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Approximately 40 Percent of Illinois Doctors Yet to Switch to Electronic Medical Records

October 22, 2014  ·  By HM&M

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According to an article published by the American Academy of Family Physicians, doctors follow a risk management protocol when it comes to dealing with concerns surrounding possible cases of medical malpractice. The article refers to the “4 Cs” of risk management:

  • Compassion
  • Communication
  • Competence
  • Charting

The article, written by Richard G. Roberts, MD, stated that the greatest charting mistakes occur when physicians forget or fail to note what is important about a patient’s condition. A patient’s chart is the main source of information and a large part of the communication between medical providers on the case. A medical record oversight could lead to disastrous results.

For the past few years, the Obama administration has supported the idea of doctors and hospitals converting completely to electronic medical records. The goal is that electronic records make medical reporting more efficient and less costly. The government has already given billions of incentive dollars to hospitals for implementation of the conversion.

Not all physicians have welcomed the switch. Some doctors and hospitals share concerns about electronic documents including:

  • Learning systems that are too time-consuming;
  • Mistakes for medication orders not immediately recognized;
  • Vulnerability of electronic records to system crashes; and
  • Payment denial from Medicare due to electronically-copied documentation rather than individually written patient notes by a doctor or nurse to show need for medical care.

Earlier this year, it was reported that less than 50 percent of office-based physicians across the country were using electronic health records. Northern states, including North Dakota and Minnesota, have some of the highest numbers in the country for converting. Nearly 60 percent of Illinois has adopted electronic medical record usage.

Regardless of the way medical information is recorded, our law firm has experience in litigating against medical malpractice and uncovering evidence in a digital or electronic record. If you or a family member have been injured due to medical care negligence in Chicago or across the U.S., contact an experienced Illinois medical malpractice attorney from Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C. today.

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