While adopting an electronic health record (EHR) system may always require a concerted effort on the part of the practice, problems that may ultimately affect successful use need to be anticipated so implementation goes smoothly. According to a recent USA Today article, EHRs are subject to several related issues that make use difficult for providers.
Some of the problems detailed in the article include liability issues, as records that are used incorrectly leave health companies vulnerable to malpractice suits. In addition to security and privacy concerns, EHR errors can also give doctors the wrong information about patients. The source cites one instance where an EHR problem led to a patient receiving a higher dose of antibiotic than they were supposed to.
An article in Anesthesiology News quotes Dr. Neal Cohen of the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, on the role providers should take in proper records upkeep. During an appearance at the American Society of Anesthesiologists' 2015 Practice Management Conference, he referred to the need for accuracy as a patient's situation changes.
"We need to intervene appropriately and accurately reflect what has happened to the patient," Dr. Cohen said. "There is much noise in physiologic data, and we should ensure the accuracy and completeness of it." When discussing proper EHR templates, Dr. Cohen adds that "you must choose one that's relevant to the patient, or you may not have documentation of a significant finding or medical problem that impacts clinical care."
When properly updated and integrated into regular use, electronic records could let medical providers track a patient's status and successfully prepare for possible legal issues. Medical litigation support services will give health attorneys the expertise they need to consult important tasks that help contest malpractice cases like compliance audits and clinical reviews.