Another Medical Malpractice Suit Related to Electronic Records
There have been a growing number of complaints related to electronic health records software. These complaints have resulted in medical malpractice suits. These lawsuits have become common enough to be given a name: EHR lawsuits.
Recently, a Connecticut couple filed a lawsuit against an OB-GYN that they say never performed genetic tests that they requested. An attorney for the couple says that the most likely reason for the mishap was related to the facility’s electronic health records.
In this case, the doctor’s practice and the electronic health record company could be held liable for the problem, but the doctor who ordered the test should have followed up with the patient regardless of what the health records said. If the health clinic was having problems with their EHR software, they should have double-checked to ensure everyone’s tests were ordered.
The couple filed a lawsuit against the clinic after their child was born with cystic fibrosis, a disease that severely reduces the life expectancy of its victims despite improvement in treatments. The couple had requested a cystic fibrosis screening during the birth of their first child. That child was born without cystic fibrosis. Figuring that the test had already been performed and came back negative, the couple had a second child. This child was born with cystic fibrosis. The parents did not know that the test was never performed. The patient’s chart indicated the test had been performed.
The clinic reportedly settled with the couple for the policy maximum which was $2 million. The mother said that had she known that she carried the cystic fibrosis gene, she would not likely have had children. The $2 million will be placed into a trust to pay for the child’s medical care. Cystic fibrosis care can be expensive, but this child’s needs should be met with this settlement.
One of the doctors who was responsible for the patient’s care said that several policy changes went into effect after it became known that the EHR software was causing problems.
Operator versus Software Error
A litigant can sue the company that engineered the software, but regardless of what happened with the software, the doctors are supposed to make sure that tests that have been ordered are performed. The case against the software company is typically harder to pursue. It is now the doctors who are filing these lawsuits and complaints as they get hit with reputational damage and medical malpractice lawsuits. In some cases, the mistakes are not necessarily the fault of the doctor, but every doctor is expected to ensure the quality of their records, so at least some of the liability will fall on them.
Talk to a St. Petersburg Medical Malpractice Attorney
EHR lawsuits can be some of the most difficult to sort out. It may not necessarily be apparent what the doctor did wrong. Nonetheless, Masterson & Hoag, P.A. has litigated these cases and produced excellent results for our clients. Call today to set up a free consultation and learn more about how our St. Petersburg medical malpractice lawyers can help.