8 Reasons Your Electronic Medical Records May Result in a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
Doctors are not perfect, but when they are negligent and make medical mistakes, it can lead to misdiagnosis, serious injury or death. Electronic health records (EHRs) are now used by 90% of all doctors, hospitals and medical professionals. These EHRs are contributing to medical malpractice lawsuits. The number of lawsuits involving EHRs has tripled in the last 8 years. If you have suffered injuries due to a health provider’s negligence involving EHRs, you may have the right to receive compensation. The following are the 8 most common reasons your EHRs may cause medical malpractice by a doctor, nurse, or other health professional.
- Design Flaws
Technology is not perfect, and EHRs often have technological or design flaws. However, sometimes the vendors of these EHRs will include clauses that release them from any liability; they attempt to put the full liability for any medical malpractice on physicians and medical professionals.
- Incorrect Information
These are simply electronic devices and software. They are only as good as the information that they have stored inside of them. Oftentimes, there can be inaccurate or outdated patient information stored. If a doctor relies on incorrect or outdated information, then they may give the wrong medication or a wrong diagnosis.
Also, some of the voice-recognition software does not record and transcribe information perfectly. With incorrect or inaccurate data, a doctor can easily make a medical error.
- Copy and Paste
Copy and paste errors are some of the most common errors leading to medical negligence. Doctors or nurses may erroneously copy and paste information from the last patient visit into the patient’s EHR. However, some information could have changed since the last appointment. These technology errors can cause medical malpractice by doctors.
Similar to the copy and paste error, the medical fields of a patient may already be filled out. Medical history and physical or procedure notes could be auto-populated from older notes or even a template. In these cases, the auto-population could be incorrect, and not taken from the most recent medical information. Doctors need recent and accurate medical information to determine a medical condition. Without accurate medical history, there is a greater chance of medical malpractice.
It is hard to imagine that a simple typo could cause injury or death. When a nurse or doctor types a condition, medication, or test in an EHR incorrectly, however, it could lead to catastrophic injuries or death. Many medications and tests have very similar names. Any type of data-entry error could cause a patient record to be wrong. These mistakes rise to the level of medical negligence, even if the typo was seemingly insignificant.
When a doctor or nurse has their eyes on their computer, their eyes are not on you. These electronic devices take away attention from the patient, which can result in misreading the patient’s symptoms. Also, patient interaction is very important. If a patient feels as if they are being ignored, they may not tell their entire medical issue. Distraction by such technology can cause the doctor-patient to be broken for this reason. Without giving full attention to a patient, a doctor may be negligent in prescribing the correct medicine or ordering appropriate tests.
- Technology Burnout
Doctors are responsible for the information they provide to patients. The doctor-patient relationship is sacred. It is important that no matter what, the communication between a doctor and a patient remains open and understandable. Technology consumes much of a doctor’s time due to EHRs. With technology burnout, doctors are exhausted. Doctors are not paying attention in examination rooms, because they are looking at computer screens. The exhaustion caused by technology burnout leads to negligent errors.
- The Type of Medical Practice
Some types of medical practices have more instances of medical malpractice due to EMRs. The top spot goes to family medical doctors. This may be because family medical doctors see many more patients, with a wide range of medical issues, which could lead to increased errors. The percentage of medical malpractice cases due to EMRs in different kinds of medical practices is listed below:
- Family medicine: 8 percent
- Internal medicine: 8 percent
- Cardiology: 6 percent
- Radiology: 6 percent
- Obstetrics: 5 percent
- Orthopedics: 5 percent
- Nursing: 5 percent
- Hospital medicine: 4 percent
- Gynecology: 4 percent
- Emergency medicine: 3 percent
- Anesthesiology: 3 percent
- Plastic surgery: 3 percent
- Urology surgery: 3 percent
- General surgery: 3 percent
Contact an Experienced Attorney Today
When there are errors in electronic medical records, patients can be seriously injured. In fact, statistics show that for medical errors due to EMRs, 25% of the injuries result in death. Other injuries include adverse reactions to medicines, a need for surgery, emotional trauma, an undiagnosed malignancy, organ damage, infections and more. If you were injured by your doctor or hospital, you may have a strong medical malpractice claim.
About the law firm:
Jonathan C. Reiter is a New York City Trial Lawyer with an impressive resume in the areas of medical malpractice lawsuits. A talented team of attorneys at Jonathan C. Reiter Law Firm, PLLC, has recovered more than $250 million for clients in the United States and around the world.
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New York Medical Malpractice Attorney
Prior results cannot and do not guarantee or predict a similar outcome with respect to any future case. Recoveries always depend upon the facts and circumstances of each case, the injuries suffered, damages incurred, and the responsibility of those involved.