The advent of electronic systems is not a new development in the healthcare industry. Still, as some practices and hospitals shift from paper documentation or older electronic systems to new medical reporting systems, errors can occur. Though this transition may seem like a straightforward endeavor, cross-compatibility issues, differences in medication/procedure naming standards and the loss of essential reports presents a heightened risk for some patients.
Providing high standards of healthcare
Many of the healthcare networks making a move to a new system don’t have the infrastructure in place to provide oversight that all of their records are accurate and do not contain any information that could harm patients. When you go to a healthcare provider that you’ve seen for years, you rely on the information that they’ve compiled over those years to give you the best treatment available. If you’re in a weakened state, or an emergency situation, you may not have the state of mind to check and correct their records, thus leading medical staff to rely on recorded information. For patients with extensive medical records, you must consider the potential risks of electronic health records (EHR):
- Inadequate EHR training and updates can lead to a physician misreading or missing important information.
- EHR systems require greater information security to prevent security breaches, tampering and disclosure of patient information.
- Information transfer shortcuts, like copying and pasting information, can lead to a higher incidence of errors.
- The internal updating programs in a new system could cause vital information to be overwritten with old information replaced incorrectly or information lost
- System errors, glitches and other IT issues do not reduce a physician’s liability for patient injury.
Placing protections around patient health and safety
It is vital that patients feel secure during treatment, that they can rely on the due diligence of medical staff. If you were injured from the negligence of a doctor, nurse or medical staff member, and an EHR system may is a contributing cause, you need to contact an attorney with experience in medical malpractice cases.