EHR Malpractice: When Health Record Errors Lead to Medical Malpractice (Pt. 2)
March 16, 2015
Resuming EHR Malpractice: When Health Record Errors Lead to Medical Malpractice (Pt. 1), here, we’ll continue our discussion regarding this type of medical malpractice.
While the first part of this blog series focused on some of the hardware and software problems that can lead to EHR malpractice, below, we’ll take a closer look at when the users of these systems make mistakes that can contribute to EHR malpractice.
EHR Malpractice: When User Errors Lead to Data Problems
User errors that can lead to EHR malpractice are more likely to occur when new computer and EHR systems are introduced and/or when insufficient training on how to use these systems is provided to medical facilities’ employees. Some of the specific types of user errors that can contribute to EHR malpractice include (but are not exclusively limited to):
- Data entry mistakes – Electronic health records usually start out as handwritten notes that someone has to type into a computer/record keeping system. Inevitably, this type of process can lead to typos and data entry mistakes. Because it’s not uncommon for these EHRs, once typed, to be copied/pasted across various platforms (instead of re-typing the medical history portion), it’s possible for these mistakes to persist for a while before they’re caught and fixed.
- Mis-clicking options – As EHRs are created and updated, there are places where options have to be selected/buttons have to be clicked. When people are in a hurry or they simply aren’t paying close attention when clicking on options in these records, critical mistakes can be made.
- Failure to update EHRs – EHRs, once created, will have to be periodically updated, as medical professionals administer care, patients’ conditions evolve, etc. When these updates are not entered into computer systems in a timely fashion, people can forget to do it altogether, forget important pieces of the original info to be added to the EHR, etc.
Here, it’s also important to point out that, in some cases, medical professionals may intentionally delete information from EHRs, possibly in an attempt to avoid lawsuits/liability. When this may be a possibility, computer forensic experts can help investigate the matter.
Don’t miss the upcoming conclusion to this blog series for some additional important info about EHR malpractice.
Portland Medical Malpractice Lawyers at the Savage Law Firm
Have you been hurt as a result of EHR malpractice or any type of medical negligence? If so, you can rely on the Portland medical malpractice attorneys at the Savage Law Firm for experienced help and aggressive legal advocacy. Since 1977, our lawyers have been devoted to providing each of our clients with personal attention, respect and the highest quality legal services, and we are ready to put our experience, skills and resources to work helping you.
To learn more about our legal services and what we can do for you, call us at 503-222-0200 (in Portland) or at 206-957-7272 (in Seattle). You can also email us using the form on this page. We represent clients in communities in both Oregon and Washington from our offices in Portland and Seattle.