Healthcare News & Insights

Report: EHRs could increase malpractice lawsuit risk

While electronic health records (EHRs) have many benefits for patients and healthcare providers, if they aren’t used properly, they could open up new liability risks for organizations.

That’s the message from a recent white paper released by the AC Group, a Texas-based health IT research and consulting firm. The paper says new risks for lawsuits are created by design flaws in EHR software, as well as implementation challenges and operation failures.

Specifically, researchers warn about:

  1. Increased risk of privacy violations because electronic records may be easier to access by people without authorization
  2. A greater opportunity for malpractice suits because doctors may rely too heavily on potentially imperfect electronic systems, such as programs that check drug orders against lab results, and
  3. More chances for litigators to use EHR metadata to argue their malpractice cases — which is problematic because the AC Group’s researchers found many EHR systems have flaws in their reporting processes.

To avoid those risks, experts recommend taking the time to properly train end users on an EHR system — emphasizing what the system can do, as well as what it can’t do.

For more information, download the AC Group’s report here.

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