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ARE ELECTRONIC HEALTHCARE RECORDS ADDING TO MEDICAL MALPRACTICE?

A 47-year-old woman sought the advice of her physician for severe head pain. Although she normally suffered from migraines, she was certain that her pain symptoms were not migraines. Despite two visits and alarming symptoms, the physician was not able to diagnose the woman until it was too late. After a medical malpractice lawsuit was filed by her husband, Massachusetts patients may be interested to learn that a glitch in her electronic medical record may have resulted in her delayed diagnosis.

According to the woman's health records, the physician noted that she was potentially suffering from a brain aneurysm. Aneurysms involve bleeding in the brain and are very serious. After a medical malpractice lawsuit was started, it was revealed during the discovery process that the woman's doctor had ordered a test that could have resulted in an earlier diagnosis. Sadly, the doctor's order never made it to the lab and the woman remained undiagnosed. The woman was correctly diagnosed after a trip to the emergency room, but she died soon after from complications.

Most health care providers now chart and record important medical data with the use of electronic health records. Many patients and health care providers likely believe that electronic medical records could create a safer and more efficient environment for a patient to receive care. Lawsuits and investigations have revealed that glitches in software systems can result in fatal and dangerous consequences for patients.

The use of electronic health records has been an increasing part of patient care in the last 10 years. It is a growing and competitive field. Patients who believe they may have suffered similar errors in their electronic health records could benefit from the advice of a Massachusetts medical malpractice attorney. Although many patients and families may be able to receive some financial relief from a lawsuit to cover any monetary damages caused by malpractice, a lawsuit can also provide an opportunity to get answers following an unexpected death of a loved one.

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