Looking at Medical Practitioner’s Defense on the 10th Anniversary of HITECH

Many medical practitioners hoped that electronic health records might reduce their exposure to liability as well as improving patient care. On the tenth anniversary of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH), it’s appropriate to take a look at the results to date. While HITECH has done an effective job of increasing the prevalence of EHRs, many experts warn that there has been an increase in medical malpractice claims related to these digital records.

Looking at Medical Practitioner's Defense on the 10th Anniversary of HITECH

As is usually the case with new technology, EHRs have had their share of unintended consequences. Hospitals and other health organizations have spent billions of dollars to digitize their records, partly due to the financial incentives and penalties provided for in the HITECH Act of 2009. However, medical practitioners have not experienced reduced exposure to medical malpractice liability.

Consider these examples of how EHRs continue to create new liability risks:

Data Security:

The confidentiality of medical records is a growing concern. In addition to the pressures that exist in any industry, health care practitioners have to address the dilemma of how to protect patient privacy while making vital information accessible if a patient needs to be treated at a hospital other than the one where the data was originally collected. Today’s medical practitioners have to address data security measures as well as patient care.

Automatic Editing:

Features like copying and pasting are convenient, but they can also create database errors. That’s especially true when users are dealing with a high volume of repetitive information.

User Fatigue:

How many times have you ignored car alarms because you assume that nothing significant is happening? Similarly, medical data systems often issue so many alerts that it’s difficult to discern which are meaningful.

Protect your rights if you’re a medical practitioner facing a potential lawsuit or disciplinary matter. Contact us to find out more about how ProAdvocate Group helps its member to continue practicing their chosen profession through a private membership legal association.