This week we have been discussing electronic health records (EHR) and how they can help prevent some instances of medical malpractice. However, it is important to understand that this new technology isn’t perfect. In fact, EHR can cause medical mistakes just as they can prevent them. Here are the most common ways electronic health records can cause harm or injury:
- Information is added incorrectly. Even though a computer is involved, there is still plenty of room for human error. If data is not entered accurately, it will stay in a patient’s file until it is detected or until something goes wrong.
- The electronic system crashes. It is wonderful to have access to patient health history on a computer—but what if the system crashes when medical professionals desperately need access to health information? The consequences could be disastrous.
- The system contains bugs. Electronic health records are relatively new. And all software occasionally suffers from bugs, especially after updates. While bugs in most applications are simply annoying, a bug in medical record software could be dangerous or even deadly.
- The system involves both paper and electronic records. As more and more hospitals and doctors’ offices are making the switch to electronic records, the practice is becoming more common. But many health professionals still use paper records—and some use both hardcopies and electronic copies. The result can be misunderstandings and medical errors.
Hopefully, as time goes on, the above issues with electronic medical records will be addressed and patients can begin reaping the many benefits of EHR.
Have you or a loved one been harmed due to record keeping mistakes? Call the Kentucky medical malpractice attorneys at Gray & White Law today: 888-450-4456.