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Mistakes accessing records can lead to medical errors

Today's hospitals rely heavily on modern technology in nearly every aspect of their healthcare providing duties. And in most ways, this is a very positive development. Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals now have tools that can help diagnose and treat patients more effectively than ever before. Yet there is one critical area that appears to need improvement; electronic recordkeeping and record access.

Of course, there are many advantages in networking patient records. Such systems allow easy access to a patient's vital information, which can be especially critical in emergency situations. But unfortunately, it is all too easy for mistakes to occur in the hustle and bustle of activity common in emergency rooms.

For example, if a computer's display is not clear, a nurse could inadvertently access the wrong file while treating a patient. The nurse could then erroneously enter that patient's symptoms into another patient's record. Likewise, while ordering medication for a patient, a doctor could click on the wrong number and thus issue a dangerously incorrect dosage.

Because emergency room situations often call for working at a fast pace under pressure, hospitals should do everything they can to make sure that their electronic health records systems are as user-friendly as possible. Moreover, all hospital staff who access the system should be thoroughly trained in its use.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury while being treated in a hospital, it can be very difficult to trace the exact cause. But an experienced medical malpractice attorney can examine your records to see if there are any irregularities that could indicate a mistake on behalf of the doctor or staff. After performing an investigation of your treatment, the attorney could advise you on your options for obtaining appropriate compensation.

 

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