Can Electronic Health Record Systems Cause Medical Malpractice?

Can Electronic Health Record Systems Cause Medical Malpractice?

When you go to the hospital or attend an appointment with your doctor it is highly likely that they will record your health information into some type of electronic medical record system. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 90% of all office-based physicians use an electronic system and over 72% of them have certified systems. There are good reasons for making the switch to an electronic system where digital medical charts and notes are kept including ease of access to a patient’s health information.

While digital resources have their advantages, they also have their pitfalls. For example, online security breaches put patients’ confidential information at risk of being exposed to parties that are not authorized to have it. Security issues pose a real problem, but they are not the only risk to consider when it comes to using an electronic system for patient files.

Technical Errors With Electronic Health Records That Lead to Malpractice

Can Electronic Health Record Systems Cause Medical MalpracticeElectronic medical records can be convenient, but if they are not maintained properly harm to a patient may result. It is important that medical professionals adhere to the same standard of care with these electronic systems just as they would have with hand-written notes and information. 

Patient injury can take place when mistakes are made and carelessness is involved in using an electronic health record system. Some of the most common errors with electronic systems are:

  • Doctors try to take shortcuts to input information by copying and pasting old information into new medical records and reports. When a doctor does not update a patient’s medical information manually with their new notes from a recent appointment, then any details that have changed in a patient’s health status may not be documented. The Doctor’s Company, a physician-owned malpractice insurance provider, found that when medical malpractice claims stemming from issues with electronic records were reviewed close to 60% came about because of this inattentiveness by physicians.
  • Many electronic health record systems have built-in alerts. If the system malfunctions and the alerts fail to go off or if doctors don’t acknowledge them, then there could be a delay in getting the right emergency medical response to an active crisis situation. As high as 50% of medical malpractice claims with respect to emergency record systems were related to alert system shortcomings.
  • If a medical provider does not ensure that their electronic systems are integrated, critical health information may be inaccessible by various providers.
  • Not inputting data into the system correctly as the system requires may distort actual medical information. Bypassing checked boxes is one example.
  • Not taking safety precautions like backing up electronic systems can impair a patient from getting the quality care that they need. When a medical provider cannot access a patient’s information because of a system failure and there are no other resources to get that information, a patient may be subject to severe harm.

Speak with a Jackson Medical Malpractice Attorney Today

If you were injured because of the negligence of a medical facility or provider, you may be able to file a Mississippi medical malpractice claim for compensation. To have your case reviewed, please call the Jackson medical malpractice attorney at Germany Law Firm, PLLC to schedule a free consultation at (601) 487-0555.