Across the nation, medical malpractice lawyers are seeing a rise in suits involving electronic health records (EHRs). While reasons for this vary on a case-by-case basis, it’s a problem that’s not likely to go away anytime soon.
If you are considering hiring medical malpractice lawyers because your care was compromised due to poor electronic record keeping, just know that you are not alone. Know also that electronic “paper trails” tend to make these cases even easier to win.
Gaps in Recordkeeping
EHRs are supposed to help streamline patient interactions while gathering as much information as possible to ensure quality care. However, many fail miserably in these attempts. One reason for this relates to vendors who decide what information is to be gathered by a particular system.
Said vendors are not medically trained and are often unable to foresee what information a particular doctor or medical practice actually needs. This can result in serious gaps in recordkeeping, which are crucial to quality care.
Some of the cases seen by medical malpractice lawyers involve an issue of information not being entered into EHRs in a timely fashion. A delayed entry of lab results, x-rays, drug allergies and other pertinent medical information can have disastrous results for patients.
Record Keeping is Not Always Seamless
Prior to President Obama’s push for electronic health record keeping in 2009, hardcopy versions of a patient’s records were delivered to medical staff in other locations. While this system wasn’t the fastest and presented its own set of issues, many believe that there was less room for error.
Where EHRs were supposed to expedite the process while lowering costs and creating a more seamless record-flow, the exact opposite has sometimes been the case. One major reason for this is due to different medical facilities using different data collection systems. Also, the failure of some systems to communicate effectively with those outside of their location.
Some medical malpractice lawyers have also discovered flaws in EHRs that are due to basic human and clerical errors. Doctors, nurses and other medical staff members often suffer from fatigue and being overworked.
The stressful environments that some work under, particularly ER teams, can all contribute to the likelihood of input errors and misreadings which can directly result in patient negligence and injury.
One Epic Loss
A little more than a year ago, Epic Systems Corp., the undisputed leader in electronic health records technology, lost their shot at a multi-billion dollar contract with the United States military. While you may not know Epic by name, industry insiders say that the company is to electronic healthcare software what Microsoft Office is to the rest of the business world.
While being passed over for such a robust multi-year contract came as a surprise to many, some are not surprised at all. While Epic designed systems used by many major hospitals and universities (for example, Duke University reportedly spent $700 million dollars to have Epic’s software installed), many believe that it failed miserably at interoperability–or the ability to easily transfer important patient files from one care facility to another.
Medical Malpractice Lawyers Who Will Fight For You
Are you looking for competent, experienced and respected medical malpractice lawyers who are willing to use all of their resources to fight for you?
Whether your malpractice case is due to problems with EHRs, staff negligence or some other specific damage, know that our team of highly experienced medical malpractice lawyers are ready to help you get the compensation you deserve.
You have suffered long enough, it is time to call our offices now to schedule a free initial case assessment.