Advanced technology continues to fail in practice
Posted by Thomas Pettinicchi of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Oct 10, 2012 in Doctor Errors
In the medical and health fields, people often applaud new technologies and new processes aimed at improving a patient's health and medical treatments. However, much like a medication or surgical procedure, new technologies may only be as good as those responsible for those putting them into practice.
For the past several years, hospitals in Connecticut and across the country have been adopting electronic medical records. The goal of the new digital solution is to make the records more accessible to patients and easier to be updated and shared with all physicians treating a patient. Unfortunately, the process is far from perfected and, in fact, people are getting seriously hurt or dying from mistakes that are made or caused by the electronic records system.
According to reports, the systems used to maintain and update medical records are "clunky" and do not serve doctors well. There is no universally-accepted system that every hospital facility uses, so communication between the different systems can be rife with miscommunications and bugs that can affect the information in the system and, subsequently, the care of the patient.
Besides the systematic issues that exist, doctors and nurses are contributing to the number of human errors being made with electronic medical records. With one errant click or numerical mistake, a patient's care or prescription dosage can be affected. These types of errors are entirely preventable but may be an inevitable reality of current record-keeping technology.
Whether a mistake has happened because of a computer glitch or a physician's oversight, medical errors can result in serious and even fatal repercussions for the patient. Keeping negligent or faulty parties accountable for these mistakes can prevent the same thing from happening to another patient.
Source: The New York Times, "The Ups and Downs of Electronic Medical Records," Milt Freudenheim, Oct. 8, 2012
- Our firm works with patients who have been affected by mistakes made by health care professionals. Those who have been victim of this negligence can visit our page on Connecticut doctor errors for more information.