Electronic Health Records Contribute to Higher Malpractice Risks, According to Research

Although electronic health records have become increasingly par for the course in the medical community, a new research study conducted by the Doctors Company shows that electronic health record practices could actually be increasing malpractice liability and medical mistakes.
Electronic Health Records

In order to arrive at these results, the Doctors Company looked at nearly 100 claims filed between January of 2007 and June 2014, in which electronic health records were involved.

Victims of Malpractice May Be Entitled to Compensation

Have you already been a victim of medical malpractice? If so, you may have grounds for a legal claim against that provider.

When a doctor fails to give you the same level of attention and care that would have been provided by anyone else in that situation, he or she may be guilty of medical malpractice.

The best way to protect your interests is to retain an experienced medical malpractice lawyer sooner rather than later. In that case, a Florida medical malpractice lawyer may be necessary to help you protect your interests.

Study Discovers Most Common Errors

Among the claims analyzed in the recent study over medical errors, 97 claims were medication related errors, diagnosis related errors, and improper medication management.

According to the Doctors Company, a medical malpractice insurance company based in Napa, it can take up to 5 years from the time that a medical malpractice claim is filed until it is officially resolved.

The study was put together in order to analyze electronic health record errors. Although there were very few claims at the beginning, there are increasing concerns that malpractice risks are actually on the rise.

Between 2007 and 2010, 2 claims involving electronic health records were closed. In 2013, however, that number jumped to 28, and the first 2 quarters of 2014 had 26 claims involved.

In recent years, electronic health records have become more widely adopted, but other medical professional liability insurers have become increasingly aware of the liability risks associated with these kinds of issues.

The adoption of electronic health record systems in the United States has increased by more than five-fold in acute care hospitals, not associated with the Federal Government.

ResearchAccording to research conducted by the Office of National Coordination for Health Information Technology, in 2008, less than 10% of those hospitals were using an electronic health record system.

By 2013, however, more than 93% of them had adopted this technology. Some of the issues most common in the malpractice claims evaluated in the research study were technology issues, as well as human error.

The top issues included:

1. Health records being tracked in multiple formats and stored across multiple locations
2. Data entry errors
3. Problems with conversion from paper to digital files
4. Lack of EHR education and training
5. Copying and pasting data without modifying it

The majority of the EHR claim events initiated at a doctor’s office or a hospital clinic, making up 43% of the claims.

The next most common locations for these medical errors included surgery centers or ambulatory centers, operating rooms, emergency rooms, radiology and imaging, labor and delivery, oral surgery and dentistry, and the patient’s room.

Technology linked to electronic record keeping were contributing factors in many of these claims, including:

  • Electronic data routing
  • System failure
  • Systems not communicating with one another
  • Outdated templates
  • Improper documentation

The research study delved even further and identified that certain types of medical specialties were more likely to be involved in EHR related claims.

All internal medicine specialties including gastroenterology, oncology, and cardiology were impacted, as well as primary care, gynecology, nursing, radiology, anesthesiology, and general surgery. Electronic health records have also made it easier, but potentially more problematic for electronic prescriptions.

Doctors are responsible for information that they can access inside an electronic healthcare system, but accidents can and do happen.

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Don’t Hesitate ! Consult with a Florida Medical Malpractice Attorney

If you have recently been injured as a result of problems with your electronic health records or some other mistake at the doctor or hospital, you need to consult with a Boca Raton malpractice attorney. You may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries.

Determine when you do and don’t need help from an injury attorney in Boca Raton with this blog: http://glotzerlaw.com/2016/05/03/8-signs-you-need-help-florida-personal-injury-attorney/

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