files on shelf

Electronic Health Records Show Concerning Errors

Researchers at MedStar Health in Washington D.C. have documented new patterns of errors relating to errors in electronic health records (EHR). Kaiser Health News also gathered information from various sources which confirmed many significant problems with electronic health systems. EHR has been found to lead to the risk of misinformation, data errors, doctor burnout, and overcharging; all of which have serious negative impacts on medical professionals and patients. The majority of the information on EHR has been kept out of the public eye as much as possible, despite the gravity of the risks involved with this digital transition.

The reasoning behind EHR was to save time and money for everyone in the long run, while making medical practices more exact by having the technology in place to double check patient information. This would also allow for higher quality care as information would be easily accessible by professionals all across the nation in case a patient needed sudden care away from home, needed to switch practitioners, or simply desired a second opinion with little effort. While these expectations were noble, the system today does not live up to the desired standards of that time.

One problem is that these record systems have yet to truly link to each other in a way that makes sharing information as simple as it should be. This has caused a number of errors such as delayed or completely undetectable records, notes, and test results.

Secondly, EHR should be able to allow practitioners a way to give prescriptions and receive warnings if the medication requested has any risks. Sometimes medications prescribed do not show up or older prescriptions are still present. Prescriptions are being processed incorrectly or fail to give warnings for a number of reasons, causing life-threatening errors.

Importantly, medical professionals have found it harder to connect to their patients while staring at a computer screen inputting information. Many believe this tension will continue to harm our healthcare system as a whole until something is done.

If you are interested in learning more information about cases like this or want to keep up-to-date on the latest legal proceedings, check out the Newman & Shapiro Whistleblower Help Center and blog!