Use Of Electronic Health Records

How The Use Of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) Leads To Medical Malpractice

16 November

The use of electronic health records (EHRs) by hospitals, clinics, and doctors is on the rise, largely due to ever-increasing pressure from the U.S. government. And while, at first sight, it does seem as if utilizing EHRs can automate and streamline provider workflow, the risks of using electronic health records by medical professionals and hospitals may actually outweigh its benefits.

This is something many of us can relate to. How many times have you experienced problems on your computer, laptop or smartphone? While there is no denial that the benefits of implementing technology into medicine are pretty much endless, let’s also not forget that the use of electronic devices and systems often leads to both unforeseeable and preventable errors.

“And when this happens in the medical setting, people could get hurt,” explains our Hawaii medical malpractice attorney from Kurzban, Kurzban, Tetzeli and Pratt, P.A.

Electronic health records (EHRs) and medical malpractice

If you take a closer look at the use of electronic health records by hospitals and medical professionals, it becomes clear that there exists a potential for medical malpractice. Some of these errors can be caused by the practitioner’s or provider’s negligence or failure to exercise due care, while others are caused by design flaws and defects in the technology.

As an increasing number of hospitals in Hawaii and all across the United States are adopting EHRs, let’s examine the risks associated with the use of EHRs by medical professionals (some of these may lead to injuries and fatalities among patients).

  • Design flaws and defects. Design flaws are no joke, and you have most likely experienced this firsthand while using your computer or smartphone. “These flaws and defects range from something as common as an autofill or autocorrect feature all the way to hardware failures that erase patient data,” says our experienced medical malpractice attorney in Hawaii.
  • User error. While EHRs are supposed to make the process of collecting, storing, and extracting patient data easier, they create potential for user error due to medical professionals, doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers lacking experience and/or training, overworking, being inattentive or otherwise negligent. After all, it takes quite a while to get used to EHRs, or any new electronic system for that matter.
  • Data breach. In the modern world, no organization is immune from becoming a victim of hacking and data breach, and hospitals are no exception. Regardless of how secure your systems are hackers are capable of cracking anything, and this includes patient data.
  • Log-in and fault concerns. While it is true that the vast majority of EHRs can track log-ins and identify which party did what while using the system, let’s not forget that log-in info and passwords can be shared among other medical professionals or stolen by hackers. In that case, it is nearly impossible to determine fault if you are dealing with a medical malpractice suit.

If you have been hurt in the course of a medical treatment and have a reason to believe that a medical professional or hospital as a whole could be responsible for it, it may be a good idea to consult with a Hawaii medical malpractice attorney to find out whether or not improper use of EHRs caused or contributed to your injury.

Get a free consultation by contacting Kurzban, Kurzban, Tetzeli, and Pratt, P.A. Call our offices at 808-800-2445 today.

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While this website provides general information, it does not constitute legal advice. The best way to get guidance on your specific legal issue is to contact a lawyer. To schedule a meeting with an attorney, please contact us.

1003 Bishop Street, Suite 1600 Pauahi Tower Honolulu, Hawaii 96813 808-800-2445 305-444-3503

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