EHR Errors Leading to Major Lawsuits for Doctors


Between 2007 and 2013 EHR issues were involved in only 1% of cases according to The Doctors Company which is the country's largest medical malpractice insurance company. Arthur Allen of Politico pointed out that 1% could be a deceptive percentage  because many of these lawsuits take five to six years to complete. Physicians and health systems have been adopting EHR systems at a more rapid pace over the last two years to meet Meaningful Use requirements. This has led to a dramatic increase in EHR related lawsuits.

Dissatisfaction will EHR systems even led to a recent bipartisan agreement in the Senate to create a work group to try and solve the $28 billion EHR disaster. EHR platforms aren't designed to communicate with other platforms so the chances for errors when transmitting data increases. This has been a major issue on Capitol Hill and led to multiple committee hearings with the larger EHR vendors. Doctors and their administrative staff have become more and more upset with their EHR systems and realize these systems are not always accurate. There is no doubt that this will eventually lead to doctors suing EHR vendors. 

The U.S. Healthcare System needs EHR systems, but the way they are designed and used will only lead to more trouble going forward. We can throw Health IT experts at the problem to try and find a solution, but there haven't been any real solutions thrown on the table. The new hot topic is "interoperability," but until everyone comes to the table to discuss these issues, patients will continue to sue doctors, doctors will sue EHR vendors, and the EHR vendors will turn it back on the doctors. This cycle will continue to repeat itself. 

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