Medical Malpractice Claims May Lessen With Electronic Records

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When doctors, nurses or other medical providers make errors of any kind, the result may be challenging and difficult to overcome for New Jersey residents. Unfortunately, medical malpractice concerns are a reality that many people face. However, a recent study shows that one way patients may feel more assured of their care is by choosing doctors who utilize electronic records rather than paper records.

Electronic medical records are touted as one way that medical professionals can increase accuracy and effectiveness and reduce errors. The federal Affordable Care Act includes provisions aimed at encouraging their adoption.

While there is skepticism among some that the new systems have that much value, results from one recent study suggests that there is an 84 percent decrease in the chances of a doctor being sued when electronic records are kept. At the same time, whether such a decrease is valid or not, there are those who argue that the results of the study reinforce the notion that using electronic systems shouldn’t increase malpractice claims.

Electronic medical records are still a new concept for most, and there is still concern about how such records will be come to be used in court. Some express concern that in the longer term the technology may allow for even deeper scrutiny of medical decisions.

Either way, the authors of the Veterans Administration study conclude that overall electronic medical records appear to help prevent doctors from making errors such as prescribing conflicting medications. Electronic medical records may also help improve quality of care overall by reducing mistakes in general.

While there may be no sure fire way of preventing medical errors at the hands of others, some patients may feel more assured of their care if their doctors are utilizing electronic medical records.

When medical malpractice does occur, New Jersey residents should rest equally assured that there are legal professionals with the experience and wisdom to defend injured patients’ interest in the new age of electronic health records technology.

Source: Reuters, “Electronic records tied to fewer malpractice claims,” Genevra Pittman, June 27, 2012

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