May 28, 2019

Risks of Electronic Health Records

Nine out of every ten physicians surveyed have adopted Electronic Health Records (EHR) technology, and up to 90% of hospitals have integrated the technology into their systems. Research has also shown that 90% of healthcare organizations have been victims of at least one data breach. If you believe your health has been compromised by improper use of your EHR, contact a medical malpractice lawyer immediately.

An experienced firm with medical attorneys can determine whether your medical malpractice case can be traced back to one of the risks associated with Electronic Health Records.

The 5 top Risks of Electronic Health Records

1. Employee Fatigue

Due to the nature of electronic health records, they must be updated after every patient visit. But, after a long day of appointments and taking care of patients, employees are tired. At the end of the day or breaks between patients, they are generally not motivated to update these records right away. Errors can occur when inputting data if an employee is tired or not focused.

2. User Error

Learning how to use electronic health records and how to log information correctly requires training. Depending on the employee’s previous experience with online information, the process can be challenging to learn and lead to improper use at the beginning of their training.

Entering information in the wrong place can lead to dire consequences, whether it is an incorrect diagnosis or ill-advised treatment plan.

3. Data Breach

Although these systems are generally secure, there is always the possibility of a security breach, in the form of hacking. If the information falls into the wrong hands, the consequences can be catastrophic. In 2015, Anthem Blue Cross had 78.8 million records compromised, and Premera Blue Cross had 11 million customers records hacked by cybercriminals.

4. Inaccurate Information

In addition to adding new information after every patient visit, outdated information must be changed. If employees fail to do so, future healthcare providers will only have access to inaccurate data, which could lead to the wrong treatment plan and result in a medical malpractice case.

5. Lack of Encryption Protocols

All records should be encrypted using secure data encryption protocols, but 14% of doctors keep and access patient records in their mobile devices. These devices can be compromised when connected to vulnerable Wi-Fi networks. Furthermore, 22.3% of healthcare professionals share their passwords with others leading to unauthorized access, theft, and data loss.

How can Electronic Health Records lead to medical malpractice claims?

Most of the medical malpractice claims that are filed due to the misuse of Electronic Health Records are missing information or contain inaccurate patient information.

This can occur with medical institutions that have been using electronic record systems consistently for the past few years as well as establishments that are just making the switch.

However, the risk is exceptionally high with newly “digitalized” locations since the information present on the paper versions could be lost or skipped over during the transition.

As healthcare organizations across the United States continue to take part in the digital revolution, medical malpractice lawyers expect a rise in malpractice cases. That’s why we recommend keeping your version of records of medications, operations, or other medical treatments that could be important for your future health. Personal medical records can be useful when visiting a specialist for the first time or changing primary care doctors.

Final Thoughts

If you have had the misfortune of suffering a misdiagnosis or were prescribed the wrong medication within the past two years, you can file a medical malpractice case. At Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. we have some of the top medical malpractice attorneys in Michigan. If you believe you may have a case, contact our firm on our toll-free line at 1-866-MICH LAW (1-866-642-4529) for a preliminary and no obligation consultation.

Tim is a writer and editor who earned his Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Maryland and calls Washington, D.C., home after spending most of his adult life in the country’s capital. Although Tim spent most of his post-college years in the restaurant industry, he became interested in writing about legal matters after he recently moved to Colombia. Today, Tim writes professionally about medical malpractice, drug policies, and workplace injuries. Tim is focused on curating his freelancing career and plans to work remotely for as long he can.

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