Many hospitals around the country have beefed up their technological infrastructure by adopting electronic health records (EHRs). EHRs can pull the medical histories of patients with ease. For example, EHRs may contain which medications patients are on, demographic information, known allergies and prior health conditions.
Having such detailed information can also be beneficial for medical malpractice claims, which almost always rely heavily on medical records. EHRs have more data than paper records, meaning it could be easier to discover why medical mistakes were made and who might be a fault.
However, EHRs also have some drawbacks. Depending on the circumstances, EHRs may contain inaccurate patient information. Inaccurate medical records may cause problems during lawsuits.
Why EHRs Are Not Perfect
Critics have claimed EHRs are prone to showing incorrect patient information. Information contained in EHRs may even be the reason for some medical malpractice claims. Software bugs and poorly designed dropdown menus can misrepresent information about patients. In such a situation, the creators of the EHR in question may be held liable when patients are injured.
An EHR error led to the death of an Illinois infant after he or she was given 60 times the recommended dosage of a medication. The mistake was caused by a conversion error in the EHR’s software. If such errors exist, can the information found within EHRs always be trusted?
Due to these factors, EHRs may create difficulties during your medical malpractice case. It depends on the circumstances. EHRs can be very helpful or harmful during cases.
In the near future, the potential for errors within EHRs may be drastically reduced. Last week, we discussed how a company researching artificial intelligence wants to use advanced software to protect patients. If future software can make EHRs more accurate and less prone to errors, it could also help the vast majority of patients during medical malpractice litigation. Many of the drawbacks could become a problem of the past.