Electronic Health Record Lawsuits & Medical Record Software Defects
Electronic Health Record Lawsuits have been filed on behalf of injured patients. Defective medical record software could be more common than previously thought, and may endanger patients, leading to medical malpractice, healthcare fraud and whistleblower lawsuits
Defective electronic health records software, used by the majority of hospitals and medical centers in the U.S., could potentially injure or kill patients. According to studies published by Fortune, serious risks are presented by software flaws, user errors, and operability defects.
One study noted up to 9,000 patient safety reports linked to Electronic Health Record (EHR) problems at only three hospitals over a five-year period. Some doctors and hospital management have expressed concerns that the medical record software may fail to track drug prescriptions and dosages properly.
Health safety hazards have been described in healthcare whistleblower lawsuits, brought by employees of health facilities across the nation. Healthcare fraud lawsuits allege that billions of dollars has been spent on electronic health record systems, and the defective EHR software defects have been covered up.
Healthcare Fraud & Medical Record Lawsuits
Whistleblowers also allege that the manufacturers of the systems and software developers have concealed flaws that they knew existed. Whistleblowers, doctors and hospitals have all said that some electronic health records (EHR) software can be defective and pose a danger to patients.
The Justice Department has investigated allegations that EHR manufactures cheated the government’s certification test. Some EHR vendors have settled lawsuits. In 2017, eClinicalWorks, one of the leading sellers of EHRs, settled a $155 million False Claims Act case.
Consumer safety attorneys and medical safety experts say this could mark a new era of health care fraud and litigation. The concern is not just over legal matters but over the safety of patients. Improper medical data can easily lead to patient injury and death.
Joe Lyon is a Cincinnati, Ohio consumer safety lawyer and medical malpractice attorney reviewing electronic health record lawsuits and medical record software defects for plaintiffs nationwide.
What is EHR Software?
In 2009, the U.S. government committed billions of dollars in tax money to transfer paper medical records to an electronic format. This move as supposed to reduce the number of medical errors caused by illegible paper records.
Huge subsidies helped medical centers and hospitals pay vendors to install EHR and EMR systems. The installed EHR software was meant to perform a variety of functions, including the following:
- Reduce the number of medical charts
- Improve efficiency of medication refills
- Improve billing structures
- Reduce transcription costs
- Reduce pharmacy call backs
- Improve preventive care services
- Provide remote access to patient information
- Improve disease management
Electronic Health Record Functions
An electronic health record (EHR) is simply a digital version of a patient’s chart. EHRs are real-time, patient records that make information available to authorized users. An EHR contains medical and treatment histories of patients, and can include a broader view of a patient’s care.
One feature of an EHR is the ability for health information to be created and managed and shared with other providers across more than one health care facility. EHRs can be shared with laboratories, specialists, medical imaging facilities, pharmacies, emergency facilities, and school and workplace clinics.
Electronic Medical Record (EMR) is an older term used, usually meant to describe an Electronic Health Record (EHR) system—computer software used to track patient care. An electronic health record (EHR) may contain a wide range of patient health information, including:
- Billing data
- Patient personal information
- Medical progress notes
- Vital signs
- Medical history
- Immunization dates
- Radiology images
- Lab results
Defective Electronic Health Record Technology
Vendors of hospital medical record systems have to pass a government certification, though health care fraud whistleblowers have come forward and said that in some cases, the tests were rigged. The Justice Department has alleged that some vendors adjusted their software to simply pass the test. The government accused Greenway Health, an EHR developer, of gaming the certification test, and the company settled with the government for $57 million.
Defective medical record technology remains on the market, however. Medical malpractice cases have implicated faulty medical software, and not only named doctors as defendants but also EHR vendors. Health software fraud and medical malpractice lawsuits claim vendors misled hospitals and provided flawed products.
Companies like McKesson’s Enterprise Information Solutions say their product is easy for doctors and nurses to learn, though doctors allege that bugs in the software has led to serious safety issues.
A study published in JAMA found that 40 percent of some software tested could lead to patient harm, including inaccurate drug codes, and incorrect data displays. The software defects are meant to be fixed but it may be too late for some patients. Many products have been scrapped, but only after they were sold and installed in hospitals.
EHR Medical Malpractice
Electronic health systems can lead to medical malpractice cases, and attorneys investigated the following factors in each individual case:
- Is the software defective?
- Is all information correct?
- Was the EHR training sufficient to hospital staff and doctors?
- Are the EHRs fragmented or unified?
- Are the medical data systems integrated?
- Is there a proper alert system in place?
- Is all medical data protected with cyber security?
- Have all paper records and medical history been transferred or converted accurately?
If you have been a victim of medical malpractice or are aware of a potential healthcare fraud case, and have questions about the legal remedies available, contact The Lyon Firm at (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, an Ohio whistleblower lawyer and medical malpractice attorney, and he will answer critical questions regarding defective medical record software.