Some people in Burlington County may think that now that many physicians and medical centers have moved to electronic record-keeping, that mistakes are rarely made, even if a patient moves from the care of one physician to another one. However, just because technology in record-keeping is advancing doesn’t mean mistakes won’t be made.
For example, a physician can type in the incorrect procedure to be performed, record an incorrect diagnosis, or mistakenly enter the incorrect amount or type of medication prescribed. While these typos may seem harmless, if another physician needs to access that patient’s records these errors could mean the second physician may treat the patient in a way that leads to a worsened condition. Omissions from medical records can also lead to a patient suffering needlessly. Oftentimes when these mistakes are made they are not caught unless patients review their records themselves.
These acts of medical malpractice can be very damaging. According to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, almost 10 percent of those who review their medical records on the Internet find that corrections need to be made. If you believe your records should be changed and follow the appropriate processes for doing so, and your medical provider still won’t correct the errors, it may be possible to file a complaint with state licensing agencies or the government office that oversees the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).
Unfortunately, sometimes these corrections come too late for those who suffer a worsened medical condition, injury, or death to an error in electronic medical records. When this happens, the patient, or his or her survivors in the event of a death, will want to determine what avenues they have for compensation. Some may find that filing a medical malpractice claim is the only way they can obtain the financial resources they need to rectify the damages that have been inflicted upon them.