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EMR error results in lawsuit

Technological progress in recent years has helped contribute to numerous advances in the healthcare industry. Not all of these have focused specifically on medical treatments; indeed, progress on the administrative and analytical fronts has helped to optimize the overall delivery of care in California. Yet for all of the benefits that these new technologies offer, they also introduce the potential for unforeseen issues that may lead to adverse patient outcomes.

Some may wonder how the use of something like an electronic medical record or online charting application can impact the actual care delivered to a patient. However, health care is comprehensive, meaning that failures in certain areas can affect results in others.

Family sues over electronic record error

Such was the claim made in a lawsuit filed against an OB-GYN clinic in Connecticut. Per Healthcare IT News, a couple sued the clinic after discovering that an error with the clinic’s newly implemented electronic medical record system led them to believe clinic personnel performed a genetic screening prior to the birth of their first child (no such screening ever occurred). As a result, the couple chose to have another child (who ended up having cystic fibrosis). The couple said had they known the mother carried the cystic fibrosis gene (which a genetic screening would reveal), they would have decided against having another baby.

Legal action for unintentional oversights

One might say that errors like the one described in this case were not intentional (and thus should merit understanding). Yet few of the issues that lead to medical errors usually are, and patients are still left to deal with the results. One looking to hold a healthcare provider responsible for such an error may be wise to first secure a reliable source of legal advice and assistance.