Lawyers smell blood in electronic medical records
CHICAGO — As electronic medical records (EMRs) proliferate under federal regulations, kludgey workflow processes and patient data entry quality can be problematic.
The inherent issues with EMRs — and for the healthcare professionals required to learn them — hasn’t been lost on lawyers, who see the potential for millions of dollars in judgments for plaintiffs suing for medical negligence.
Keith Klein, a medical doctor and professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, described four such cases where judgments reached more than $7.5 million because the data contained in an EMR couldn’t be trusted in court.
Klein, who spoke at the Healthcare Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference here today, said he has served as a legal expert in more than 350 medical lawsuits in state and federal courts. And while medical malpractice cases have so far focused on physicians and hospitals, Klein said technology vendors are next on the list.