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By Joseph Dell
Managing Partner

Technology is intended to make our lives easier, and in many cases, it does just that. In fact, technology has greatly improved the speed in which we are able to obtain and share key information. However, the widespread use of technology is not without its problems. One area in which technology can have negative consequences is in the medical field. Specifically, the use of electronic health records by healthcare professionals has resulted in a number of medical malpractice claims. In this article, we examine how electronic health record errors can impact patient care.

About Electronic Health Records

Electronic health records are intended to improve communication between healthcare providers, provide immediate updates to patient medical records, and increase the overall efficiency of the healthcare process. Unfortunately, however, electronic health record errors routinely result in negative consequences for patients.

Common Types of Electronic Health Record Errors

There are several common types of electronic health record errors, including: 

  • Data conversion errors: Since electronic health records are computer-based, they often must incorporate several types of files. Sometimes, electronic health record software makes mistakes when converting such files, and this can lead to unreadable information or the loss of data. 
  • Fragmented records: Sometimes, electronic health records fail to update a patient’s information when a doctor makes a diagnosis or issues a prescription, resulting in diagnostic mistakes or issues with drug interactions.
  • Integration issues: Medical facilities, such as hospitals and clinics, routinely must transfer patient information between facilities. However, when done electronically, the software that these facilities use isn’t always compatible, and this can result in the failure of certain records to transfer properly. 

Liability for Electronic Health Record Errors

Healthcare providers and medical facilities are required to maintain accurate medical records. So, when a provider or facility chooses to use electronic health records, and an error related to such records results in a poor outcome for a patient, the responsibility ultimately lies with the provider or facility. For example, healthcare providers and facilities that do any of the following may be liable for electronic health record errors: 

  • Input information that is incorrect into the patient record.
  • Make cutting and pasting mistakes.
  • Fail to obtain sufficient training on the functions of electronic health records.
  • Fail to make necessary updates to records or delay such updates.
  • Take any other actions related to electronic health records that qualify as negligence under Florida’s medical malpractice laws.  

Contact a Long Island Medical Malpractice Lawyer 

If you are a victim of medical malpractice in New York, Dell & Dean, PLLC, is here for you. When you come to us for help following a medical malpractice incident, our Long Island medical malpractice lawyers will put our years of experience to work for you, aggressively pursuing financial compensation on your behalf. Please contact us today to arrange a consultation with an experienced Long Island medical malpractice lawyer.  

About the Author
Joseph G. Dell, the firm’s Managing Partner, is regarded as one of New York State’s top trial lawyers and a zealous advocate of those injured through the negligence of others. Having founded the firm in 1994 with the singular goal of leveling the playing field for those injured, Mr. Dell has worked tirelessly for his clients since its inception. In addition to meeting with clients on a daily basis and trying cases, Mr. Dell is a frequent lecturer at Law School and Bar Associations on cases of significant importance in the fields of negligence and medical malpractice. If you have any questions regarding this article, you can contact Mr. Dell here.