In many ways, electronic health records (EHRs) are improving health care and making patients safer during treatment. However, due to a severe lack of EHR regulations, paired with the hurried adoption of EHR systems by hospitals, electronic health records can sometimes do more harm than good. In some cases, EHR errors can lead to patient harm, patient deaths, and medical malpractice incidents.
In theory, electronic health records should help doctors and nurses throughout the country give their patients specialized, individualized care. They should give any medical professional with access to them a clearer look at a patient’s health history as well as warn them about dangerous drug interactions and allergies. However, issues with these new systems have led to a significant number of serious medical errors.For example, EHR medical malpractice could occur when:
- A technological glitch causes the incorrect information to appear in the medical records.
- A medical professional incorrectly enters data into your medical records.
- A computer crash, system crash, or other technical problem makes the medical records impossible to access at vital times.
- Incompatible software in differing medical facilities results in lost or scrambled information.
- A confusing system upgrade causes information to be lost or difficult to find.
- Poor user training causes the misreading of record information or the failure to locate information.
- Dangerous auto-fill features cause doctors and nurses to enter the wrong information into medical records.
- Copy-and-paste mistakes can lead to wrong or misplaced information in the medical records.
- A user ignores a drug interaction alert due to “alert fatigue” or a drug interaction alert fails to sound.
What to Do After an EHR Error
If you or a family member have suffered because of an error caused by electronic health records, the physician or medical facility may be responsible for damages, ranging from the costs of fixing the damage to compensation for pain and suffering. It is extremely important to take the following actions after an EHR error:
- Speak to your doctor and medical facility about what went wrong and why.
- Collect all available evidence surrounding the error.
- Get a medical assessment to determine if your injuries could have been caused by the mistake.
- Speak to an experienced medical malpractice attorney about your case and your legal options.
Electronic health record errors can have extremely serious consequences, including permanent injury and death. It is vital that you know your rights and your avenues of action in the wake of a medical malpractice incident. The attorneys in Sommers Schwartz’s Medical Malpractice Litigation Group offer injury victims and their families a free, confidential consultation. Contact us today to schedule yours.