 8 years. The most common reasons your EHRs may cause medical malpractice are listed below.
Technological or Design Flaws
EHRs, like any kind of technology, is often fraught with technological or design flaws. While some EHR developers will try to include clauses in their contracts that exculpate them from any kind of liability, ultimately, someone will be held responsible if the design flaw in an EHR led to a misdiagnosis, incorrect prescription or another type of medical malpractice.
Inaccurate Data and Information
These electronic records may have outdated or inaccurate information stored, or may have failed to update to include the new or accurate data. If a doctor or medical professional relies on incorrect or outdated data with regard to diagnosis, prescription or procedure, there may be medical errors that result. Another common example of inaccurate data comes from the inability of voice-recognition software to record information correctly.
Copy/Paste and Typographical Errors
Copy and paste errors made by medical professionals are common when using EHRs. These errors could lead to significant injuries to patient if incorrect data or incomplete data is copied and pasted into their medical chart.
In another way, a doctor that is hurrying may incorrectly type in medicine, diagnosis or allergy. In many cases, a simple typo can lead to catastrophic injuries or death.
In many cases, the EHRs will auto-populate certain fields for a person’s medical record. When medical histories of a patient are incorrectly auto-populated with incorrect medicines or allergies, it can lead to a misdiagnosis or an incorrect prescription being given to a patient. Without accurate and up to date medical information, a doctor or medical professional is unable to correctly provide help to a patient.
Distraction and Burnout
The new EHRs have caused doctors to constantly be looking at a computer screen instead of directly interacting with patients. This may take away from some of the personal care and attention required by doctors when they are assessing their patients. Additionally, many doctors are now reporting technology burnout due to EHRs. Essentially, doctors are exhausted. Doctors are not paying full attention to patients in examination rooms, and are burned out from this technology which can lead to medical errors and medical malpractice.
Reach Out to Us Today for Help
Statistics show that when medical errors occur as a result of incorrect EMRs, 25% of the injuries result in death. The most important step you can take is contacting an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Contact our legal team at Roman & Roman today at 877-767-1032 or contact us online for a free consultation. We have offices in Clearwater, Hudson, and Tampa.