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Frost & Sullivan: Medico Legal Implications Related to the Usage of Electronic Health Record
Date:8/20/2009

cent of the medical practice activities can be controlled. The remaining 50 percent depends solely on human judgment and cognitive functions that when unfavourable conditions are present could lead to substandard care. The implementation of HIT can improve the quality of care by providing better control (up to 80 percent). However, while decreasing the legal exposure of traditional medical practice it introduces legal implications related to the usage of HIT.

Medical liability (sometimes known as medical negligence or medical malpractice) is a special component of tort law. It governs the professional relationship between physicians and their patients. Medical liability concerns the duties of care expected between physicians and their patients in delivering health care. A physician's duty to his or her patients is to practice medicine which meets or exceeds the standard of care.

Hospital or healthcare delivery organization might become the subject of corporate negligence action if they violate the standard of care (through inadequate oversight of its staff physicians) by allowing an electronic health record or other technology of its choosing to be used in such a way to cause harm to patients.

Vicarious liability occurs when there is a design or other type of flaw in an electronic health record or other technology (eg: computerized physician order entry) which results in harm to patients even though the physicians or other caregivers who used it committed no negligence.

The privacy violation occurs when there is unauthorized access to patient's private information. The information leakage can be a result of misdirected information flow, user negligence or intentional security breach by a third party.

Security breached is recognized as unauthorized sharing of patient's private information. Inappropriate disclosure can happen in clinical setting when multiple copies of Elect
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