Healthcare News & Insights

Malpractice: There’s an app for that?

Some of the simplest technological tools can open the door to significant malpractice claims.

Connecting with patients and the wider community through social networking is increasingly common for hospitals, small practices and other health care providers. But some of the most popular social networking tools leave their owners and users exposed to a potential legal risk.

Developers of medical apps for the iPhone and similar devices could become targets for lawsuits if patients decide the information provided to them wasn’t correct. Health care providers who appear to be endorsing the use of these apps could conceivably be put at risk, as well.

Of course, standard disclaimers that these apps are meant for reference only could go a long way toward reducing the risk. But it’s an important reminder that as providers explore new tools and resources available online, they need to be aware of the quality of the tool, its credibility and how well patients may perceive the tool’s accuracy.

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