According to a recent study from the Journal of Patient Safety, about 30% of malpractice claims related to electronic health records (EHR) involve medication errors. The research clearly showed that there were adverse effects to using electronic record-keeping at all types of health care practices in New Jersey and other states. However, most cases of malpractice occurred in an ambulatory setting, and the majority of these errors were due to user mistakes, not systematic issues.
According to researchers, a wide range of user errors contributed to the medical malpractice incidents. Many clinicians lacked the proper training to use the EHR system properly, so they made mistakes when inputting or retrieving data. In other cases, providers ignored crucial alerts provided by the system. Some clinicians also failed to notice test results.
When a problem occurred with EHR technology itself, it was usually a result of its design. In one case, a doctor was not able to locate a patient’s radiology results. This delayed the diagnosis of lung cancer. Severe patient harm was involved in more than 80% of EHR-related malpractice claims. Researchers stated that health care providers can reduce these incidents by paying close attention to claims and finding solutions to their causes.
Victims of medical malpractice resulting from EHR errors can seek compensation for their pain and suffering. An attorney can evaluate the circumstances of a malpractice incident and recommend a legal course of action. In some cases, a provider’s malpractice insurance will pay for damages, but it may be necessary to pursue other remedies if that option isn’t available. This may include filing a lawsuit and going to trial.