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Shocking Statistics On EHRs And Failure To Detect Medication Errors


Adoption of electronic health records (EHR) systems across the US has delivered numerous benefits related to ease-of-use and convenience, but these solutions have fallen short in one key area: The promise to significantly reduce medication errors. United Press International (UPI) reported some disturbing statistics indicating that EHRs fail to detect up to 1 of every 3 mistakes related to administration of medication. These systems are meant to warn physicians regarding the risks of drug interactions, dosage levels, and other adverse events. The potential for patient harm, including long-term effects and death, is extreme when EHRs do not deliver key information at the right time.

EHRs are here to stay, yet there are no easy answers as to why the threat of medication errors persists. Until they work at optimal levels, physicians are still responsible for making appropriate decisions on medications. You may have legal remedies if you suffered harm under such circumstances, and a Miami medication errors attorney can provide details. Some additional data may also be informative.

Risks of Medication Errors Through EHRs

Researchers analyzed these mistakes over a decade, starting in 2009. When comparing the technology’s ability to prevent errors, there was nominal success: EHRs caught 54 percent of errors in 2009, but only improved to 66 percent by 2018. Other notable statistics include:

  • US health care providers make an estimated 1.25 million medication errors every year, such as those involving improper dosage, the wrong medication, and drug interactions.
  • An estimated 9,000 fatalities are linked to these mistakes.
  • More than 95 percent of all hospitals and health care systems have implemented EHRs.
  • From a societal standpoint, medication errors cost $40 billion annually.
  • Other mishaps with EHR technology include complications with treatment and misdiagnosis.
  • Most issues with EHR-related patient harm occur in ambulatory settings, at almost 60 percent compared to inpatient cases that comprise the remaining 40 percent. 

Common Medication Mistakes

These errors can occur at many steps along the patient journey, and health care providers are interacting with EHRs at every stage. Initially, the technology and input from the doctor should prevent mistakes in ordering and transcribing. When the dosage is too high or the physician orders the wrong meds, the EHR issues a warning. Various health care providers also have duties related to dispensing, administering, and monitoring to ensure quality patient care.

Failures in these areas can lead to devastating harm for the patient, starting with medical costs to treat resulting ailments. Individuals may also experience severe psychological and physical complications due to medication errors. Fortunately, Florida medical malpractice laws allow injured patients to seek compensation for medical treatment, lost wages, pain and suffering, and many other losses. 

Contact a Florida Medication Errors Lawyer for More Information

There are numerous advantages of using EHRs, but physicians are ultimately responsible for medication errors. For more information on legal remedies for victims, please contact Freidin Brown, P.A. to set up a free consultation at our offices in Miami or Fort Myers, FL. We can advise you on options after reviewing your case.



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