How Electronic Medical Records Can Harm Virginia Patients

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recently released a report that detailed their concerns with current electronic medical record systems. Patient safety advocates and other health care industry experts were hopeful that using computer-based medical records would prevent injuries and protect doctors from costly medical malpractice lawsuits. In Virginia and across the nation, however, the high-tech solution may be causing more mistakes than it's preventing.


Benefits and Drawbacks of "Health IT"


The IOM refers to electronic medical records as "Health IT". The programs used by doctors are meant to prevent errors such as:


  • Prescription errors

  • Dangerous drug interactions

  • Missing an existing health condition

  • Missing a prior surgery or procedure


While these benefits have been seen in some cases, heath IT software has been linked to many mistakes.


"Although the magnitude of the risk associated with health IT is not known, some examples illustrate the concerns," the IMO report states. "Dosing errors, failure to detect life-threatening illnesses, and delaying treatment due to poor human-computer interactions or loss of data have lead to serious injury and death."


Experts believe that the lack of regulation and standards in electronic medical software industry has contributed to the number of mistakes. In some cases, medical facilities have invested in software that is poorly written. With no regulations, the IMO is concerned that the mistakes, and subsequent injuries and deaths, will continue to rise.


To Those Hurt by a Medical Mistake in Virginia


No matter the cause, high-tech or low-tech, as Norfolk medical malpractice attorneys we know that medical errors cause too much suffering in Virginia. If you have been injured or a loved one has died because of a medical mistake in Norfolk and surrounding areas, you have rights. Please contact an experienced lawyer at Tavss Fletcher. We work, day in and day out, to protect the rights of those harmed by a medical mistake in Virginia and North Carolina. Call 757.625.1214 today.