Computer-Caused Medical and Prescription Errors — And What to Do About Them: Part 1

When electronic health records (EHR) first took over the medical world, they promised to revolutionize health care as we know it. Suddenly, patients enjoyed access to a streamlined process in which consistent care could be provided across multiple facilities. Or, at least, that was the goal. In reality, however, electronic systems often lead to notable errors that compromise both patient privacy and health-related outcomes.

The Scope of the Problem

Medical malpractice is far more common than most patients realize, with research from Johns Hopkins revealing that over 250,000 people die every year due to preventable health care mistakes. While some of these involve inattention or judgment errors, many can be traced directly to technological problems.

The current state of health care’s digital landscape is best illustrated by a notable 2012 case involving Stowe Family Practice. That year, patient Annette Monachelli tragically succumbed to a brain aneurysm. The cause? A complete lack of testing, as an order for a brain scan was never transmitted due to deficiencies within the practice’s EHR system.

EHR provider eClinicalWorks has since faced numerous class-action lawsuits, but the negligent vendor represents just one of several alarming issues related to health care’s digital networks and protocol.

Medication errors involving EHRs are increasingly common, with a study published in the Journal of Patient Safety revealing that over 30 percent of harmful EHR-related incidents involve prescriptions. In this groundbreaking study, researchers explained that problematic EHR systems are “associated with an appreciable incidence of severe harm and death, and that they are encountered across the continuum of healthcare settings.”

As a vulnerable patient suffering due to medical negligence, you deserve support from a compassionate, yet aggressive attorney. The team at Regan Zambri Long PLLC can help. Reach out today to learn more about our proactive medical malpractice services.