Top 5 EHR Mistakes That Increase Risk of Harm to Patients
When passed into law in February 2009, the HITECH Act was seen as an effective strategy for encouraging the use of electronic health records (EHRs) by healthcare providers. One of the underlying objectives was to reduce the risk of harm to patients. Unfortunately, even as EHR have become widely adopted, record-keeping errors have not disappeared. Far too many mistakes still occur, which can lead to serious injuries or even death.
If you were harmed or lost a loved one because of errors in electronic health records, you should discuss your legal remedies with a Florida medical malpractice attorney. Some information may help you understand how the top EHR mistakes happen.
- Mistaken Identity: When physicians conduct a patient visit or treat an individual in the hospital, they often rely on the information in the EHR regarding medical history, prescriptions, and many other factors. If they rely on the wrong records due to a typo or other mistake, the patient encounter will be flawed from the outset.
- Prescription Errors: Even when the doctor has the correct patient information, he or she needs to have comprehensive skills at using the EHR for prescription purposes. Many of these solutions involve “drop down” menus that present different dosages of a medication, so a slip up could lead to serious prescription mistakes when filled by the pharmacy.
- Incomplete Charting: Errors can occur when a health care provider types up a note, but fails to properly save it in the patient’s EHR chart. When other physicians access a medical record that is incomplete due to an EHR user error, they will not have accurate information about the patient’s medical condition and history.
Surgical Mistakes: Negligence in charting can lead to problems before, during, and after a procedure. When the medical record does not include proper information, a physician may order an unnecessary procedure. If an emergency arises during surgery, the doctor may not have the right information to be able to take proper remedial action. Mistakes in charting after a procedure could affect future care by physicians who are unaware of the patient’s history due to incomplete records.
- Misdiagnosis: Doctors diagnose medical conditions based upon the entirety of the patient’s past and current circumstances. When they do not have a complete picture because of an EHR mistake, delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis is likely.
Discuss Your Options with a Florida Medical Malpractice Lawyer
While they are often viewed as a way to avoid mistakes in providing medical care, EHRs can also be the source of critical errors when not utilized properly. Misuse of and mistakes in EHR charting could qualify as medical negligence, so you may have rights through a medical malpractice case if you suffered harm. To learn more about your remedies, please contact the Miami medical malpractice attorneys at Freidin Brown, P.A. to set up a free consultation at our offices.