Over the last ten years, many medical facilities have changed the way they collect data about their patients. In the past, many of these places compiled all of this information on patient charts by hand. Errors could frequently arise if the charts were not updated in a timely manner.
To help reduce some of the problems that often developed, most hospitals and clinics now use electronic health records (EHRs). These electronic records can be transferred much more easily to other facilities, and can provide a much clearer picture on the care that an individual has received in the past.
However, a recent study of Pennsylvania hospitals has shown that these EHRs are responsible for a large number of medication errors. The study, released by the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority, discloses that there were more than 300 medication errors caused by EHRs since they became more widely used.
Many of these errors occurred because default settings were left unchanged. Whenever information was entered about a particular patient, the systems would input certain common medications in an effort to save time. If this was left unchanged in the system, patients could be administered medications that they did not need. The majority of these cases did not lead to any long-lasting health complications, but at least two errors lead to longer hospitals stays for patients.
This report highlights some of the dangers that accompany the use of EHRs. Many facilities and their personnel need to be trained on how to properly use the systems, and if any problems occur, and it can keep information from being recorded for these patients. Medical facilities need to devote extensive time to ensuring that its staff is following the appropriate policies when creating or updating these records.
If you have been injured due to the treatment administered by a nurse, doctor or other medical professional, speak to an experienced personal injury attorney about your claims. An attorney can review your case, and help you learn more about what you can do to recover compensation for the harm that was caused due to this negligent care.
Medical malpractice claims can involve very complex testimony regarding the standard of care that is to be administered, and it is important that you work with someone who knows how to connect your injuries to the treatment that you received. Insurance companies may try to get you to release your claims, but you need to be aware that their offers may not cover all of your expenses related to the new injury or illness. Discuss these offers with an attorney before making any decisions.