The idea behind electronic health records, or EHRs, was that patient files would be more complete and easily accessible. However, the reality is that there have been a number of unexpected consequences, and their implementation may actually be reducing the quality of patient care. Issues have become so common and severe that many malpractice suits are now being filed against providers based in part on the improper use of EHRs.
Problems stemming from the use of EHRs are both due to computers and the people using them. When computers end up filling in data inappropriately, there is not enough human oversight to correct these errors, which can lead to records having incorrect data about a patient. Furthermore, those using these systems are not always appropriately trained, meaning data put in may not be correct and data available may not always be seen.
Another issue with EHRs is that even if they contain correct data, the amount of information may also be causing problems. Important facts about a patient may be lost in the large number of details in a patient's file, so even accurate records can result in poor patient care. Medical practitioners may also be reluctant to override EHR alerts, even if the action is appropriate, for fear of being considered to have deviated from the standard of care, which may lead to undesirable patient outcomes.
Hospital negligence can include everything from poor record keeping to failure to ensure that medical professionals provide the correct medication at the right time. If someone is not cared for properly while in a hospital, their original condition may not be treated appropriately, allowing it to worsen, and they may develop additional maladies. A lawyer could help someone determine the appropriate legal action for dealing with these issues.