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Electronic Medical Records May be Causing more Harm than Good

Throughout the 21st century, technology has evolved and become a monumental necessity in our everyday lives. The technological advancements have unfolded exponentially throughout recent years and have modernized prominent industries, including the medical field. According to the Boston Globe, a major innovation in the medical realm is the initiation of electronic medical records. Electronic Medical Records have many potential rewards but an unlimited amount of risks associated.  The Obama administration “poured $30 billion in taxpayer subsidies into the push for digital medical records beginning in 2009, with only a few strings attached and no safety oversight of the vendors who sell the systems.” Accounting for the sudden push of electronic medical records by the government, multiple healthcare facilities including hospitals have adopted the electronic medical record system.

Electronic Medical Records (EMR) were introduced as a means to save money and increase patient safety. However, with observation and monitoring of the EMR’s absent, many unforeseen problems have begun to arise. Copy and paste buttons often forgo time spent filling out each patient’s medical record. Although convenient, many complications have resulted from it. ESI states “Copy-pasting, also known as cloning, allows users to select information from one source and replicate it in another location. When doctors, nurses, or other clinicians copy-paste information but fail to update it or ensure accuracy, inaccurate information may enter the patient’s medical record and inappropriate charges may be billed to partients [sic] and third-party health care payers. Furthermore, inappropriate copy-pasting could facilitate attempts to inflate claims and duplicate or create fraudulent claims.” This fraudulent act can jeopardize the hospitals reputation as well as compromise the patient’s welfare.

The healthcare industry is responsible for the welfare and protection of millions of people around the world. Although a person’s quality of care is the number one priority, new technology introduced to healthcare may threaten it. One of the critical components of today’s healthcare system is based on electronic information. As we enter into a more advanced technological age, the processes of medicine and medical care evolve along with it. With a greater dependency on electronic medical records, increased mistakes and miscommunications are likely to occur. With a rapid influx of technological advances, many staff members in health care facilities are uncertain as to how to operate these new advancements which, in turn, can jeopardize a patient’s safety.

A study conducted by Circo, a Harvard affiliated malpractice group, offered an insight into the amount of malpractice claims that stem from electronic medical records. Of 1500 cases, almost 150 where found to have electronic medical records create “adverse affects for the patient. Furthermore, the medical quality and safety group ECRI, has deemed EMR the “number one patient safety hazard” in 2014.

Although the finest quality of care should be a guarantee at every facility in the healthcare industry, it is not always the case. At the Law Offices of Ben Yeroushalmi, we rigorously defend the rights and interests of elder abuse victims and their loved ones. Mr. Yeroushalmi and his staff are extremely knowledgeable and passionate about elder abuse and neglect litigation. If you or a loved one is a victim of elder abuse or neglect, please contact us immediately for a free, no obligation consultation. We will zealously stand up and advocate to protect the rights to which you and your loved one are entitled.