Around the country, hospitals and medical offices are making the switch from hardcopy medical records to electronic health records (EHR). In fact, many medical professionals and establishments now receive monetary incentives to move from paper to computers. But what does this move mean to patients? And what effect will electronic medical records have on Kentucky medical malpractice rates? The answers are a bit more complex than you may think.
The advantages of electronic health records
A new study conducted by the Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates has found that electronic health records reduce the instance of medical malpractice claims six fold. They believe that this is because EHR improve the accuracy of records and the ease at which records can be accessed. Medical professionals can better coordinate with each other and have a thorough, complete picture of the patient and their health. Doctors can also more easily prescribe medicines without making medication mistakes.
In addition, electronic medical records can reduce costs, save time, and improve patient privacy and security.
The disadvantages of electronic health records
Unfortunately, some of the aspects of electronic medical records that make them great also introduce new opportunities for medical errors and medical malpractice. For example, currently, many hospitals and doctors’ offices are using a combination of paper and electronic records—a recipe for disaster. Some patients’ allergies and medication alerts slip through the cracks, while in other cases, patients do not get medical test results.
Many also worry about the issues that come along with any software: bugs that could prevent doctors and nurses from entering or accessing information, or power outages or hardware failings that could shut the system down.
Kentucky medical malpractice attorneys
Not all medical malpractice cases involve surgical or prescription mistakes. Some have to do with paperwork errors and medical record issues. If you have been injured or harmed due to a mistake related to your health records, you may wish to speak with a Kentucky medical malpractice lawyer. Contact Gray & White Law today to schedule a free case evaluation.