Archive for the ‘medication errors’ tag

How Safe Are Electronic Medical Records?

November 6th, 2014 at 7:00 am

electronic medical records, Westport medical malpractice attorney, medical mistakes, preventable errors, medication errors, incorrect billing, permanent disabilities, diagnostic errorGone are the days when you would go to the doctors and medical personal would write notes into your chart, which was usually a large manila folder with pages and pages of notes and test results. Today when you visit your doctor, there is typically a laptop or some kind of computer in the examining room where a nurse or doctor will enter in the same information that used to be written by hand. This system is supposed to be safer and more efficient. However, many in the medical field are beginning to question the safety of this system.

Electronic medical records (EMR) are supposed to provide a centralized location for all of a patient’s information and medical history, enabling all of the medical professionals who may be treating the patient to access the information quickly and easily. However, several recent studies have concluded that these records may be causing more harm to the patient than good.

One of the biggest issues uncovered is that doctors are spending so much time filling out the required areas of the online forms and studying the information that the quality and quantity of time actually spent on the patient is suffering. One study determined that doctors are now spending one-third of the time looking at the computer screen and reading the information online. Previously, doctors used to spend about 9 percent of their time with a patient and reading his or her medical chart, with the rest of the time engaging with the patient.

Another study revealed that the average time a doctor now spends talking to a patient is only eight minutes, because they are spending the rest of the time with the patient filling out the online forms. This is also causing physicians to “cut corners” and rushing through patient interviews, often omitting important questions.

Other studies have found that EMRs may lead to preventable errors, such as medication errors, as well as a decrease in the efficiency of the medical staff and facility. There is also a higher risk of incorrect billing to insurance companies, which can drive up healthcare cost.

If you have suffered permanent disabilities or illness due to a diagnostic error, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact an experienced Westport medical malpractice attorney to discuss your legal options.

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