Electronic Medical Records: Liability Issues

April 12, 2012 — 1,203 views  
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The use of electronic medical records (or EMRs) is increasing substantially, and not just because they are incredibly efficient for recording and saving patient records. An EMR is also a great way of covering your bases as a doctor and reducing liability when medical care seemingly harms a patient.

One benefit stems from the fact that an EMR system allows healthcare professionals to provide better medical services in general. The information stored on digital databases is portable and can therefore carry over from one practice to another and will persist throughout long periods of time. Therefore, past injuries, severe allergies and other conditions that are essential for doctors to be aware of will be instantly visible the minute an EMR is accessed.

Electronic medical records also help to prove what a doctor may or may not have done when she stands accused of causing physical harm. For example, EMRs are very reliable and are much more difficult to doctor or misplace than paper files. If an inquiry or lawsuit ever comes to pass, most healthcare workers will be able to demonstrate exactly what happened while a patient was under their care. This not only reforms the entire medical malpractice field by making it more efficient - it reduces the chances hearsay and uncertain information will be used against a doctor.