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Medical malpractice could stem from computer records errors

On Behalf of | Jul 7, 2020 | Medical Malpractice |

Technological advancements in health care are supposed to help patients in Georgia and across the U.S. While some innovations have certainly done that in many cases, other supposed improvements have not yielded the expected results. The keeping of medical records is no exception.

Electronic health records (EHRs) serve many purposes. One is to provide warnings to medical professionals of potentially problematic drug interactions or allergies. However, a new report says that 33% of these errors are missed. The study assessed EHRs and how they performed with medications from 2009 to 2018. Using at least 8,600 scenarios based on real events in which a patient could have been harmed, the EHR was checked to see if it caught the mistakes. The detections could have been a message, guidance or an alert.

There was an improvement, but it was not as significant as hoped. By 2018, warnings had increased to 66% compared to 54% from 2009. EHRs still missed one-third of possible medication problems. The goal of EHRs is to take human error out of the equation. With such a high rate of mistakes, however, that has not happened to the desired level.

Still, doctors play a fundamental role in catching mistakes. The hospital is responsible for much of what the machine does in terms of discovering medication errors. It is largely up to the health care center to ensure the machine is working optimally. Patients can suffer worsened conditions, injuries or death due to medication mistakes, surgical errors, misdiagnoses and other missteps. The victim of such an error may want to hire a lawyer. This can be essential when seeking compensation in a medical malpractice lawsuit.