Electronic records blamed for medication errors

An authority from Pennsylvania and experts from many other different states have expressed skepticism concerning the widespread use of electronic records for medical care. These records in turn have been blamed for a number of medical mistakes, injuries and even deaths due to incorrect information being input into patients’ charts.

Incorrect data placed in one particular chart has been blamed for causing the death of a young child. There have also been a number of prescription errors that have come about because of incorrect information. One such mistake involved thousands of patients where the medication prescribed was of too weak of a dosage for the pertinent medical condition.

Some so-called skeptics concerning electronic records claim that federal reporting requirements regarding medical errors due to problems with electronic records are inadequate. It is believed that a large number of errors due to prescription errors, missing information, or reporting of incorrect symptoms are not being reported at all.

Like many other medical mistakes, errors that come about due to problems with electronic medical records are partially due to no backup system that would warn medical providers if an error has occurred. Yet even simple safeguards that would raise concerns about a possible medical mistake may prevent a tragedy from occurring.

Medical malpractice attorneys understand that medical negligence can come in any number of forms. Yet no matter how the error occurred, the consequences of a medical mistake are often traumatic.

The administrators of electronic medical records will not be the only individuals held accountable due to a medical mistake. Anyone involved in the chain of such errors may also be held liable.

Source: Kaiser Health News, “Health Technology’s ‘Essential Critic’ Warns of Medical Mistakes,” by Jay Hancock, Feb. 18, 2013