New Study Suggests Electronic Health Records May Decrease Physician Malpractice Claims in New York, Nationwide

According to a study recently published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, research found that doctors who use electronic health records are less likely to be sued for malpractice than those who use paper recordkeeping. The study found use of electronic health records lowered a physician's chances for being sued by as much as 84 percent. According to one of the study authors, Dr. Steven Simon, approximately one-third of all physicians across the nation currently utilize an electronic recordkeeping system.

Electronic heath records were initially introduced to doctors as an opportunity to both streamline patient care and decrease possible errors. One of the major benefits of an electronic health records system is that multiple doctors who are treating a single patient have the ability to access one another's patient notes and prescriptions. Some systems will even warn a doctor regarding potential drug interactions. A number of doctors have reportedly resisted the technology, however, over fears related to both technology malfunctions and the potential for user error. Others have argued the technology may actually hurt doctors in a malpractice court battle. The newly published study tends to refute many of these physician concerns.

As part of the research study, Dr. Simon and his colleagues surveyed 275 Massachusetts physicians regarding whether they adopted an electronic health records system and, if so, when the technology was adopted. Next, they compared their responses against a medical malpractice claims database. 33 of the 275 doctors were sued over 51 malpractice claims during the timeframe examined. 49 of the claims were filed before an electronic records system was adopted and 13 of those claims resulted in a payment to the plaintiff. Only two claims were filed after an electronic health records system was implemented, neither of which resulted in a payment.

Despite the reported decrease in the number of medical malpractice claims filed, researchers believe the implementation of electronic health recordkeeping systems is being somewhat delayed over initial start-up costs and the time commitment required for doctors, nurses, and other staff to fully learn a new system.

Health care providers in New York have a duty to provide every patient with a certain standard of care. When a doctor, nurse, dentist, hospital, or pharmacy breaches that duty and a patient is injured, the patient may have a medical malpractice claim. If you were hurt by the negligent actions of a health care professional, you should contact a skilled New York City personal injury attorney to discuss your case.

Call the law firm of the Paleudis Law Firm, LLC at (212) 835-6768 if you were hurt by a doctor, nurse, or someone else tasked with providing your medical care. Our experienced New York personal injury lawyers will work diligently to help you receive the legal compensation you deserve after any injury. At the Paleudis Law Firm, LLC, our knowledgeable attorneys have more than 45 years of combined experience assisting victims of medical malpractice in both New York and New Jersey. To speak with a hardworking personal injury lawyer today, please contact the Paleudis Law Firm, LLC through our website.

Additional Resources:

Electronic records tied to fewer malpractice claims, by Genevra Pittman, Reuters