Clerical mistakes are one of the most common — and least reported — issues in the medical industry. In our last post on the relationship between clerical errors and medical mishaps, we discussed a few of the most common types of mistakes that can harm patients. Now, we dive in deeper with additional examples and statistics — several of which involve modern medical technology.
Issues With Electronic Health Records
Although designed, in part, with the intention of avoiding clerical issues, electronic health records (EHR) actually cause their fair share of mishaps. Often, these issues arise when transferring information from traditional paper-based records to electronic systems. Medical professionals who rely on EHR may also mistakenly reference incomplete records due to duplicate patient accounts or related confusion about storage location. A notable article published in Medical Economics reveals that human error accounts for 64 percent of EHR data deficiencies.
Patient Identity Issues
Patient misidentification seems impossible in this modern age, but a survey from Ponemon Institute reveals that 64 percent of health care workers frequently see patients incorrectly identified. Even more worrisome: 86 percent of study respondents know of errors that have occurred specifically due to misidentification.
While getting mixed up with another patient may initially seem comical, it could be deadly if the wrong patient receives the wrong treatment or medication. The ECRI Institute Patient Safety Organization recently reviewed 7,600 wrong patient situations over the course of 32 months; researchers learned that 9 percent of identity errors caused physical harm or even death.
Regan Zambri Long PLLC has a long history of success in medical malpractice. Get in touch to learn more about our compassionate legal approach — and how we can help you secure the damages you deserve.