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Electronic health records could give rise to more liability risk
Date:6/21/2010

CLEVELAND Electronic health record systems likely will soon become a fixture in medical settings. Advocates claim they will reduce health care costs and improve medical outcomes, which could be critical since the new health care reform law increases access for millions of Americans. Although benefits of bringing information technology to health records can be substantial, EHR systems also give rise to increased liability risks for health care providers due to possible software or hardware problems or user errors.

Two Case Western Reserve University professors, in a scholarly article published in the Berkeley Technology Law Journal, shed light on liability concerns and electronic health records systems. Until now, such a linkage has received little attention in the legal literature.

Sharona Hoffman, professor of law and bioethics and co-director of Case Western Reserve's Law-Medicine Center, and her husband, Andy Podgurski, professor of computer science at the university's School of Engineering, have written "E-Health Hazards: Provider Liability and Electronic Health Record Systems," which offers a comprehensive analysis of the liability risks associated with use of this complex and important technology.

Hoffman and Podgurski are well known for their research and findings documenting a national need for effective EHR regulation. They analyzed the need for federal regulation of electronic health record systems in the scholarly article "Finding a Cure: The Case for Regulation and Oversight of Electronic Health Record Systems" (Harvard Journal of Law and Technology, 2009). That paper came after two previous publications by the two on security and privacy issues of electronic health records.

"This new piece focuses on health care providers' liability. Are they at greater risk for malpractice claims? Are they at greater risk for privacy breach claims? And I think the answer to all of that is yes," Hoffman said in d
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Contact: Marv Kropko
mrk107@case.edu
216-368-6890
Case Western Reserve University
Source:Eurekalert

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