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Electronic records cause doctor errors, other medical mistakes

Technology has increased in leaps and bounds over the course of the last two decades, especially in the medical field. In addition to the tools used to perform procedures and diagnose illnesses, many health care professionals in Texas are now using electronic records to track patient care. While there are many benefits to an electronic health record system, recent reports indicate that they could lead to doctor errors or other forms of medical malpractice.

A recent report regarding the use of EHRs indicates that in 2008, less than 10 percent of hospitals were utilizing an EHR system. That number rose dramatically in 2013 with 93 percent using the technology. However, a medical malpractice insurance company has noticed an increase in the number of claims involving errors involving an EHR. Between 2007 and 2010, the company only closed two such claims while in 2013, there were 28.

While some mistakes are a result of issues with the technology, many are caused by human error. For example, a young patient who had been visiting a country with a prevalence of tuberculosis sought treatment; the doctor noted that the child had not been out of country. He reportedly copied and pasted these comments without reviewing them in subsequent visits, and the child suffered serious consequences as a result of tuberculous meningitis. Other human errors involve data entry and lack of proper training.

While there may be multiple benefits for using electronic records to track patient treatment and progress, mistakes are causing harm to patients. Because of the potential for harm caused by doctor errors and other forms of medical malpractice,ensuring that such mistakes are prevented should be a priority. However, mistakes still happen. Those harmed in Texas have the option of filing a civil claim in order to hold medical care facilities responsible for their mistakes as well as potentially initiating change. Consultation service from Maloney Law Firm is free. Contact us today to get started.

Source: northbaybusinessjournal.com, "Electronic health records can increase malpractice risks", July 4, 2016

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