Since the advent of the personal computer, digital record-keeping has become the norm in nearly every service industry across the nation. The use of Electronic Medical Records (EMR) is now standard operating procedure in hospitals, clinics and urgent care facilities no matter the size of the organization or the complexity of the condition.
But, can the benefits of digital record keeping actually create their own set of dangers?
Rather than keeping hand-written notes, medical professionals look to EMR for quick and easy record keeping. Additionally, the chance to misinterpret hand-written records is greatly diminished. However, it is not uncommon for mistakes to be made in the digital realm. Reliance on EMR can result in small mistakes that can quickly become larger, life-threatening examples of medical malpractice.
There are numerous ways that electronic medical records can lead to negligence, including:
- Misreading a pharmacy database
- Transposing inventory guidelines for dosage guidelines
- Complex medication ordering formats
- Copying and pasting data incorrectly
- Typos leading to a missed or delayed diagnosis
- User error including misunderstanding of computer functions or mis-clicking a control button
Even a simple error can have a cascading effect as an incorrect diagnosis or erroneous course of treatment is copied from one office visit to the next. Soon, medical professionals begin relying on the EMR without verifying their data or listening to a new patient complaint.
If you or a loved one suffered unnecessary discomfort or a worsening condition that might be linked to poor record keeping, it is wise to discuss your situation with a skilled medical malpractice attorney.