Advancements in record-keeping have not eliminated medical errors

Advancements in record-keeping have not eliminated medical errors

| Jun 15, 2020 | Firm News |

Technological improvements are meant to make the patient-doctor experience safer and prevent medical errors from negatively impacting patients. In Florida and throughout the U.S., advancements in diagnostics, treatment and even record-keeping have sought to help medical professionals make more accurate diagnoses and treat patients accordingly. Still, there are problems with some supposed advancements. Recent research shows that electronic health records (EHRs) miss around one-third of medical mistakes in simulations. People who have been injured or lost a loved one because of medical errors should be aware of how to file a medical malpractice claim.

The study was conducted by several entities including Harvard University. The author of the study, a University of Utah Health professor, states that the EHRs are negatively impacting patients. These systems are meant to tell physicians about the possible dangers of medications such as an adverse reaction, allergies, overdoses and other issues. The level of risk being that high – 33% – is viewed as a major problem for the healthcare industry.

In the study, there were simulated scenarios. They used 8,600 such scenarios and gave them to EHRs in at least 2,300 medical facilities throughout the U.S. This spanned the decade from 2009 to 2018. The scenarios were based on incidents that really happened in hospitals and damaged or led to the death of past patients. EHRs were implemented in the 1960s and went into widespread use in 1999. The change to EHRs stemmed from studies that said nearly 100,000 people die each year due to hospital errors.

There has been a marked improvement in technology for the years studied. Still, the results did not show a significant improvement for patient safety. For 2009, medication warnings were made approximately 54% of the time. That rose to 66% by 2018. A lack of software updates to keep track of medication information has been problematic. The hospitals generally determine what support systems it uses to check for medication oversight and this tends to vary. The manufacturers of the systems do not account for changes as they occur.

People who have been affected by a medical mistake or lost a loved one should be cognizant of the myriad challenges they will face in the aftermath. Financial, personal and emotional ramifications are common. Having legal assistance for the entire case can be critical. This includes the steps necessary to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. It can also involve having a caring legal professional who has education in mental health counseling to provide comprehensive assistance. A consultation on how to proceed can be key.