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A study shows that electronic medical records are often wrong

On Behalf of | Jun 12, 2020 | Failure to Diagnose |

There’s been an uptick in the use of electronic health records (EHRs) in recent years. Many New York doctors store patient records in these portals. They also rely on them for communicating with patients about test results and treatment options. Patients’ increased access to their records has led them to discover errors in them. This discovery could adversely impact the diagnoses that doctors assign patients.

A recent Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) study captures how big of a concern EHR errors are.

Researchers from both Harvard Medical School and Boston’s Israel Deaconess Medical Center consulted with nearly 23,000 patients’ about their EHR records between July 2018 through April 2020. At least 42.3% of patients found serious mistakes in these notes, while another 32.4% identified somewhat serious ones.

Patients referred to at least 10% of the mistakes contained in their notes as very serious. At least 27.5% of those errors were diagnostic-related. The researchers found that this inaccurate information related to both past and present diagnoses.

At least 23.9% of the errors that patients discovered in their EHR records were inaccurate medical histories. Another 14% of the mistakes contained in them had to do with allergy or medication sensitivity concerns. At least 8.4% of the errors that patients discovered in their EHRs included inaccurate procedure information or test results.

The researchers concluded that health care facilities should take time to come up with strategies that allow patients to report EHR inaccuracies more efficiently, as this can improve outcomes in their cases.

Some of the same information that doctors give you access to via the portal is the same documentation that any other doctor that you get a second opinion from is likely to receive. Your physician may assign the wrong diagnosis, prescribe an incorrect medication or order the inappropriate treatment based on this.

You shouldn’t allow your doctor to get by with including inaccurate information along with your medical records. A failure to diagnose attorney can help you hold your Queens doctor accountable for their indiscretion, especially if it resulted in your suffering permanent harm.