Q&A: Electronic Medical Records and Liability Risk

side note: this Wall Street Journal interview with a Case Western law professor addresses the trend toward electronic medical records and its effect on medical malpractice.  The professor sees several problems with EMR’s, noting that computers can cause errors with bugs or shutdowns and that entering data into computers impedes on physicians already squeezed schedule.  On the whole, however, she is optimistic about the shift to a digital record system and recommends EMR risk management techniques to minimize exposure to malpractice suits.  These include communicating about the system with patients and making sure to receive adequate training.  This is a good read for physicians who are thinking of moving to an EMR system in their office, or already have one.  As always, practicing sound risk management is a small investment that could save you from a big lawsuit in the future.

by Katherine Hobson
Wall Street Journal Blogs

How could the Health Blog resist a law journal article on two of our (and our readers’) favorite topics — medical liability and electronic medical records?

Sharona Hoffman, a professor of law and bioethics and co-director of the Law-Medicine Center at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law, recently published (with her co-author and husband Andy Podgurski), an  article on just that topic. “E-Health Hazards: Provider Liability and Electronic Record Systems,” which appears in the Berkeley Technology Law Journal, says that while “the potential benefits of computerization are considerable,” digitized medical systems also “may bring novel responsibilities, burdens and complexities for medical practices,” including a whole new rash of medical malpractice worries.

read the rest of the article

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