Navigation Links
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 describing the thrust of the article.

"It's very personal to health care providers," she said. "It's what everybody who sits at that computer and uses it to manage patient care needs to know."

At first glance, a quick transition to digital heath records seems a normal, even overdue part of the wider flow of high-tech change. It may seem surprising that many health care professionals continue to jot down notes and prescriptions on paper.

Even so, many doctors might not be fully aware of the fresh liability risk, Podgurski said. Problems providing are can arise, for example, if an EHR system contains software bugs, if it is too complicated, or if training for users is insufficient.

"Whether or not there is a software bug, in the sense of a clear error that causes a wrong output, the usability of the system may be lacking, and that may lead a user to make mistakes that have safety implications," he said.

The authors make a strong case that without thoughtful intervention and sound guidance from government and medical organizations, EHR technology may encumber rather than support clinicians and may hinder rather than promote health outcome improvements. Aiming to prevent potential problems, Hoffman and Podgurski propose a uniform process for developing authoritative clinical practice guidelines, and they explore how EHR technology can assist in determining best practices. They offer recommendations to address liability concerns.

Congress has made a $19 billion investment in promoting health information technology, provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services seeks to achieve nationwide usage of electronic health records by 2014.

So now is the best time to consider pitfalls. While the new Hoffman-Podgurski article draws attention to concerns over how EHR technology can lead to problems with patient care, the authors also point out that EHR system purchasers may never know about product flaws, because no regulation requires such disclosure, and some vendor contracts even prohibit it.

"If a computer problem causes an error in somebody's drug prescription, medication dosage or surgical procedure, that can be catastrophic," Hoffman said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Marv Kropko
mrk107@case.edu
216-368-6890
Case Western Reserve University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Electronic Monitoring of Asthma Med Use May Boost Adherence
2. Few Americans Using Electronic Medical Records
3. Electronic Referral Management Streamlines Referral Process and Boosts Provider Revenues, Says New Carefx Issue Brief
4. Electronic Cigarettes Are Better Than Ever
5. Regenstrief releasing new version of lingua franca needed for electronic health info exchange
6. Vanderbilt researchers play major role in new center on electronic health information privacy
7. MU awarded $6.8 million to support use of electronic health records statewide
8. Scientific Study Reveals that 79 Percent of Electronic Cigarette Users Have Stopped or Reduced Their Tobacco Use
9. Electronic Payment Exchange Enters its Tenth Year of Issuing Tokens for Securing Credit Card and ACH Transaction Data
10. MxSecure's Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Software, MxChart™, Now iPad Compatible
11. LaVie Administrative Services Continues 1,200 Access Point Aerohive Roll Out to Address Electronic Medical Record Requirements
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... Our bodies are bombarded daily by ... and deal with these stressors is to adopt a more healthful diet, but too ... Risa Groux, a certified Holistic Nutritionist and the creator of the Newport Beach Cleanse ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... 2016 , ... The White House announced efforts yesterday to ... about their loan terms and accounts, and more protections for borrowers. The announcement ... private loans, has reached $1.3 trillion, with 43 million Americans holding student loans ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... Texas (PRWEB) , ... April 29, 2016 , ... Spine ... neck pain, is proud to announce one of their physicians has been invited to ... Family Physicians (Texas ACOFP) Family Practice Review conference on April 30, 2016. , ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... The Gluten-Free ... is pleased to announce the launch of the GFCP Scoop in ... more. The purpose of the GFCP Scoop site is to keep ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... April 29, 2016 , ... Reltok Nasal ... and products for the head and neck/ear, nose and throat specialty, has added the ... The KOTLER NASAL AIRWAY™ is a newly patented safety device secured by ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/28/2016)... April 28, 2016 Research and ... Plastic Surgery Products Market 2016-2020" report to their ... , The global plastic surgery products market ... during the period 2016-2020. , ,The growing adoption of ... the growth of the market. Lasers are used to ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... -- The blood testing market in China ... and The Freedonia Group in a recent report.  The ... healthcare research firm said that China ... and in improving testing at the provincial level.   The ... Blood Testing Market in China , which utilized ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... Dr. Vivek Ahuja , ... Ste phen Schmidt Join the ... software solutions for life sciences, today announced key new leaders have ... insight to a growing business.  This will bolster the company,s safety ... joined ArisGlobal in the position of Vice President - Safety. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: