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Errors in electronic health records can lead to malpractice

A lot of trust is placed in the doctors who treat us. When they make a diagnosis or recommend a course of treatment, Hoosiers rarely second guess it. Yet, a recent discovery has shown that many unsuspecting patients may be at risk of being harmed or even killed by medical malpractice. This is because electronic health records, known EHRs, are proving more problematic than many expected.

There are a number of ways that EHRs and medical professionals' interactions with them can put a patient at risk.

One study found that some EHRs were unreliable due to a number of factors. For example, it was discovered that in some instances, doctor's notes would be paired with the wrong patient's profile, thereby increasing the risk of inaccurate diagnosis and improper treatment. The study also found that the start and stop dates for prescriptions were often inaccurate. This false information could lead to a deadly medication error.

While some of these errors are attributable to software glitches, others are caused by user error. Many medical professionals say that the EHR systems are counter-intuitive and time consuming. Doctors who are overworked may therefore click through screens too quickly, increasing the risk of creating an erroneous entry in a patient's file.

Making matters worse is the fact that many individuals who have been injured due to alleged medical malpractice have struggled to secure their EHRs from hospitals. This can make it extremely difficult to determine the cause of one's harm and assess the appropriateness of legal action.

Those who find themselves harmed by a medical professional should consider speaking with an experienced medical malpractice attorney who may be able to help them obtain their records and build persuasive legal arguments. By doing so, a medical malpractice victim may be able to secure the compensation he or she needs to focus on his or her recovery and get back to normal life as quickly as possible.

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