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Electronic health record errors are growing

As many people in Houston know, electronic medical records are appearing everywhere. From family physicians to hospitals, it seems like many medical providers are using computers to record healthcare and treatment details. But are these electronic health records accurate? The failure to follow acceptable standards in recording and maintaining electronic health records has led to an increase in medical malpractice lawsuits.

Electronic health records (EHRs) are taking the medical community by storm. Many medical professionals prefer electronic health records because they save time and, when used properly, can increase patient safety. But there have been many occurrences where patient safety has actually been negatively affected by an EHR error. Because these systems have made it easier to input patient's information, a number of serious errors have emerged. These mistakes include typos that lead to medication errors, a nurse misinterpreting drop down menus, voice recognition software dropping key words, and a doctor's reliance on old medical records.

Many times there is also a lack of training among medical professionals, problems with the EHR vendor, and trouble with implementation of the system. Patients who believe they have suffered a worsened condition as the result of a negligent physician may want to speak with a legal professional skilled in medical malpractice. An attorney can review a patient's medical records and see if there was a mistake made with the EHR. Many times this can be the case.

Patients have the right to safe and accurate treatment. When a medical provider uses an EHR for their patient's records, they need to make sure that the information is accurate. A patient can suffer greatly from mistakes that physicians and other medical providers make. The good news is that taking legal action may shine a light on this problematic process while also making a victim whole again.

Source: Politico, "Electronic record errors growing issues in lawsuits", Arthur Allen, May 4, 2015

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