As the country transitions to a more electronic world, hospitals and healthcare providers are implementing electronic record-keeping systems. Electronic healthcare records (EHRs), would allow healthcare practitioners and hospitals to provide higher quality care because records would be kept and recorded more accurately in an electronic record world. Medical malpractice lawsuits may decrease and medical malpractice cases against hospitals will be easier to prosecute as the country’s healthcare system transitions to EHRs. If patients are receiving higher quality of care, fewer errors and incidents of malpractice will occur and lawsuits will decrease. On the other hand, medical malpractice lawsuits that are sometimes hindered by inaccurate or incomplete record-keeping, will become easier to prosecute if all records pertaining to the patient are centralized and accessible in an electronic world. Further, many records or documents claimed to be “lost” by hospitals and doctors may be easier to recover during the discovery process.
Of course, EHRs are not without risks. Hospitals will need to implement polices and procedures to ensure that address the risks of EHRs are addressed. These risks include doctors spending more time in front of computer screens than with patients, inaccurate data entry, and unauthorized access and errors related to problems that arise during the transition to EHRs.
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